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A New Fireplace Just In Time For Fall Decorating

It's coming together and in time for fall decorating

When we bought the farm 3 years ago, there were 3 things that I wanted… a wrap-around porch, a barn and a fireplace with a mantle. I got 2 of the 3. There wasn’t a fireplace.

I love backing up to a fireplace and turning myself ever so often, like a rotisserie. I love the crackling sound the burning wood makes. I love the smell. I even like making the firestarters like we made in Girl Scouts years ago.

I wanted a fireplace so badly, that I bought an old, vintage mantle and put it up against a blank wall, and downloaded a YouTube video of a woodburning fireplace with crackling sounds onto an extra computer. I put a monitor in the mantle opening and hooked it to the computer.

I’d catch myself standing in front of that stupid monitor like it was a real fire!

Did I mention that I love a fireplace? And yes, that “fire” is actually the YouTube video on the monitor.

Using a youtube video for a fire in the fireplace

Next attempt was a wood burning stove… it was okay to stand in front of, but it stuck out in the middle of the room and I still didn’t have a mantle!

Did I ever mention that I wanted a fireplace and mantle?

You got the stove in the house... now what?
Wood stove with good fire

A few weeks ago, I had a brilliant idea – I just happened to mention to my husband, that since I had the blog and would be posting articles on decorating for the holidays, that I really NEEDED a mantle. He just looked at me, turned around and walked off without saying a word.

A few days later, he told me we could sell the woodstove, buy a wood-burning fireplace insert, and I needed to decide what I wanted the fireplace to look like.

I had a picture to show him in under 3 hours!!!!   Well, with one modification… gotta have a hearth!

Wanting a fireplace like this one.

The wood stove was out the next morning, sold that afternoon, and we were off to buy a fireplace insert we found on Craigslist! I downloaded the Installation Manual on the way home. (You think I’m getting excited?)

We had found and bought a truck load of old wooden beams and slabs several weeks before and there were some pieces that would easily make the mantle and support corbels.

I showed my fireplace picture to Emma Pratt at Godfrey & Black Brick and Stone in Fort Smith and she had me fixed up with the stone in no time.

By the time I got home, Gary had a gaping hole knocked in the wall.

Cutting a hole in the wall for the fireplace
Cutting the hole in the wall
The gaping hole in the wall

Over the next few days, the house, inside and out, was a mess! We started early in the morning and worked until dark… or until we were exhausted.

The mantle and corbels had to be cut to length, washed and glazed.

Making sure that the insert fits in the hole
Making the base for the stone
The mantle board had to be cut to length

The stones had to be washed,  cut if needed, laid out and numbered.

The expanded metal wire had to be put up and mortared so that the mortar on the stones would be rough enough to adhere the stones to the wall.

The stones had to be arranged and cut if needed
Mounting the stones around the insert front
The stones are attached with mortar

Still work to be done on the outside, but it’s coming together and I can hardly wait for it to turn cool enough for a fire.

It's coming together and in time for fall decorating

Do you have a fireplace?  Do you catch yourself standing in front of it… cooking your backside, then turning like a rotisserie?

Do you decorate the mantle for the holidays or just leave it the same all year around?

This Post Has 14 Comments
  1. Love your new fireplace Cheryl. It reminds me of the one we had at Rudy. Hope you enjoy it but that you never have to use it as your only source of heat. (I did that for 5 days one year when we lost power during an ice storm.) With a traveling husband, I was the sole “keeper of the flame” for the entire time—until he came home on Friday and announced that we needed to go to a motel! Lol

    1. How funny. Our neighbor down the road said that she had been without power for 13 days during an ice storm… probably was the same. Can hardly wait for cold weather to get here.

    1. Thanks Jessica, we love it here and the house is still a “work in progress”, but we’re getting there.

  2. Hi Cheryl,
    Yes, Yes, Yes to answer your 3 questions??? what would be the point of a fireplace if you didn’t do all those????
    Soooo….. that is a beautiful
    Fireplace!!!! What talent you two possess .. it truly amazes me!! I had no doubt you’d have a real one before long…. tv fireplace ?????? Not if you live in a farmhouse in the mountains with a barn and the talent that exists in your household!!? You live where many of us would love to live!!? Just gorgeous!

    1. Thanks Dian, we do love it here and I’m very fortunate to have Gary who is super talented and MOST of the time agreeable to doing what I want done.

  3. Beautiful fireplace. I love wood heat, we have a free standing wood stove in the living room corner and love it. A few years ago when we had the ice storm it was our only heat in the front half of the house. If you live in the country you need a natural heat source and in our area wood is about as natural as it gets.

    1. A neighbor down the road said they were without elect for 21 days a few years ago… may have been the same storm. So I used that as a reason for NEEDING a fireplace too. lol

  4. Awe my super talented friend Cheryl at it again!! LOVE IT!!! I love fire places but I am sooo not the messy “real fire” kind of girl lol you know me, the fake tan, fake fresh air and fake fire, no mess, no bugs, no trouble. But I sure love yours and appreciate your amazing talent at being able to make a gaping hole come to life and look beautiful!! Love you! Thanks for sharing!!

  5. It’s beautiful, I love it. Fall is my favorite time of the year too. I ‘m like a kid, we rake the leaves up and then turn right around and jump in the middle of them. lol.

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