When we bought our condo almost two years ago, we were charmed by the fireplace in the living room. Against the brick wall, the fireplace looked cozy and inviting, and we loved it! However... soon after we moved in, we realized what a pain in the neck the fireplace really was. First of all, it took up so much room! It was about 3 feet out from the wall, and the spots on either side of it were totally dead space. It looked nice, but made the room seem so much smaller once we put furniture in the room.
I also didn't like that the fireplace really only left us with one way to set up furniture in the room. This was more of a problem for our table, which had to be pushed against the windows. The fourth seat was pushed into the corner, and we'd never actually had more than 3 people sit at the table at one time. Seems silly, right? And the final nail in the coffin? The fireplace didn't actually burn properly, and shot up bright blue flames that didn't look realistic at all! So, after a lot of debate and planning, we decided it was time to tear it out.
Joe's dad is really handy, and has done a ton of home renovation projects over the years. He loves doing these types of things, and was really eager to help Joe with his first big project. It was a dusty, busy few hours, but by the end of the day the project was complete!
We had to sand the marks from the edge of the fireplace, and now you can barely see where the drywall used to be. Joe enjoyed this excuse to play with power tools!
At this point we were almost done! Can you see the exhaustion and relief in their eyes?
After we sanded and varnished the wood, we discovered the color was a little different. We're planning to refinish all the wood floors before we sell the condo anyway, so it's not too big a deal. Plus, we're going to have the sofa covering it until then, so you can't really tell unless you look closely. The picture below is our finished living room. We love it and are marveling at the way it opens up the room! The table now has 4 chairs around it, and the couches are much more open and welcoming. I'm dreaming of new curtains in the near future, but otherwise I think the room is pretty much perfect!
If you're a Chicago friend, get ready for a party some time in the near future! We can't wait to do some socializing in this new space. Otherwise, come visit and see it for yourself! What do you guys think?