Greetings from the Country



The fireplace wall and surrounding area of our Great Room have been through several incarnations in the past nine years (photos on last blog post) and this summer, we are planning on finalizing its design. 

When we originally purchased the house, we had almost no furnishings for it and spent much of that first summer purchasing vintage essentials to satisfy our basic living needs.  Then, over the years we not only made additional purchases but also created DIY pieces and inherited other furnishings as well.  The result was a somewhat successful eclectic mix. 

Last summer, we began paring down our furnishings and replacing some of the inherited pieces with pieces that were more appropriate for our lifestyle.  The fireplace wall as well as its surrounding area is one of our “final frontiers”. 

From the beginning, we made a point of repurposing wherever possible and this DIY project is no exception.  For this room, we are drawing inspiration from a number of areas.

1.  The floor in the Great Room is a porcelain tile that resembles Bluestone.  We laid it in a running bond pattern and selected two bronze tile patterns that we have inserted to provide additional interest.  The first bronze tile pattern is textured and the second pattern includes oak leaves and acorns that celebrate the nature that surrounds us. 

Oak & Acorn Pattern

                  Textured Pattern                        

2.  The floor covering we will be using in this area is a cotton plaid rug designed by Elizabeth Eakins. The rug was originally purchased for our master bedroom but after last summer’s paring down, it no longer worked there so we are planning on repurposing it here where the light pattern will contrast nicely with the dark floor.


 Elizabeth Eakins Rug


3.  Irwin and I laid the stonework under the hearth several summers ago.  We used the extra stone we had from another DIY project that we completed.

Stonework under hearth 

4.  The Bluestone that we laid on top of the hearth blends seamlessly with our flooring as well as the stonework.

 Bluestone on hearth

5.  We purchased the French antique iron enclosure our first year here. We immediately fell in love with the piece and were amazed to find out that its door opening was the same size as the opening of our fireplace.  We knew immediately that this piece was meant to be ours and that it would be the focal point of the fireplace.


Motif on iron enclosure

6.  The oil painting originally hung in our dining room but somehow did not work in that spot.  We love the painting because it reflects the simplicity of our country life and its background mimics the Bluestone of the floor and hearth. We plan on hanging it on the fireplace wall.


oil painting

With some of the key elements of the fireplace area in place, we are off to our local home center to look for paint colors and possible finishes for the wall itself.  We will share what we have found in the next post.  Until then...