...because home doesn't happen overnight.

fireplace wall 2

The planked wall framing out the TV is shellac’d and painted!

fireplace wall 8

HH did the shellac’ing. I did the painting. Except for the top five boards. I couldn’t reach them even on a tall ladder! The plank below the TV is removable to access the TV and we painted it separately. For fun, let’s take a look at the evolution of this wall.

fireplace wall collage

The ‘before’ is a picture from the first time we toured the house. The ‘progress’ shot was taken during renovation when the walls and ceiling were demo’d. We removed walls separating the living room, kitchen and dining room to create an open living room / kitchen layout. The ‘after’ was taken today, nearly two years after we started renovations. It’s been a long time comin’. Before, the tall and wide mantel completely overwhelmed the living room. Now, it looks less ominous even though it’s the same size. It’s amazing what raising a ceiling and painting everything white will do for a room.

fireplace wall 1

So, this is where we watch movies, warm ourselves by the fire and generally hang as a family. It’s pretty awesome. Even with the boob speakers. I give HH a hard time about his nerdy love for all things tech-y but, you know what?, it makes him happy so I need to let up. This is a real house, not a show house.

fireplace wall 4

After the paint was dry, HH caulked where the planked wall meets the drywall and ceiling. We did not caulk in between each plank just like we didn’t on the planked ceiling. I think it looks less perfect and more charming that way.

tv frame collage

HH used simple corner trim to frame the TV opening. I was adamant about not wanting chunky or beveled trim. The simpler, the better. HH outfitted the *removable* bottom plank with a mesh speaker screen to allow sound from the two boob speakers under the TV to travel into the room. The screen is paintable and HH painted it to match the tongue and groove. Before he installed the bottom plank, HH placed a piece of wood on either side of the speakers, angled out from the back of the wall, to direct the sound forward. He’s really happy with how the speaker setup turned out and I don’t think it’s hideous so we’re still married.

fireplace wall 5

I’m pretty dang excited about being able to shoot at different angles in this room. For the longest time, I’ve been purposefully shooting around the fireplace wall because it was such an eyesore. Can you spot the Skylander that Mabrey placed on the hearth? She is a funny one. The moment the camera comes out, she sets to work placing the littlest things just so. I guess she thought a gaming figure was missing here?? She dug through our media basket for this particular guy then set him on the hearth. When she stood up she had this look on her face like, “Perfect!” #ministylistintraining

There are still a few trivial things that need to happen before we can officially call this project D-O-N-E. We need to install trim where the mantel and drywall meet and where the floor meets the brick. But we’re so close we can almost taste it.

fireplace wall 6

Also, I wouldn’t mind painting the gas shutoff to the fireplace {seen here as a silver circle on the wall} the same color as the drywall.

fireplace wall 7

So far, we’re really loving the lightness and brightness of the fireplace wall. It could be because we’ve had nothing but snow and gray skies for two weeks. We’re open to changing up the drywall if things start to feel cold or blah. Paint? Grasscloth? But, for now, we’re good. Very, very good.

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

59 Comments

19.December.2013

I love the look of the built-in TV area around the fireplace — but as someone contemplating this in my own home, but have you discussed what would happen if/when you need a new television? That’s my only reason why I can’t move forward with the reno in my house — the darn telly!

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replied on December 19th, 2013

The plank below the TV is removable so we’re able to remove the TV without dismantling the planked wall. If we need to repair the TV or add media components, we have easy access. If we ever need to replace the TV, we’ll try really hard to find something similar in size. If we need to tweak the wall to accommodate a new TV, we only have to deal with the planks framing the TV. So the wall isn’t as “permanent” as it looks. But let’s hope our current TV holds up for a good, long while.

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19.December.2013

Looks great! I’ve been waiting to see this finished and it is fantastic!!

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It is ABSOLUTELY beautiful!!!!! What a difference from where you started. Your home rocks…and I love that Mabrey is a little stylist in the making! ;)

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19.December.2013

Beautiful!! It’s so open and welcoming and cozy. When can we all come over for tea?

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Jaw-dropping transformation. I love it so, so much.

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19.December.2013

Holy cow, I cannot believe that transformation! I’m so impressed that you had the vision. I’m not sure I could have imagined something so lovely and open from that cozy-but-confining space in the before photo.

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19.December.2013

Its Gorgeous! Absolutely Gorgeous! I am officially putting my booty in gear to finish my home from your inspiring images!

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19.December.2013

Wow! That looks incredible. You incorporated the tv and the speakers so well. That boob cover really did the trick to take away the eye sore. Absolutely in love with this look!

