Putting the warmth back into our renovations

Putting the warmth back into our renovations

Back in September 2011, Joe and I were frantically trying to make our house safe and liveable before we could officially move in. We tore down every single bit of rotten wallpaper in there (some of which was held on by Sellotape – I wish I was joking) and started the long process of re-plastering all the walls – a process which is still ongoing.

As part of this prep, Joe ripped out an old-fashioned fireplace which had clearly been there since the dawn of time…or just the 40s. Either way, it was old and making the house look like it belonged in the wrong era. It had to go.

You can see it the below picture. One of the first photos we took of the house when we moved in.

At that point in time we hadn’t even got central heating in the house so it really was a stupid move to get rid of it. If I could write a letter to myself during that time, this would be the first item on my agenda. A  boring but essential bit of advice to Karen circa 2011.

We disconnected the gas, plastered over the gap (but not before leaving a note for the future in the walls, which you can read here) and here we are 2 and a bit years later, regretting that decision.

You see, now we really want a fireplace!

I suppose hindsight is a cheeky sod isn’t it? Despite it being a big ugly (sorry that’s not a nice word…it has “great personality”) we should have kept it and just updated as and when we could afford to. But at the time, Joe with a sledgehammer in hand… well, I think you know how this story turned out.

Now that we’re looking ahead at re-decorating the lounge properly as the messiest work in the adjoining kitchen is out of the way, a fireplace is high up on our list of things we’d love to include. Also, we’re awaiting our gas works to be completed for the oven in the kitchen, so it’s makes good sense to have the gas for the fireplace put back in at the same time – in theory, it should be any week now.

I’ve been taking pictures of styles I like on my phone for almost a year now, and we’ve even decided what style we want (if you know Joe and I, we’re a bit crappy at making final decisions so this is a big deal!).

We want traditional, but not wood. Cast iron fire and a neutral coloured frame and mantel, so it will go with any way we decorate. It needs to be big enough to warm our large lounge, whilst not too deep so that it takes up half the room. There we go. That wasn’t so hard was it Joey? 🙂


1. Love the colour and style of this. Saw it at the Northern Home show earlier in the year.
2. The curved cast iron fire on this piece from Burning Inspirations would look lovely in our lounge.
3. Spotted this on a family day out in September and loved its simplicity.

Apart from the obvious reasons we’ve missed a fireplace like warmth and that, at times such as Christmas I’ve really missed having somewhere to put our decorations. Host our fancy Cinnamon candles. Hang a stocking. Put Holly on a mantelpiece.

I watched from behind my laptop screen, as some of my favourite bloggers showed me what their home had to offer for Christmas, and I felt complete jelousy over their mantelpieces covered in Winter wonderland decorations. It’s really my favourite time of the year and I’m obviously gutted that because of renovations we haven’t had decorations this Chrimbo.

I like to think that this time next year, I’ll be enjoying Christmas next to a roaring fire. One that looks like Christmas has thrown up on it.