Our fireplace wall has been a big work in progress.
The wall the fireplace occupies is one of the only walls in our house that has stayed put throughout the remodel process. It was this lovely green color that eventually got covered up:
It is completely load-bearing so we didn't have a big choice, but we did want to move back at least part of it to make the family room wider (more about that back HERE).
So they moved all the load-bearing stuff to the middle around the fireplace and moved the other walls back.
And then we had all that darn trouble with the ceiling being off.
Like, WAY off. A whole inch and a half higher on one side than the other.
Lots more about that back HERE.
But finally we did get it straight enough so we could get on with our big plans for it.
Initially I bookmarked these ideas:
As we got closer (and with help from my "pretty committee":), I narrowed the wall finish ideas down to two inspiration photos.
Or this one:
My trim guy said he could get that effect with mdf board and I decided it was more clean-lined than the first option so we went with it.
And decided to do big huge frames on either side of the fireplace sort of similar to these:
Kind of inspired by all these colorful canvases as well.
I wanted to do something different from your average fireplace walls with cabinets and shelves so I scoured the internet for ideas.
This cement bench idea "spoke" to me:
I love how it's just so simple, narrow in the front to let it go straight across...
So I drew up my little plan on a picture I had taken.
...and we got to work.
Whoops, I made that sound like it was all easy-peasy but it wasn't.
Remember all the serious ceiling problems we had back HERE?
I was just glad to have that part done.
Next it was on to making that cement bench idea come to reality.
These guys came to measure and got going on that thing.
We went to their shop (for the first of what seemed like 72 times) to figure out how high we wanted it off the ground, what color, etc.
After we finalized it I kept worrying that it would be too "heavy" looking so I went back and had them bring up the front edge to make it lighter.
See how it's a little higher in the front?
They made it and were trying to figure out how to smooth out some of that character on the front that was kind of a mistake (but kind of cool too).
And that darn rain promptly ruined that bench.
They were sure they could fix it up and refinish it to look how we wanted it.
So they worked their hearts out on it.
...and the second one looked like this:
(no character at all)
So they gave up and re-made the darn thing.
As I walked down this little well-known-by-now-alley-way to get to the "shop" to see the newest try, I was so nervous because I just hoped with all my heart that this time it would work.
And guess what? It did!
I told Jose I wanted to give him a hug (I probably should have) I was just so happy.
So they installed that bench.
Got ceasar stone to finish off the fireplace:
Added shallow shelves for my big photo idea (above):
And added white cabinets at the bottom:
(they're kind of camouflaged in there, see them?)
And it was all super easy-peasy, no problems at all because it's so easy for me to make decisions.
I do love how it's turning out though. The cabinets are designed to be a perfect back rest for people sitting on the cement bench for all the wonderful discussions I envision us having in this room.
And with a little photography color it may end up to look something like this:
(I photoshopped some possible pictures I want to enlarge in there on those shelves...imagine a television in the middle...I know, not the most beautiful accessory but I'm trying to pick my battles wisely :)
I'm trying to figure out if I want to do canvases or just black frames, or a mixture of both.
Someday it will be done and I think I'm gonna love it.