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19.December.2013

I absolutely love planked walls, so this was a winner from the very beginning! Your entire room looks so fresh, crisp and inviting! Love it!

Angela @ Number Fifty-Three

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19.December.2013

Looks GREAT! I’m impressed that you guys waited so long – but to make it just right.

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19.December.2013

Oh snap! I love that last picture. I think the window treatments are still my favorite!

Nicole B.

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19.December.2013

ahhh…love it. Just found your blog-love the wood backsplash too :)

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19.December.2013

Love it! Just what I imagined. I would plop some sort of green plant (fig tree) to the (my) right side of the fireplace, just to give the room a little more cozy feel, and it would fill up that space.
Great job!

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replied on December 19th, 2013

Our Christmas tree lives there currently {pics coming soon} and I’m already bummed about taking it down after the holidays. You’re right, it’s the perfect spot for large greenery! Just not sure how well a fig tree would fare under my supervision???

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19.December.2013

Ah I love it!! I can’t believe the difference between before and after!! One question though – do you plan on sealing up that middle seam of the mantel below the TV? My eyes were drawn to it immediately. I think I would just stare at it every day haha

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replied on December 19th, 2013

No…we want to leave the bottom plank removable in case we ever need access to repair / replace it.

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replied on December 20th, 2013

I love all the progress in this space. It’s absolutely beautiful and I would love to live in it :)
I think what Kristen was referring to is the space between the stones in the middle of the mantle, below the planking. Maybe it’s less obvious in real life, but I see what she’s saying. Now that the whole wall is light and bright, that little sliver sticks out. If that space somehow aids in the removal of the bottom plank, maybe you could fill just the front of it?

Also, cannot wait to see this room with a Christmas tree!!!

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replied on December 22nd, 2013

Oh sorry! Yes, we could easily caulk the gap in the middle. We just might.

19.December.2013

Love it, love it! I can’t believe the transformation. Your home is so open and airy and light now!

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19.December.2013

Love this! There are a ton of little details in this project and I love your attention to detail in all of them. Boob speakers included!

http://jax-and-jewels.blogspot.com

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19.December.2013

Hmmm…Maybe it’s not a nerdy love of all things tech-y, but rather a love of all things boob-y..? How many round/circular tech-y objects occupy this home??!!! Hahaha
Happy Holidays Dana and family –
Leah: )

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replied on December 19th, 2013

Good point ;)

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19.December.2013

This is beautiful! What an amazing transformation!
I just found your blog and am in love. I don’t think I’ve ever spent so much time perusing a blog at one sitting. Love your style!

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19.December.2013

This is so remarkable! I am so inspired by your house. What a transformation. Seriously, of all the design blogs I read, I feel like you have the best balance of trendiness, function and comfort. That is a hard balance to find. Great job!

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replied on December 19th, 2013

Aw, that’s the best compliment I could hope for.

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19.December.2013

Fantastic, amazing, gorgeous! Seriously and I don’t mind the “boob speakers” at all.

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19.December.2013

It would have been so crazy if HH had matched up the seams from the ceiling onto the wall. :)
I’m actually kinda surprised he didn’t think of it.

It looks so wonderful! Much better than “NO FOAM”!

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20.December.2013

It looks amazing, Dana! You inspired me to bite the bullet and paint my own ugly brick fireplace- for which I thank you and curse you because it took forever but makes the room look so much bigger and brighter. Did you use white dove on the brick like the rest of your trim?
I’ve been using white dove in this new house and it’s reading REALLY creamy to me next to the primed baseboards we just installed. I worry it’s too yellow. Should I stick with it and just paint it all out? Your whites seem pretty white in pictures…
Thanks!

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replied on December 22nd, 2013

Yes, the fireplace is white dove like the rest of the trim. I like this white because it’s a softer, warmer white. It doesn’t read creamy to me but it probably looks different in every house. Go with your gut!

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Have I ever told you how much I love your style? Because I love your style!

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20.December.2013

I just love how clean this looks! Does it feel like a breath of fresh air every time you walk in?

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replied on December 22nd, 2013

Yessssssss…

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20.December.2013

It looks amazing, seriously amazing. Was that the last major construction left in the house, or is there still a bathroom lurking, I can’t remember? Either way, you must be SO HAPPY to have it all clean and pretty. What amazing work you guys have done, plus a demanding job, plus three kids! You and handy hubby constantly blow my mind! :)

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replied on December 22nd, 2013

Oh yes, there is a full bathroom still lurking. Currently, it’s standing in as the “unwrapped gift holding room”. Haha!

