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Creating a Faux Fireplace    
 

 
From left, Christi and Karen from Victorian Fireplace Shop; Jeanene & Shelly (kneeling); Kristin & Carrie of the "Home Makers" design & construction crew.

The fireplace above is in the parlor; you'll have to tune in to the show to see the total restoration process! Watch for the debut of the "Home Makers" home makeover show on Turner South, weekdays at 3pm. You can get a peek at the project on their library fireplace below for a separate, later episode, but you'll have to catch the show to see the video footage of how hard the Home Makers worked to get the job done. You're sure to become addicted to this show!

You can also meet these charming, hard-working hosts at home shows and other special events around the south. Visit their website for their appearance schedule.

The Library Fireplace Project:

This is how the library fireplace looked when we arrived. The chimney has been torn down and the fireplace had been bricked over at some point in its past. Our mission: make it a beautiful focal point for this room again!
 

Shelly (left) and Chisti (right) are tearing out the bricks that are blocking off the fireplace; we need an opening to slide the cast iron surround and firebox into, to create 3-dimensional depth. You'll have to see Sherry in action with the jackhammer!
 

The fireplace has now been excavated by removing 2 layers of bricks (plus old shingles, a dead bird, buckets and buckets of sand and rubble...)
 

Christi stands back, dirty but satisfied that the cast surround and firebox have now been inserted into the fireplace opening.
 

The cast iron mantel has been installed to overlap the surround. (We used the Prentice surround and the Clifton mantel.) Shims are placed under the surround and the mantel legs so the temporary hearth can be slid out later and replaced with a granite hearth.
 

We can't wait to see how the library turns out! Be sure and tune in with us to the Home Makers show (weekdays at 3pm and Saturdays at 1pm) on Turner South to see how the library looks once it's painted, furnished and fully decorated!
   
About the Home Makers TV Project    

On a frigid day in March 2005, Karen and Christi had the pleasure of working with the Home Makers tv show crew to make over 2 fireplaces in their project house.

The project house exterior at the timeof our visit. Tune in to see how it all turns out!

The Home Makers show is all about the total renovation of a 1905 bungalow in Charlotte, NC. The chimneys were not worth saving but they wanted to salvage and remodel the fireplaces. Although not functional, they were great features in this house. Our assignment: add cast iron surrounds and mantels that will suit the period and decor of this great home!

While there are a lot of home design shows on the air these days, you'll find this show to be particularly inspiring; the design and construction crew are all women!

Upon our arrival, we were warmly welcomed by the entire cast. These ladies are personable, beautiful AND  they really are professional contractors, carpenters, designers and more - all the talent you would want to have on hand to build or remodel your house.

Despite the most miserable weather you can imagine, none of the crew complained about the cold, the endless red clay and the various types of wet and solid precipitation falling outside, so we tried to take it in stride too. They never missed a beat and work continued both indoors and out, with every task getting done efficiently. We were totally in awe of the whole team.

This is the first fireplace project we're aware of to be filmed and explained in such great detail, and we promise you'll learn a lot about fireplace restoration, so be sure and set your VCR so you don't miss a single episode.

The greatest aspect of this show is that it will serve as inspiration to women to tackle construction jobs in their own homes.
 
Whether you decide to do the job yourself or to hire it out, you'll know every step of every phase, from demolition to project completion. You'll see, you CAN do it!
 
This project began the same way as it does for most of our customers, who largely find us via our website.

The producers of the show found us online and called for some design ideas. They e-mailed us photos of the fireplaces in their existing condition, provided some crucial measurements, and shared their vision for how the room will look when it's completed.

We e-mailed them back some design ideas, including simulated photos of some styles to choose from. They made their choices within a day; we packaged the products and they were on the way to the job site by the next day.

This is one of those times it worked to our advantge that our store is staffed by  fireplace designers who happen to be women, and we were thrilled to accept their invitation to come work on the project in person. We hope you'll use  our experience on your own project as well!

Carrie (Home Makers Carpenter); Karen & Christi from Victorian Fireplace Shop; Shelly (Home Makers carpenter).