Our lounge is long and narrow with floor to ceiling patio doors and windows both ends of the room so we knew we would have to have the TV in the middle of the room.
We knew we wanted a fireplace to make the room cosier and to add some character to the house but couldn’t fit both in so we decided to build a false fireplace with chimney breast that could also double up as storage for the TV, sound bar, sky box, DVD player and all the messy cables that come with them.
We started by choosing the fire and decided to go for a bio-ethanol fire because we wanted it to have a real flame and do not have a gas pipe near the lounge.
We couldn’t have a real log burner as the wall we needed it to go on is connected to our neighbour’s house and to be honest we didn’t require this for a heat source it is just for the look and comfort having a real flame brings. Being a new build, the central heating and insulation is so good I think we would all cook with a real log burner and with a bio-ethanol fire you don’t get any dust and you pay for it as you go rather than receiving a large gas bill. After some research online, we chose our fire from imaginfires and used the dimensions of this to decide the size of the overall chimney breast. At the same time, we chose and ordered a slate hearth from a shop on Amazon (more details below) this was delivered cut to the right shape and size for us and ready to fit.
Next, we built a frame out of 2 x 4 timber and attached it to the floor, wall and ceiling. We then fitted the slate hearth to the concrete floor using adhesive so we could plaster board on top of this to make it look more realistic.
We then chose the decorative oak beam that goes through the middle. We looked in fireplace shops and they wanted hundreds of pounds for these so I bought ours from funky chunky furniture (more details below) and attached the beam using the fixing anchors that were supplied with the beam.
We then fixed timber across the middle of the frame where we wanted to hang our TV and prepared this area ready for the TV bracket. We could then plaster board three quarters of the chimney breast and drill the holes for the different cables so we could have these already fed through when the plaster boarding was complete.
We decided to also fit dimmable heat resistant lights underneath the fireplace to have a cosy feel when the fire isn’t lit and fitted the dimmable switch around the corner where the sky box will be fitted.
We decided it was best to get a plasterer in to plaster the chimney breast as we wanted a really nice finish and it was so worth the £80 we paid as we could not of achieved the finish he gave us.
Finally, we fitted some real oak shelving that we bought and cut from B&Q and painted the whole area starting with a white wash as it was on bare plaster and fitted the TV and other appliances.
In total we spent £1106 on this project.
£499 For the fire from
£300 for Timber and Plaster Board from B&Q
£150 for the slate Hearth from Coventry Wood Burners Ltd from Amazon
£77 For the Oak Mantel Shelf from Funky Chunky Furniture from Amazon
We had originally planned to put a TV unit in the lounge that matches the rest of the furniture and that would of cost £560 but I think we have gained so much more by spending the extra £546.We love the fire and it really does kick out some heat so we have to turn the heating completely off when we use it and the best thing is you pay for it as you go. It's around £6 a 2ltr bottle of bio fuel and that will last you at least 10 hours of burning time.
I also think we have created a lovely feature/focal point to the room that hopefully gives it a bit more character whilst providing the home we needed for the TV.
In an ideal world I would have liked a mirror above the fireplace with beautiful candle sticks but I had to compromise this for the TV.
I think this is something that will always be here and will grow old with the house.
If you are wanting to add a feature to your home give it a go. We found this project easier than we thought we would.
So, for my first blog I thought it best to start at the beginning of our adventure and that is the day we got the keys to what we believe will probably be our forever home. This day as many of you will know is like all your birthday's and Christmas's all rolled in to one surreal and crazy day.
Our Bellway home is in my home town in Dorset and we had been living in the Midland's up until receiving the keys and so we had only seen photos of our home and never actually got to see it in real life so it had been a very tense few months wondering if we had made the right choices with colours, Carpet, Tiles and the list goes on. All of these things go around in your head night after night when you are trying to switch off and get to sleep and it isn't until you see it on that day that you really do feel content that you had made the right decisions.
Having owned a number of properties in the past I had thought owning a new build would be easy as everything has been done for you, how wrong could I be. Storage is usually quite limited initially and because no one has yet lived in it you face lots of unexpected issues with plug sockets in wrong places or no holes drilled for washing machine pipe in the cupboard and the list goes on.
I felt a lot of pressure on myself to get it looking and flowing right too soon as I had dreamed of doing this for a number of years and yet I was then faced with a complete blank canvas and I did not know where to start.
I found we were flitting through the house one minute laying Amtico flooring (which I love by the way) in the kitchen family room then laying grass for Bella dog then doing something in the bedrooms and I just couldn't take a minute to stop and think about how this house should be as I found it too over whelming. I then realised this is what you do just to get in and make it comfortable.
Jay and I had discussed at great length the style we wanted for the house and we felt that because Bellway had given the house a Barn style look we owed it to the house to give it some character.
In previous places we have owned we have gone for a very modern and contemporary look but I think our tastes have changed as we have got older and we decided we would go for a modern fresh country look that would both be in keeping with the look of the house and its surroundings and give it a much more homely feel.
I decided to start with the Lounge as this was being used as a store room at the time for boxes that were still to be unpacked in to storage we didn't have.
I decided to keep working on this room until I was happy with the look and then we could use this room to give us inspiration for the rest of the house which is still working progress.
Below is the results of the first completed room.
We very quickly decided that the room needed a focal point so Jay built in a fire place (which I will blog about next so you can see how we built it). This instantly made such a difference to the room and gave us storage for the TV and all the boxes and cables that go with it.
We used a light grey colour on the walls from Valspar called New York City Morning and we bought classic oak furniture, sofa and winged back chairs from Next Home which I think wont date.
I carefully chose a tall standing lamp and lamps with metallic shades for the sideboard and nest of tables to give the room a softer feel.
It took me almost 10 months to choose the ceiling lights because although I wanted something pretty I didn't want anything too modern or fussy looking and I hope I got this right.
Because everything in the room is quite calm and I haven't got much on the walls yet I decided to have a bit of fun with the mirror adding a bit of glam to the room. This was from the Range and wasn't very expensive and I think it looks lovely above the sideboard.
We are really pleased with this finish and I hope this blog might help put your minds at ease if you are becoming the proud owners of a new build too.
You will see that I am addicted to cleaning, decorating and keeping our home organized with I hope, the ability to turn my hand to most DIY projects big or small I hope you enjoy my blogs. Check out the Categories below for further details.