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20.December.2013

Love it!!

totally unrelated to the TV wall but how did you mount your bamboo blinds? My fiancĂ© mounted our with those little hooks that came with our set and he hung them so they are visible (per the directions in the package) and it’s driving me bonkers!! How do people hang them with out seeing the mounting hardware?? We are first time home owners and still don’t know what we are doing half the time. I’ve always seen the bamboo blinds on other blogs and love the look but they seem to have the mounting hardware hidden too!! Any tips will be appreciated! Thanks!

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replied on December 22nd, 2013

We used the hardware that came with the shades. The hardware is attached at the top of the shade on the back about an inch or two in from the sides.

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It’s looking so good! I love how the long awaited updates make us so happy :)

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Look’s awesome Dana!! Nice work!

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20.December.2013

WOW!! I love it!! I have been following your blog for over two years and I am just amazed at all the hard work. I finally sold my house this month, threw everything into storage and am looking for my own little home to restore to greatness… you make it all look easy and doable! One question… did you pick an all brick house on purpose and would you reccomend a wood burning fireplace verses the gas fireplace? Whatever we choose, I will definitely put in the metal roof (it is my favorite addition to your home)!

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replied on December 22nd, 2013

A brick exterior with block walls wasn’t on our must-have list but a sound structure was. This house fit the bill. Converting the wood burning fireplace to gas was hard decision for us! I grew up with a wood stove in the house and love the ambience of a real fire but HH is more practical and was set on gas. In the end, we converted it to gas for its ease of use, low maintenance and kid-friendliness. I really could have gone either way but I do like not having to clean up ashes.

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Dana, seriously this is just gorgeous. Its sooo You and its soooo the underdog. I love how calming and edited your home is. You guys have done such an amazing job of staying true to yourselves. I love that, whether intentional or not, every design decision you make gives your humble home so much impact and really emphasizes the details and appreciation you have for it. Wonderful job! The planked wall is perfection.

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22.December.2013

Wonderful transformation! I love those star mirrors. Where did you purchase them? I would love to get my hands on one or two. Thanks!

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replied on December 22nd, 2013

Joss & Main last year!

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[…] ceilings in the living room/kitchen/dining area to properly vault them (a la House*Tweaking, whose reno looks so amazing that I thought their house was always like that!) but my mind is elsewhere today. […]

23.December.2013

[…] Christmas eagle has landed. We completed the TV wall in the St. Nick of time to decorate for Christmas. I have always envisioned a live tree next to the […]

23.December.2013

This white room looks so clean and tidy. How often do you clean it? I suppose that it takes quite a lot of time and energy to keep it that clean, am I right? And the chimney looks stylish.

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26.December.2013

For what it’s worth, the speakers don’t bother me in the least! I feel you have done a good job making them blend in. They are symmetrical and about as good as they can look. There is so much other awesomeness going on that I don’t think anyone would give them a second glance.

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30.December.2013

This is the coolest thing I have ever seen! Had to show Hubby right away and added it to our list of future projects… Thanks for sharing =)

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05.January.2014

That painting of the back wall is such an improvment, I like how the paint makes the TV stand out more. I had a wooden back wall that I used a paint sprayer to turn white and it looks great.

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06.January.2014

Wow. Just wow. I love it!

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LOVE this look! I have a question about the whole tv over a fireplace thing. We have ours over the fireplace, and when I turned on our gas fireplace I was shocked how much heat radiated from the fireplace up towards our tv. Did recessing the tv in the wall remove any fear of turning on the fireplace? If so, this might be the fix I need!

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replied on January 10th, 2014

Our gas insert has a built-in blower so it blows the heat out into the room instead of up towards the TV. We also use ceiling fans to circulate the heat around the room. These things – along with recessing the TV – keep the TV from becoming too hot / damaged.

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11.January.2014

What is the wall color in this room? It’s so pretty and bright!

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replied on January 11th, 2014

The walls are Benjamin Moore tapestry beige. The brick fireplace surround and planking around the TV are Benjamin Moore white dove.

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15.January.2014

I love your living room with the tongue and groove ceiling. What kind of paint did you use on it? Flat, Satin, Semi- Gloss, we installed tongue and groove on the ceiling in are kitchen, trying to decide what finish to put on it.

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replied on January 15th, 2014

We used semi-gloss just to keep things consistent with the tongue and groove and trim in the rest of the house.

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04.February.2014

[…] it’s warmer and we’re no longer using the fireplace, I’d like to roll him over to the TV wall (similar to the location of our Christmas tree) but I think he’d shrivel up over there in the […]

13.January.2015

[…] toys but we try to disguise them somewhat so they aren’t the eyesores I think they are. The TV is recessed above the fireplace. Media components are stored out of sight in a modest cabinet. Shelves […]




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