Just like that, the first week of the One Room Challenge flew by! If you checked out my Week 1 post, you might remember that I had a few goals for this past week:
- Research how to add conduit into the wall for our TV,
- Make a decision on the fireplace surround material, and
- Pick up some framing materials
I made significant progress on the first two items, but then added one more (semi)unexpected item to my project list that took priority over getting materials- more on that later!
The TV Placement & Conduit
Last year when we purchased new Living Room furniture we moved from an L-shaped sectional to opposing sofas. This really helped open up the space! With this new layout though our TV sits behind one of the sofas, which feels like an odd placement in the room.
As part of this Living Room renovation, we are going to be installing a Frame TV above our fireplace instead! I know that TVs above fireplaces can be a controversial topic, but our reasons for this move are that it will:
- allow the TV to be viewable from all of our Living Room seating,
- unite the two focal points of the room (TV + fireplace), and
- make the TV easier to see from the Kitchen as well!
We don’t sit and watch a lot of TV or movies, so I’m not concerned about the TV being a little higher than ideal “comfortable viewing height.” What I am most excited about is having the Thanksgiving Day parade on as we are cooking in the Kitchen, or having a cheesy Christmas movie playing while we bake cookies! There are pros and cons to most design decisions, and sometimes you just have to go with what feels right for you!
To save on electrical work, we are planning on using wireless sconces above the fireplace and running our own conduit for the TV. I have been looking at install videos for the Frame, and these YouTube videos by B The Installer have been a great resource! I am going to be using a slightly different type of conduit, but it was definitely helpful to see his process for running it. Our conduit will be running down through the side wall of the fireplace and into the basement, where we will hide the Frame’s One Connect box.
The Fireplace Surround Material
Making a decision on this one has been tough for me! I’ve always had this vision in mind of using slate slips at the fireplace surround for a really classic, timeless look. I absolutely love the look of it in all of the inspiration images that I’ve been gathering for quite some time!
When I started to explore the cost of slate over the summer, though, it was more than I realized it would be. I started to consider other more cost-effective alternatives. First, I ordered a large format porcelain tile from Wayfair that I thought could give the slate look for a fraction of the cost. While it’s a pretty tile, I wasn’t happy with how the surface was so reflective. Next, I checked out a few local granite suppliers, but they couldn’t make a slab for me less than 1-1/4” thick and I was really hoping for a hearth that could sit flush with our ¾” thick hardwood floors. Finally, I resigned myself to using tile, and picked up some mosaic options at Lowes, looked at thin brick tiles, and considered a larger rectangular marble tile from a local tile company.
In the end I just knew I would regret not sticking with my original vision. That is when we decided to find ways to save on electrical work so we could instead spend that money someplace that we’ll appreciate it much more!
Last Friday we took a little family road trip to a family-owned slate company, and I got to look at all different colors of slate slabs, see the giant masses of slate that are quarried, and even learn about how they create slate roof shingles! I was also able to ask questions about the best way for me to install the slate myself. They were SO helpful and kind in sharing their process with me and answering all of my questions! I can’t wait to have a piece of their slate in our home! I just have to triple check my measurements first…
The Gas Fireplace Unit Itself!
This brings me to the last piece of this project that I worked on this week, which was not in my original plan but has been in the back of my mind for a while now. The more time and budget we put into the fireplace surround, the more I have been wondering if now would be the time to also replace our actual gas fireplace unit. It still functions but is 8 years old, this model is no longer available so finding replacement parts might be tough, and aesthetically it leaves something to be desired.
If there was ever going to be a time to make the investment in something new, it would be now! So long story short, I was lucky to talk this week with a local Heat & Glo rep who helped us decide on a new unit that I am really excited about!! That will be installed in a couple of weeks, and I will share all of the details about it then!
Coming up this week, I have a TON of planning to do so that I can order materials and be ready to hit the ground running with actual construction once the new unit gets installed!
The past couple of weeks have been really hectic between work, parenting, and the ORC. Between project planning I’m hoping to also find some time soon to relax with a fall coffee (salted caramel anything is my weakness) and check out all of the other ORC progress being made by the featured designers and other guest participants! You can follow along with everyone’s projects too on the One Room Challenge blog! If there’s a room you’re working on or have been enjoying following, let me know so I can be sure to check it out too!!