People are often surprised just how cool it can get in Southern California. Growing up in Canada, you would think I would be quite hardy and used to cold weather, but that is quite untrue! I have a very small range of temperature which I find ideal, approximately 50º F (10º C) to 75º F (30º C). Temperatures outside of this window usually involve me exclaiming its "SO HOT" or "I'M FREEZING", Ryan has become immune to these proclamations. Enter, our new home. The house doesn't have a fireplace (Fortunately, we have AC) but I wasn't too concerned with the lack of heat source given that it's a new construction and would be much more efficient than our 1920's coastal cottage. I was however, a little concerned about the lack of mantle for our Christmas stockings and set out on a mission to remedy this little problem.
My researched options:
- Remodel the living room and build a fireplace | I didn't consider this to be a valid option as our home is brand new and we were not interested in starting a renovation project.
- Electric Fireplace | There are many types include freestanding, inserts, TV stand style, etc. The price tag on these options is upwards of $200, the one featured below is $650 to give you an idea of cost. I didn't think we really needed an additional heat source so I preferred to save the money.
- Faux Fireplace | This was right up my alley as it was an excuse to get some new tools (circular saw, miter box, nail gun) and a fun new building project.
A few pins of 'Faux Fireplace' for inspiration...
I have been a big fan of Ana White's building plans, online videos, and forums for awhile now and knew she would have some good ideas for a faux fireplace. Ryobi and Ana White paired up to create the following video tutorial on creating a faux fireplace, Ryobi Nation Faux Fireplace. This fireplace was exactly the look I wanted. I customized the dimensions to fit the living room area in our house and tweaked a few other parts.
Click HERE for link to Ana's White cut list, blueprints, and detailed step-by-step instructions.
My design was based around the size of our existing TV. I didn't want the TV to overpower the room and be the focus, so I thought by making the Fireplace larger it would be make the TV less of a monstrosity. Ryan was concerned with the TV being too high on the wall as often is the case in order to allow it to be placed safely above a real working fireplace to prevent heat damage. I compromised and made the fireplace a little shorter than I'd like, this worked out well as the TV height is perfect.
I added an elevated hearth to the fireplace as I love the idea of lining up the kids and taking photos sitting in front of the fireplace as I did in my childhood.
My apologies in advance, I forgot to pause and take photos throughout this build process so I don't have a lot, but the Ana White plans are more than enough if you decide to tackle this project.
I added a Dremel Multipurpose tool my collection which made cutting and removing the baseboard behind the fireplace a breeze. I highly recommend adding this multipurpose tool to your collection as it has so many uses. Buy on Amazon.
Phase 2 of the project will include the batten board behind the TV. Stay tuned...
I can't wait to change up the decor based on the season or holiday. How often do you change your mantle or fireplace decor?