I must admit, this house is a bit overwhelming at first glance. The paint color is all the same. The walls are ginormous. The neighborhood is very different than the master planned community we moved away from. A new part of town, with new schools, new teachers, new friends, and the first new house for the twins. Shoo…that’s a lot of change for this party of five! And although I’m a little freaked out about where to begin, I’m also so very excited about this…fresh canvas. I actually can’t believe that we’ve been here almost 5 months, and there is still so much unpacking left to do. So, first thing’s first…choosing the first room to tackle.
The thing I love most about this house is the floorplan. The builder gave a lot consideration to making every space with incredible flow and function, and placed the family room right in the middle. It’s perfect! So that’s where I’ve decided to begin. With a 25 foot wall to fill in, I know I need to go big, or go…wait…I am home. So, then, time to go big. Custom fireplace with built in shelves!
I started with finding this amazing master carpenter, whom I affectionately began to call, “The Unicorn.” I didn’t see him much, but I always knew when he’d been here, because it looked like magic had happened! In our pre-construction meeting he asked me if I had any pics of what I wanted for the custom fireplace. Although I had a few ideas to share from Pinterest, nothing looked exactly how I wanted. So he picked my brain a little more, and, like magic, drew up the perfect plans!
Here is how it looked at the end of the first day, all framed out…
I knew I wanted to incorporate stone in the fireplace, so we shopped several different flooring stores to get ideas for a good color. We ended up purchasing from Floor & Décor. They had a large variety of stone options to choose from, and at very affordable prices. They also have a helpful and friendly staff. Will definitely be using them again when we are ready to pull the carpet from the master bedroom.
The project took The Unicorn two weeks from start to finish. And the end results were, well…see for yourself!
Although I would love to tell you that everything went off without a hitch, I’d be leaving out a very important part of this little journey. I ordered my fireplace from a phony website! What a mess! I’ll save that post for another day. For now, we are so incredibly excited to have our first major project complete.
I have a few tips that may be helpful when deciding on where to start decorating in your home:
- Set your budget. Know how much you want to invest in the room, and stick to it! It’s a lot easier to style your space when you know the limits, and keep it all in perspective as you design your room. Consider the point of diminishing return on the value of your home when establishing a budget.
- Start with the room that you think you will get the most enjoyment out of first. We spend a LOT of time in our family room, so I decided to get it styled right away with the huge wall project.
- Once you select your room, find your focal point. I often suggest starting with a rug, and pulling in the rest of the design from there. I actually started with the wall in the family room. It was just too large not to focus on first, but you get the idea.
- This one is important…ALWAYS, always, ALWAYS research your vendors and contractors before hiring someone or purchasing online. I made a very big rookie mistake when ordering my fireplace online. I was trying to save a couple hundred dollars, thought I found a great deal, and clicked “buy” without checking out the reviews of the website. Turns out the site was fraudulent, and I lost a lot of money. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is! Expensive lesson learned. Take the extra step by doing your homework first.
We are really enjoying the finished product. The coolest feature of all is that with the “no-heat” option on the fireplace (Dimplex), we can use it all year round!