We have a beautiful double fireplace in our current house, one side opens onto the now dining room and the other onto our bedroom. I’d like to say this was a fireplace restoration post but in reality that’s just not the case, it’s more like a fireplace ‘tart-up’.
Originally the idea was to restore the one in our bedroom as it has been covered over and the mantel had been removed long ago. At the time we had so many other projects for this house and a new baby so we decided to just simply plaster the inside and leave it as a open cavity for decorative purposes. However this too fell through when the plasterer accidentally covered the whole thing, leaving a blank wall with some beautiful art nouveau tiles in front of it. It’s a small(ish) bedroom anyway, so you justify it away.
The side which opens onto the dining area has been mid-renovation for 2 years now. I painted the mantel with a high gloss enamel when I was on maternity leave with our first baby. Rob sealed up the opening, so the dust would stop flowing into the house everytime a slight breeze came along and painted it in a black enamel. The only thing to do now (2years later) is replace the tiles, unfortunately the original art nouveau ones were badly damaged when we pulled up the carpet (they had been nailed into).
1sqm of Art Nouveau tiles costs $1,700! That’s not even to have them laid or for all the accessories (grout, spacers etc etc.). I have found a few cheaper on ebay, but it’s not easy finding enough of the same tile. On a house that is now going to become a rental I just can’t justify this cost. So in the interest of just getting it finished and not having a dirty concert slab around with a new born baby I’ve gone with a standard every-day on sale tile from Beaumont Tiles. Costs $62 – significantly cheaper.
Now for Rob to lay them in the next 12months……