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 we 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.
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.