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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
It slid right in.
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).
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.