Our Transformed Fireplace: Before & After

When we bought our home the Den did not "fit" with the traditional style of the home. The floor to ceiling brick fireplace was a visual disruption to the traditional "flow". A popular style for homes built in the 80's, but now it just looked dated and tired. It was screaming for a MAJOR face lift. So I came up with a plan that to make this room flow with our house. I completed this project in 5 steps...
*Eenclosed dated brick fireplace with drywall
*Added a tile surround
*DIY'd extensive mill-work and custom mantel
*Custom built cabinets and selves to flank fireplace
*Converted to a GAS FIREPLACE!!!
I am so in love with the final transformation. The once dated look is so much more classic and mature! Now that this home improvement project is complete I can move to the furnishings.
I DIY'd every step myself: drywall enclosed the brick, added tile, custom millwork, dramatic mantel, built-in shelves and custom cabinets to surround fireplace
BEFORE & AFTER: The Room is almost unrecognizable...and now that we have cabinets the space is much more functional for our needs.
BEFORE: Our house at move in 2012.
BEFORE: Here is the Fireplace after we added Drywall, Tiled over the brick and painted the side shelves. The space is still lacking...and cabinet storage was up next
AFTER: This is EVERYTHING. This home improvement will no doubt add value to our home when it's compared to the hundreds of new homes being built in our area. Now that I'm finished with this face lift I can focus on decorating, adding carpet, new baseboard, all the small finishing!
AFTER: Every mothers Dream...closed door toy storage! I custom built these. Did you know custom cabinets like these are not that hard to build...where there's a will there's a way!
AFTER: We also converted our Wood Burning Fireplace to Gas
First step in added drywall enclosure was to secure furring strips to the brick using masonry screws. I added them every 16" or as needed to make sure the drywall was level. The fireplace may look "pretty" but the bricks were filthy and stinky and no matter what we tried they would not get clean. We needed a new clean look that would suit small children and asthmatics!
Here you see drywall now covers the furring strips. All seams were tapped and corner bead was added to create a smooth finish. See that layers of soot and filth...it refused to come off!
Then I cleaned and cleaned and cleaned the brick...not fun. I laid a smooth layer of mortar and let dry, then started to tile. Millwork was also started at this time
I designed and created custom cabinets built-ins. If you don't have a pocket hole Kreg tool...get one! Amazing tool for any cabinetry style work! I reviewed a variety of Ana White projects and ideas to come up with these ones that fit custom to my space.
Here we have pre-paint and pre-gas fireplace insert. The doors were purchased from Barker Doors. They build the cabinet doors to your specs...this is a lovely and cost effective way to complete the custom look. I hope you enjoyed this project! Come check out my blog where I have more how to photo's to share with you! Now that I have finally finished the construction of this bad boy I can focus on giving the room a more finished look (specifically the bare shelves :) )...baby steps...thanks for reading!
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
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  3 questions
  • Cindy Hebert Rathke Cindy Hebert Rathke on Feb 09, 2018

    What was involved in converting from wood burning to gas?

  • Sabrina Harvey Sabrina Harvey on Mar 05, 2018

    I love your fireplace! I want to build a surround like this - did you use a "pattern" or kit - or did you just figure it out yourself?

  • MC MC on Apr 21, 2019

    When you hung the picture over the fireplace, i presume you drove the nail into a furring strip right in the middle?

    we have drywall over brick also. A contractor installed it many years ago. We have never hung a picture, only leaned one. I am afraid to start nailing because i dont know if there are furring strips or where they are.

    Any suggestions?

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