Tuesday, August 30, 2011

WW: Basement Renovation: Part Two: The Fireplace

Our Messy Basement Reno: Part I: The Bathroom... can be read by clicking HERE.

Many many years ago, we walked into this basement and fell in love.
Yes I know... we were delirious.

We proceeded to dismantle the piano and unplug the electric fireplace.

We quickly painted the faux wood panelling and laid down some Costco laminate for a quick fix.
And it was a great playroom and TV room for ten well worn years.

Unfortunately the only picture I could find was one taken on the day we dismantled the basement to pack it up as we prepared for our current renovation.

If you need to catch up a little?  Here is Part I The Agronomist has happily passed over the handyman torch and watched Tony work some magic.

When we left for holidays at the beginning of August.
This is what we saw in our rear view mirror as we drove away.

Tony, slaving away in the summer heat, 

cutting a huge hole through the front of our Bungalow!

I wasn't worried at all.
Not one bit.

The basement was going to get a fireplace.
This was not originally in our plan. 
We didn't really think it was necessary.
And then of course we came to our senses.

We live in a climate where usually the first snow flies on Halloween and we don't say good bye to the white stuff until the end of May.  
If you think I'm joking... click HERE for proof. 
(just in case you decided not to click here is one of the pictures... I'm helpful like that)
Plus somewhere around Dec-January
we can endure temperatures of -43 celsius (which is -45.4 Farenheit) for days at a time.  
And yes my friends, I documented this phenomenon here.   
Please if you are faint of heart and are not at this time wearing a sweater and mittens, it is best you don't click over.

OK go ahead and twist my rubber arm, here it is if you're too busy to click....
Brrr... if only we had had a fireplace, maybe the ice wouldn't have been able to creep stealthilythrough our door.

Which brings me back to the fireplace.
See how I did that?  
Full circle people.

 Ahh yes.... a fireplace.

They can be all sorts of sizes and shapes, and this led to great distress on my part.
How tall? How wide? What shape? What size? were the thoughts keeping me awake at night.
And in turn kept The Agronomist awake when I'd poke him with another "What if we...."

So we called in my dad.
He's a structural engineer and knows how to wield a pencil much like a ninja warrior.

Many erased lines later, this is what we came up with.
It was a thing of beauty.
A fireplace was born.

The minute Tony had it in his hands 
I posted this to my Bungalow'56 facebook page:
Did I mention Tony now has our fireplace specs in his hands? He dropped all his other projects and is quickly framing it up as fast as possible. He's making sure that I can't change it. What The Agronomist has learned in seventeen years... only took Tony three weeks.
Yup, Tony... he's a fast learner.

As I yelled my last few instructions about the fireplace out the window,
Tony didn't turn to wave;  but just kept on working,  
a big smile slowly spreading across his face as we drove away. 

Can you see it off against the far wall?

This is what we saw before waving goodbye to Tony.

And this.... 
is what we came home to.
I know, I know.
It's breathtaking isn't it?
Tony is a Master (Oogway) carpenter.
We are very lucky that he said yes to our Bungalow'56 basement.

Now if you'll excuse me, I feel the need to put my feet up and stare at my fireplace.

...I can almost feel the heat on my toes as I sip my hot chocolate.  

Hmmm?  I wonder where I put that Bing Crosby CD?


PS  I can't wait to show you the retro hand rail and the stained glass and the... umm... new flooring I just decided on yesterday. The flooring we bought two months ago is going back.

This post will be linking up with Metamorphosis Monday! Transformation ThursdayWordful Wednesday with Alicia! Inspiration Friday! Show and Tell Friday! and Potpourri Friday! Pin It


  1. Thank you! People just stare at me in disbelief when I explain to them how cold was in Alaska during the months of January through March, how excited we were when it actually made it up to -20 F and how long we had snow on the ground!!!! I practically swooned when I saw your basement.... be still my beating heart! It is already lovely! Tony, you are a genius!!!

    Dana it is going to be spectacular when its done! Congratulations!! (can I borrow the Bing Crosby cd when you are done with it?)

  2. It's cold here in winter in central Illinois but not that cold. I have a fireplace in my kitchen where I like to hang and toast out. I also have a BIng cd but I reeeaally love Dean the best. Your dugout look fantastic. Yay for you!!

  3. Oh my! I'm so glad you came to your senses. I have not been following your blog for very long so I had to meander over to the older posts. Maybe I won't be so disappointed if we're wearing shorts on Christmas again this year. The fireplace looks like it's going to be stunning!

  4. Beautiful & perfect for the cold days of Winter! Down where we are we don't get that cold (SE MI) but Up North they do, especially in the U.P. of MI.

    And your Bing mention made me remember every Christmas growing up with his music playing in the background.

  5. Ooooh, what a great space! You are going to love that come Halloween :)

  6. It is looking amazing Dana. What is this though {read it on Facebook} that you returned flooring AND you marriage is intact. Do share!

  7. Loved the Oogway reference. Kung Fu Panda can influence every facet of life if we just let it!

  8. You are certainly one of if not the best storyteller I know. I love the way you wind me in and out as a reader as you real me in. I love how your Bungalow'56 basement is taking shape. I'll drink a cup of hot chocolate to that!

  9. Wow. That Tony sure can work some magic. Would he be free to re-do a Minnesota basement? Ah, yes, that is on our list of projects after we...

    Well, anyway, love the look and the fireplace was definitely a smart choice for your climate. I can so relate.

  10. Very cool. You are going to love having that fireplace down there!


  11. I love that you are having a mantle put in too.

  12. Oooooh Dana. This is gonna be awesome.

  13. First of all, I don't think people should inhabit such places. Dang, I though ours was bad getting to negative 30 that week stretch. Guess I should stop whining. Secondly, congrats. That will be so amazing come winter. And yes, it is beautiful. I can't wait to see it all completed. Happy WW!

  14. Love it Dana. I can not wait to see your finished basement!

  15. How terrific is this! Can't wait to see the finished project!

    Hope you will bring one of your projects or posts to my Potpourri Friday Party. Link up begins Thursday afternoon. Your participation will help make it a success!

  16. Amazing! You are going to have so much fun in that basement! Thanks for sharing.

    Mary @ Redo 101

  17. Hi Dana! I wanted to stop back by to say thank you for linking to Potpourri Friday and helping to make it a success! I appreciate you and hope you wil link up again next week!

  18. What an awesome room. And that fireplace is going to be very much loved as I can see. I wish I had a fireplace, so for now...I will enjoy yours in the making.


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