Saturday, 29 March 2014

...a little help from Annie Sloan

I'm dosed to the gills this week, haven't been doing much crafting, thanks to the school germ pool once again, but DH has been a busy bee fixing up the fireplace, I was pretty chuffed with how it turned out and thought you might like a peep (actually I'm pretty sure you are not really that interested, but I could not resist the opportunity to show off a junk shop find...  besides, this may be the one and only time I actually nail it like Martha and manage to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear...). 

The white surround was a real live junk shop find, picked up for next to nothing, it is a wooden reproduction surround and DH painted it with some of that lovely Annie Sloan Chalk paint - it gives a pretty vintage finish. We sourced a cast iron insert to fit and splurged slightly by having it fitted by a professional. Next thing is to pain the wall behind a darker shade to help throw out the fireplace a little more and pop a few rugs in front of the hearth when it dries up to hide that gap...

I'm not much of a decorator but one tip I have picked up is that sometimes you can get away with cheaper materials if you get the thing made/fitted correctly - this holds especially true for curtains. You can use fabric that is cheap by the yard, but if you have them well made with proper linings etc they can look every bit as good as 'posh' curtains.

Below I have a few 'before' shots of the fireplace as it was when we moved in before Christmas. The old 70's style fireplace was looking a little tired. The groovy carpet is actually much easier to live with than you might suppose, it is terrific quality and hoovers up really well - I keep telling myself that, we're going to have to live with it a while longer.

Below - the surround was originally a wooden finish - we took off the lantern carving on the centre front as it was what my friend called 'a bit agricultral looking' - sanded it a bit and then painted it white. Here, I'm trying it out on top of the old fireplace to get an idea of what the thing will look like.

Half way through, not pretty...

 What are you up to this weekend?


  1. Great fireplace!! That paint certainly makes it look just for the carpet....have seen it before and it is high quality wooland even though it is highly patterned it is subtle and livable with I'd say. I know what you are saying about cheaper fabrics being made well to look good but a cheap carpet will never look as good or wear as well as a good wool carpet or one wih a good percentage of wool....anyhow, sorry to hear about the bugs.
    I finished a busy week of card orders on Friday teatime and had a break last night...then baked today and made desert for tomorrow as we are visiting number one son for lunch...but I always bring desert..yeah, even on Mothering Sunday.

  2. Claire, I do hope you feel better soon! There's nothing worse than those bugs you get from school.

    I think your new fireplace looks amazing! As for the carpet, a rug will be lovely :)

  3. Claire, this is a "labour of love" going on at your house.
    It is quite grand what a good coat of quality paint can do for almost anything.
    Well done!
    Sandy in Epping

  4. wow, this is gorgeous....great job.

  5. Great work ! I love the new fireplace! Who knew you could use chalkboard paint and have it look like that! Beautiful repurposing! Thanks for sharing.

  6. Your new fireplace looks lovely! Your DH is a dab hand with that paint - have you thought of hiring him out?!

  7. Hi Claire

    Thanks for showing us the "before" and "after" shots of your fireplace. I think this white surround looks really great with the fireplace. Once the wall behind is a little darker, this beautiful fireplace will really look elegant and once you have the rugs in front of the hearth, you can show us more photos.

    You asked what we are up to this weekend. I haven't planned anything special and I still look forward to getting my prize for winning challenge no. 3 at the last Pajama Party *lol*. I hope I will get it soon.

    Have a nice sunday!

    Kind regards

  8. Lovely job Claire, such an improvement. I couldn't live in a house without an open fire, it makes such a difference. I look forward to some pictures next winter with it working!

  9. Oh it looks fantastic! I love it!

    I've been struggling with card-making recently, but this kind of stuff really gets me going. I love the finished look, been leaning towards the chalk and milk paint look in my little place, too!

  10. It looks amazing. I have a similar sort of thing. My Mum was given a fireplace surround that had been found in a basement. Mahogany, heavily carved with a matching mirror. When we started building our new home we knew we wanted to use it but I am seriously thinking of painting it white. The room it is going in is not all that large and it is quite big at 5 feet wide and about 6 feet high with the mirror so it is a huge visual impact. I love the way yours looks white so maybe that is the way to go. Cheers.

  11. This was sooooo worth all the effort and just think how lovely and cosy it will be next winter! So you (and hubby) should be chuffed with yourselves - decorating is time consuming and labour intensive but well worth sticking with. Hope you get to feelin much better soon. Hugs

  12. LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE it it is so gorgeous!
    Always love to see photo's of make over and decoration keep it coming..please?

  13. Beautiful fireplace Claire!!!! I so enjoy seeing before and after ideas!!! And I am down with a horrible bug too! I got my son through it but then caught it myself! Hope you are better soon!

  14. Gorgeous fireplace!! Fabulous!! The carpet will be fine!

  15. Wow! You did have a Martha moment!! It looks great!!! I am intrigued with your carpeting. I couldn't see any of the "groovy" part, but it looked very nice.

  16. Bonjour Claire! Your hubby did a terrific job with the fireplace- it's gorgeous! As for the carpet, I really like the vintage look of it.
    BTW, the feather card in the next post is divine! I could almost feel the softness of each wisp.
    Always fun to visit with you :)

  17. Hi Claire :)
    Popping over to see what's new here, and enjoyed seeing your post about renovating the fireplace. You and your DH made it look SO lovely! The 'before' pics look so '70's. hee hee And that carpet isn't all that bad! I thought they were tiles at first.

    Take care, hope you had a blessed Easter!


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