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Wood paneling and and electric fireplace.

In our basement.

Think we have lost our mind?  Because those three thing conjure up images a really bad, old, dark, cave like space.  The type we would be ripping out and renovating.

When we checked out at the home improvement store I was really hoping the cashier was not judging us for what we had in our cart….because I know I would have been.

But I love how it turned out…

cedar paneling on fireplace

The basement was feeling a little cold with all the tile and well, because it is a basement and it is cold. And the wood really brings a warmth to the space.  The heat radiating from the fireplace does not hurt either.  Oh and did I mention it was cheap?  The wood cost us less than $125. 

So how did we do it?

Well we started with a dry walled space that was designed to hide two oddly placed poles.  The entire reason for the fireplace in the first place.IMG_6374

It was built to the dimensions of the fireplace we had already ordered but we just needed something to surround it.  Tile?  Expensive, time consuming (with all the corners) and the fireplace structure was not completely square to cover the poles which would be made obvious if we spaced square tiles on top of it.  Hardwood flooring?  Viable option but the exotic stuff we really liked was still a little pricy and all the edges would have to be mitered.  So we headed to the lumber section when we stumbled on this.


Cedar paneling. 


Using liquid nails, a saw, a nail gun and a level it became this rather quickly.  Holes were filled with stainable wood filler and sanded.

cedar paneling on fireplacecedar paneling on fireplace

We tried a lot of different stains on samples and settled on English Walnut by Minwax.  We then learned that stainable wood filler needed to be completely sanded off otherwise you could see every spot.  We cursed and re-sanded. A lot. At least with the cedar it smelled nice. This is what you get when you normally paint instead of stain and don’t know what you are doing.

A coat of stain and two coats of satin poly later, we were ready to install the fireplace. 

cedar paneling on fireplace

It slid right in.

cedar paneling on fireplace

We are happy with the choice to go with an electric fireplace.  Gas would have been better and with more options, but would have been more expensive. Especially considering needing to hire someone to run a gas line and vent it properly.  Ouch.  Not to mention I am not sure we would have been able to face it with wood considering fire implications.

We watched a video of the electric model we chose on YouTube before we ordered it and were happy on how authentic it looked.  (Yes people really make YouTube videos of fireplaces. Oddly helpful.) I have to admit I was nervous before we fired it up that it would look cheesy, but we are completely satisfied with it.

The next question we will probably get is why it is facing the stairs.  Here is what you see as you walk down them and enter the basement…


We went back and forth on this as well.  We chose the side we did because if it was a solid wall it would have looked funny.  If I had enough space to put a console table there with a large picture, it would have been different, but there was not enough room to do that.  So my choices were solid wall of something (tile, wood) or fireplace.

The opposite side is next to the poker table (aka Christmas wrapping central).

cedar paneling on fireplace

So people’s backs would be facing it and it would be less of a focal point.  We thought about putting another fireplace on the back side (so it would look “double sided”) but that would have increased the cost by having to buy two fireplaces and the wall would have to be thicker and take up more floor space.  Not a good option.

Now that it is in and we are starting to get furniture down there, I am confident we made the correct decision.

Floorboards need to be cut and painted and some furniture is being delivered in the next couple of weeks which is exciting to see more pieces come together. 

Which is good because all the great toys Carter received for Christmas need a place to live besides the family room. 

15 comments on "Paneling?"
  1. This los SO GOOD. Ohmygoodness does this look good. I'm totally impressed and loving it. Never would have thought to use the paneling, but it's fabulous.

  2. Oh my gosh!! This looks amazing! I would have never thought to do this. You guys did a really good job! ah... I really love it!

  3. Looks so warm and cozy! Love it!

  4. This looks really cool! I like the way the paneling is horizontal, and the stain you chose looks great! I can't wait to see what you do with the rest of the space!!

  5. Holy crap, you need to work for Candice Olson or something! WOW! I love it!

  6. I love this!!! What a great solution to the pole problem, not to mention an awesome focal point and added warmth to your basement. So cool! I pinned this. Thanks for the inspiration!

  7. I tagged you in a post on my blog today! Hope you get a chance to check it out!

  8. The fireplace is very nice. Great job! I have to say it seems to be in an odd place, but at least you will be warm when you first hit the stairs. Perhaps stain it darker so it doesn't look so out of place with the green tile.

  9. Anonymous-Totally agree with you that I wish we could have put the fireplace in a different location. But we had to mask two oddly placed poles that were unable to be moved so we did not have much choice in that area unfortunately. It is difficult to tell in the pictures, but the tile is actually a charcoal gray and we did not want to stain it too dark so that it masked the woodgrain.

  10. Looks great! Our basement came with the some paneling, but sadly it is no where near as nice looking as yours.

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  13. Sorry for the deletes... computer issue. You could hang a shelf on the side facing the stairs and display some items there. Or look for something 3D to place in the opening so it could be seen from both sides. Large glass vase? Metal sculpture? Three large candlesticks with pillar candles? Sounds like a Home Goods trip to me! Can't wait to see it when we visit!

  14. Wow, your basement is really coming along!! The fireplace is stunning. Can't wait to see more :)

  15. Looking so beautiful.I like your fireplace. I have same type of fireplace in my home.It is best for heating our room.