warm ups


Posted by Rebecca, October 21st, 2010

Two days ago we ordered a cord of firewood.

I came home from work to see this giant pile at the end of our driveway.  We have a wood burning (obviously) fireplace that we are very excited to use for the season.  We had one in our condo and since it was a third floor unit, we usually didn’t put the heat on until December.  So we knew we definitely wanted one again, but when we got our house option sheet, it wasn’t offered!  Apparently people don’t really want them and prefer gas? Insanity! Luckily, our special request was granted and we got our wood burning fireplace.  The smell is so wonderful and cozy, plus the kittens love it.

We ordered the wood locally (from a place around the corner) and we were excited to hear that all of that wood came from our very own development when they chopped down trees to build houses.

You see, I really try to be as environmentally conscious as possible, I was raised that way.  So I never thought I’d buy a new house and once shook my head at the thought.  But the ignorance won and it was just better financially.  So I still feel very incredibly guilty every time I think of all of the animals I left homeless.  It felt a little better to know that we will be using the wood for an alternative heat source (that maybe creates smokey pollution) but at least it didn’t travel far and is being used practically.  It helps me sleep better at night okay?!

So what are we doing to do with all that wood? We ordered some outdoor wood holder thingys off amazon and for the inside, we bought a little basket from Target.

Since we love our recycling baskets, we thought we’d get a bigger one for the wood.  It has nothing in it and still has the tag on it actually…

All this time I thought that said “arabica”, like the coffee beans.  Whoops!

Our fireplace is one of our many works in progress.  Right now it has an awkward, I-wasn’t-thinking-creatively, candle holder in it, which I do like.  But I’ll probably step up my game in the off season 🙂

And since my friend Laura told me today that she enjoyed my background/foreground pictures, I figured I’d give her another one…

The fireplace itself is currently half tiled with some of the tiles we used for our kitchen backsplash.  I wanted to include them in the family room because of our open floorplan.

It still has to be grouted and we have to figure out what to do with the rest of the fireplace.  I found some high heat paint for the black metal parts and I plan on changing out the gold hardware.

But the dilemma is what to do with the black slate bottom piece (that is ugly and cloudy in this pic)..

I wanted to paint it a shade of brown, so I don’t waste a good piece of slate, but I’m worried about the VOCs in many of those concrete type paints that the guy at Lowe’s told us to use.  It’s our family room and we and the kittens are always in there (here, I’m here now…)  Does anyone have any experience with painting interior slate?

Anywho, we’re definitely looking forward to the holiday season where the 5 of us are cuddled up the fire.  If only we could have gotten a fireplace in our bedroom too!

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14 Responses to “warm ups”

  1. House Bella says:

    I think that some gas fireplaces are a bit more efficient than wood these days, which might be part of it. But probably people just gravitate to the convenience of a switch on fireplace. We have a gas fireplace, but it’s our first winter in this house so it’s hard to say how much we’ll use it. Our place before had radiant heat (and our new house doesn’t) – I know for sure that I’ll miss that!

    As far as the slate goes, does the natural color not match your house and that’s why you’d like to change it? What about tiling over it? Then you keep the solidity of the stone with a color scheme that you can live with.

    • Rebecca says:

      I’ve never ha a gas fireplace, but I definitely understand the convenience of it. No piles of wood in the driveway, no messy fireplace…. But the smell of wood burning? Mmm so wonderful! Let me know how yours goes this winter. We could have put a gas fireplace in our bedroom but they wouldn’t let us convert that to wood.

      My original thought was to tile over the slate with large travertine tiles, but our contractor buddy that did our backsplash said it would probably look funny and unfinished where it met the carpet. He gave us the idea of painting it, since the stark black doesn’t really go with all of the brown in the room!

      • Sara says:

        Gotcha! Hmmm. What about tin tiles in a rust or white? Those are easier to work with on the junction of tile and rug, and would be better with the tans and browns.

      • Rebecca says:

        I think I solved the paint dilemma, so I may give that a shot first. If it looks crappy, on to the tin tiles!

    • Michael says:

      A gas fireplace, I believe, is much more efficient since you lose a lot more heat while burning wood.

  2. LD says:

    Love the pictures!

    That’s an interesting idea about tiling over the piece of slate. It would also be grand to design your solution so that there is more protection for the carpet around the fireplace. Life for beige carpeting is not easy..
    The slate in front of mine is decorated with Nilla foot prints… that was my design ‘solution’… I’m sure Macky is up for the challenge!

    • Rebecca says:

      You know that Macky, where there is a limit he will push it!

      I think our carpet is dark enough (thankfully we were able to change it last minute) so that the sootiness (is that a word?) won’t show. Plus the surround is rather large so we should be okay dirt wise!

  3. Oh no! You don’t like the slate? I think it looks fabulous! My old house had dark slate flooring and I miss it terribly! I was going to suggest putting a cute woven or wickery throw rug that mimics the little fire wood basket but that might not be a fire safe suggestion so don’t mind me 😉 but i think the slate is wonderful. Do the cat’s lay on it when they get too warm?


    • Rebecca says:

      The cats lay all over the house, the slate, our bed, the floors, my head! It was hard to get a shot that they weren’t in or weren’t laying in the wood basket. They are going to be very upset when it has wood in it!

      My parents don’t have central A/C, so their cats (which are the cats I grew up with) love to lay on their much larger slate surround in the summer. Our cats are spoiled with temperature control 😉

      I don’t mind the slate itself, it’s just the color. So I think I found a paint solution that I’m going to try. Fingers crossed that it works!

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