We started with this: 

In our first quest to make the fireplace useable, we thought we’d put a pellet stove in it’s place, so we removed the iron extension and had the hearth built.

The chimneys were actually knocked off the top of the roof when we had it re-roofed last year, as they were too crumbling to be salvaged, so we needed to have them rebuilt.

Then, we decided to make our fireplace woodburning to take advantage of the wood we can cut off the land. We decided on a Vermont Castings Montpelier insert, and our chimney guy installed it for us. We also decided to rip down the cracking plaster ceiling and expose the beams, to match what we’d done in the dining room & kitchen. With my parents’ help, we painted the underside of the 2nd story floorboards white for contrast, and also painted the floor a lighter putty color to replace the dark green that was there when we moved in.

With the stove in, we had a conundrum about what to do to hide the old brick and plaster surrounding the fireplace. Stone? New brick? Drywall? We ended up going with tongue and groove board found (free!) in the barn. Of course, planning to paint it all white.

I had wanted a barn beam mantle after seeing so many gorgeous ones on Pinterest, so we dug through the basement of our barn and found a gorgeous one with old notches (which conveniently serve as places to bolt it to the wall). Jed snuck our tv cords behind the tongue and grove surface, snaking down to the floor. The HDMI cable is also hidden, going under the basement up to a shelf behind the couch, where we’ll keep our blue ray player. Yay! No electronics or cords showing!

And voila! Here’s where we’re at today. Everything painted white, preparing to get the TV up and plugged in, and do another coat on the ceiling bricks around the fireplace. After that, we’ll clean everything up, get some touch-up paint on the floor and start decorating! A year in the works… we’re finally seeing light at the end of the tunnel!