Back to SoMoToHo for a Brief, Warm Visit

Remodeling & Design / Saturday, March 19th, 2016

Scotland 2011 024 (26)

Fireplaces have been a part of warm, inviting environments for thousands of years – probably since shortly after humans discovered that fire was not simply something to be feared and avoided. The one above is from Inchcolm Abbey, on Inchcolm Island in the Firth of Forth just outside Edinburgh, Scotland, and dates from about 1100 c.e. We’re lucky to have a couple of them in the SoMoToHo – one downstairs that is two-sided and one in the upstairs master. This short post is about how we completely changed the look of the one upstairs. master up.jpg

This is how it looked when we bought the house. The hideous marble that adorned the floor of the library had also found its way upstairs. It had to go, along with the cheesy, pre-fab mantle, so I demoed them just after the new paint went up in the room.


Our first thought was to re-clad the entire fireplace wall with rough hewn cedar planks. But this entire section of the wall is brick, which made the prospect of attaching the wood to the wall a bit more daunting than it would have been on sheet rock and framing. As it turned out, Debra found a cast stone surround that struck her fancy and she ordered it. It came in a crate and took three strapping young men to get it off of the truck

2015-12-29 11.17.31.jpg  and up the stairs


Our son Chase (also young and strong) helped me mount it to the wall and face the brick surround with matching panels.

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Covering the exposed brick with wall plaster was, I confess, something I left to the painters.


Once painted, you can’t tell that this new surround wasn’t a part of the original construction.


Note the extra-long gas key on top of the mantle. The surround is 10″ deep, so I had to get a 12″ key. But, as you can see in the next pic, the gas works just fine and the look of the fireplace is much more in keeping with Debra’s vision for the SoMoToHo.


The observant among you will note that the trim is missing from the wall immediately adjacent to the surround. The next time you see the fireplace in a post, it will be there, courtesy of our trim carpenter, Justin Cowdin.

The SoMoToHo is shaping up. I expect that, within just a few months, the remaining three baths will be finished and it will be ready for its market debut. I hope that you’ll continue to join us on this journey.

Next up – back to the LOAP Alpha where the transformation is almost complete – and what a change it is!

As always, thanks so much for reading! We’re having a blast and hope you are, too.

0 Replies to “Back to SoMoToHo for a Brief, Warm Visit”

  1. Looks great! Love reading about this and I think Debra is a genius for finding all this stuff on the web. Of cours, Dani, you are a genius because you had the good sense to marry this girl!!!!

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