With all the demo complete, I thought now would be a good time to share our master plan for the room, in blueprint style.
Big thanks to Dan for putting that together, both as a visual aid for me, and for a guide for the contractor. He even made the blueprint to scale – one inch to every foot!
As you can see, symmetry is key in this design. We had to come up with a way to camouflage the fact that the fireplace was built left of center…by about 18 inches. It was only sort of noticeable when the rocks were up.
But when the wall was down to just boards and the raw fireplace, it was really, really obvious.
Dan and I both agreed this was a big problem, but we had difficulty trying to come up with a solution that didn’t involve knocking out some masonry and physically either moving or enlarging the fireplace itself. I wish I could take the credit, but Dan came up with the plan you see – creating a little nook and building a mantle over both the fireplace and the nook. So, that’s what that rectangular hole is in the blueprint, just to the left of the fireplace. Problem solved.
The rest of the design focuses on clean lines and storage. Cabinets will give us some hidden storage on the bottom (I’m thinking for things like DVDs, games, and extra blankets/pillows), and they will be topped by stained butcher block and custom built in bookcases. The mantle itself will be minimalist and simple – framed out and topped with more butcher block. The face of the hearth will be covered by tile (I showed you a few of our options in an earlier post).
Dan and I bought the cabinets and butcher block ourselves, to have the time to prep them before the contractor needed them. Home Depot had a cabinet sale back in January, so we took advantage and bought the cabinets then. They’re just stock, unfinished cabinets, which was the cheapest option we found. We briefly considered ordering pre-painted, but still stock cabinets, but decided against it when we realized that the white of the pre-painted cabinet would not perfectly match the white we planned ot paint the bookcases, so we thought we’d just save the money on the cheaper cabinets since we would have to paint anyways, not matter the option. We sanded and painted the cabinets, using the Behr paint color Snowfall, which we have used for all of out painted trim throughout the house, and they were ready for installation.
The butcher block is from Ikea. We got it home ourselves (which I would not recommend!) then stained and sealed it a few days before our contractor started his work. We keep a can of Minwax stain around in the same color our floor is stained, Jacobean, and used that same color for the butcher block, which will tie the same wood tone into the room, even though there won’t be any hardwood.
The next step is to get our contractors into the room so they can install the cabinets and create the built ins and mantle. I’m hoping this next phase will go quickly – letting the professionals do their thing.