The new fireplace

The new fireplace project started when we decided to do something with our crumbling brick chimney.  Living in an 1852 brick house requires continuous upkeep.  The mortar cracks.  The old brick crumbles.  Of particular concern was outside chimney.  It required rebuilding with new “old” bricks.

We hired a stone mason to do this job.  While he was carefully dismantling the old chimney  outside fireplacewe thought it would be a good time to convert the old wood fireplace into gas and do something about the red brick interior wall.

Do you remember Murphy Brown?  It was a 1980s sitcom starring Candice Bergen.  In this show Murphy hires a guy to paint her living room.  This guy “Eldin” continues to paint and repaint every room in her house.  He is there for years and sort of becomes her family.


We hired our own “Eldin” this fall except he was a stone mason and his name was Lawrence.   He worked most days from August until December and circled the whole exterior of our house filling cracks.

BEFORE     This is a photo of the old red brick interior wall.  The wood burning gas insert has been removed in preparation for the new gas fireplace.

family room brick wall

We have never been too happy with the colour of the family room brick wall.  A warm brown might have been nicer.  This was an added feature wall built sometime in the 1960.  It was ugly and sucked all energy out of the room like a black hole.

Warren and I seriously considered applying new stone to the wall.  We lugged home lots of samples: lovely flagstone with warm caramel colours, but at the eleventh hour we decided to just paint the old brick.  It was a cheaper option that could be covered at a later time.

One of our challenges was deciding what to do with the holes where the hot air vents had been.  Our solution was to contact Wellington Pottery .  Their four clay square plates now cover the old vents.



fireplaceWhat do you think?  Better isn’t it.



About westlakemusings

In 2013 my husband and I retired. We bought an old pre-confederation house out in the country. This blog is about our new world in the country as we explore all of life's possibilities.
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7 Responses to The new fireplace

  1. Lynne Ross says:

    What a transformation Diane and Warren – just love it to bits!! Very ‘clean’ and love the colour.

  2. warblerific says:

    Love it! What a quick fix, and a huge difference. Wow, its so much brighter – looks great!

  3. I have been warmed by this very fire and I love it! Think we might put in a free-standing gas stove, very modern looking by Jotul. The price is scary but is our only option for a fireplace in the great room that is all windows.

  4. It looks much better! With it painted out, the beams and the rest of the wood in the room are much more noticeable. I really like the barn picture over the mantel.

  5. Kathy M says:

    I love the painted wall and the dark wooden beams! The whole look of this room is transformed. And obviously Warren did a lot of hard work to make everything work. Great job!

  6. Ulla Simonassi says:

    I never saw the room prior to the reno but the before and after photos truly shows the great transformation in brightening up the room. Good work Diane and Warren!

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