Changes to the Basement Fireplace Area

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

We had a real woodstove in our basement for, oh, about 5 minutes. Before we moved in the insurance company made us remove it. According to them it was too close to the wooden staircase and posed a fire hazard. Womp womp. 
Back then we had an ugly but fully functional basement family room and fireplace area. Behind the old woodstove was a floor-to-ceiling faux brick surround with a large, wooden beam as a mantle. While it may not sound that terrible - it was. Just trust me.
Update! I found a picture:
At that point we weren't ready for a basement renovation but didn't want to live with a giant, gaping hole in the wall. We looked into several options and decided to replace the old woodstove with a similar looking gas stove. This is the one we chose:
Westport Gas Freestanding Stove - Enviro 
We got the flat, black finish like the one pictured. We used it every night and absolutely loved it. {We haven't been able to use it for the last few years since our basement renovation is taking a wee bit longer than anticipated.}
Because we still really like the gas stove, and because it cost us a huge chunk of change, we are going to be incorporating it into the new fireplace area instead of using a gas insert.
So, to make the area more appealing here's what we've done so far. See the fireplace opening in the first picture? Alex moved it over to the left as far as he could so that it wasn't so close to the wall on the right. Since the opening was still off-centre he also took down part of the fireplace wall on the left so that more of the staircase is showing. Now the fireplace opening is centered and has room for a mantle on either side! Yay!!!!
We are still sticking with the plan to either build a mantle or salvage an old one. We will also have to add some painted brick or rustic tile to the fireplace box.
There really aren't a lot of inspiration photos out there to help me decide what it should look like. The stove + mantle is kind of a weird combo. But, I'm determined to make it look cute nonetheless.
Here are two pictures that might help you visualize how it will look:
Image: Unknown
Image: A Beautiful Mess
We are going to hit up the local tile store this weekend to see if I can find any tiles that I like. I know I'll find some tiles that I like (hello, marble) but they will have to be a little on the rustic side since we will have the gas stove down there as well as some white-washed ceiling beams, etc.
Wish us luck!
P.S. I thought about submitting our fireplace photo over to The Lettered Cottage so that Layla could work her Photoshop magic for a Pick-My-Presto. Alas I did not - she's too famous and I'm too shy! LOL!


  1. We have a very similar woodstove, ours is a jotul and I absolutely love it!! Puts off so much heat and I just love having a real fire inside the home. Can't wait to see yours and the finished project!!

  2. I think you should definitely submit it to Layla's Pick My Presto! Do it! The worst that can happen is she doesn't pick you--BUT I bet this might peak her interest, as it's not something she sees every day! Here's a random reader trying to give you the perfectly polite little nudge to submit!! You can do it!

  3. No matter what you choose it will look great! I was relieved to read that you centered the fireplace. I have a hard time with anything off centered lol! (it's not like I'm stopping in for cake or anything to see it in person!) You have great taste and vision I am sure you will make it look adorable. Can't wait to see the progress.

  4. Famous-schmamous! It's just me and my computer over here too, Sarah! :-D I would LOOOOOVE to play around with a photo if you feel like sending one to LaylaPalmer (at) aol (dot) com! Either way, I can't wait to see what y'all come up with. What a fun project to follow along with! :-D

    1. SQUEAL!

      Of course I will send a photo over. It might take a minute or two, though. I'm a bit star struck. ;)

  5. can't wait to see what you do! just recently found your blog and really enjoying it!

  6. Tile shopping is fun - did it recently for our floor tiles and we're so pleased with our floors now. I'm sure yours will look great - you have a great vision for the basement and seeing it come together bit by bit is fun.

  7. I have never seen the stove + mantle combo before-but your inspiration pictures are super cute! What a great solution for someone not wanting to switch out an existing stove. Can't wait to see your tiles-I am a fellow marble lover. Marble can definitely go with rustic--just look at all the ancient Roman ruins that still have marble!

  8. Ooh, we have a freestanding woodstove similar to that (which I really really love) , and I've really been wanting a mantel for behind it just to ground it. Problem is... it's in a corner, with OFF CENTRE windows on either side, and I'm still trying to find a way to make it work, and what kind of tile/painted brick/mantel would look best. Love your inspiration pictures... they've made me think about it again.

    1. I hope you get it figured out. I was stumped for awhile but now I think I've come up with a plan. Good luck, girl!


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