Forget expensive gas inserts.. instead, we opted for a cozy (and budget-friendly) approach to lighting up our fireplace: white rocks and candles!
This time last year, R and I met our friend-turned-realtor at Starbucks and signed the paperwork to officially put in an offer on our house. A week later, the seller accepted (and we celebrated the only way we know how: looking at each each other and asking “what did we just get ourselves into?!”)
It’s crazy to think that it’s been a year since this whole process began… and it’s even crazier to look back at old pictures and remember what this place used to look like.
Case in point, Steve:
(Or ‘The Fireplace Formerly Known as Steve”)
Painting our brick fireplace white was one of our first real DIY projects, and now, nearly a year later, it still stands out as one of my favorite features in our home. (Steve now goes by ‘Sven,’ by the way…)
If you want to get the scoop on our fireplace makeover, you can check out how we painted the brick and brass surround, how we installed the floating shelves on either side of the fireplace, and how I created those Pet Shop Boys inspired prints on the mantle.
While giving the hearth and mantle a much-needed face lift was a piece of cake, the inside of our fireplace would prove to be a much more daunting fix.
For reasons unbeknownst to me, the previous owners had removed the gas insert so they could use the fireplace to burn wood (or possibly to recreate the book burning scene from Little Women..) I’m no expert on these things, but I’m of the understanding that burning wood in a gas fireplace is like blow drying your hair in a bubble bath.. the kind of thing you just don’t do.
Facing the daunting task of picking out and installing a new gas insert, we let this project slide a few slots down on the ‘ol ‘To Do’ list. But, as the rest of the room came together around the fireplace, I started scheming about a Plan B: candles!
I like my projects cheap and easy, and filling our fireplace with candles and rocks checked both of those boxes.
Pre-Game: Painting the Inside of my Fireplace
Before I got started, I painted the inside of my fireplace using the same matte black high-heat paint that I used to paint the brass surround.
Step One: Fill Fireplace with Rocks
We chose these smooth white pebbles to match our fireplace. Then, following no particular rhyme or reason, we scattered the stones around the inside of our fireplace.
Step Two: Convince Atlas that Rocks Aren’t Toys
Our pup Atlas took an immediate fondness to the rocks, and somehow made the connection that fireplace = puppy toy basket… and also that decorative white stones = puppy toys.
Step Three: Strategically Arrange Candles
The only real challenge in this project (besides convincing Atlas to stop grabbing stones from out of the fireplace and discarding them in random spots around the downstairs of our house) was artfully arranging the candles to make this whole thing look as cool as possible.
I used the Fenomen 5-pack of candles from Ikea (and I plan on picking up another set to “up the wow factor” and really get this sucker glowing come winter!)
And there you have it! A super cozy (and super snazzy) way to fill a fireplace, without pricey gas inserts (or scary open fires!)
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