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Shop Transformation: 4.Fireplace/Meeting Room

Crumbling fireplace, peeling wallpaper border, plug-in garage light and frilly, gold chandelier. Uhhhh. No. Everything must go!

Before of fireplace room.

"Paint it all white!" Ok, maybe not everything. During the early stages, I really had no clue what to do with the old VCT floors. My whole goal was to make the best choices for this shop, while spending as little as possible. New flooring was just out of the question. I paid someone to level the floors from underneath the shop. It made quite a difference and was money well spent. The option I kept coming back to was...paint...of course, lol! Paint is my long time, trusty friend and "they" make paint specifically for floors and outdoor porches, soooooo, why not?! But first, primer! For a couple weeks, it felt like walking into a giant marshmallow every time I entered the shop. It was so bright and felt amazing. What a difference from the formerly dreary surroundings.

WHITE from head to toe!

I chose the light gray ready mixed off the shelf. It ended up being a blue gray that I don't love, but (as I try to remind myself) it's a rental. It's not that bad. Better a blue gray than a pinkish gray. Did I mention that nearly every single wall was painted a shade of pink?! I think the kitchen was pale yellow, which may have been an exterior color once upon a time.

Because the fireplaces are no longer functional (plus, we removed the chimney when the roof was replaced), I decided to close up the one in this room. My landlord already closed off the other side years earlier. The fireplace was now open to the attic where critters and bugs, etc. could make their way down to me.

I had to come up with a plan that would keep things out, but also look good. I filled the fireplace with styrofoam to sort of insulate it, cut a piece of luan to fit the opening and created a false front of sorts. I painted it flat black, but everyone asks if it's chalkboard paint. Some have suggested a paint a fake fire on it, lol! I like it simple.

I used liquid nails to attach my "frame", giving my something to drill into.

Here is the view standing next to the fireplace facing the front door. Keep scrolling to see more before & afters. Notice the new Hunter fan. After searching far and wide for a modern fan, I happily chose this one. We had those installed everywhere. Can you believe there was only ONE ceiling fan in the whole place?! In Louisiana!!! With no central AC!!! Just paintin' a picture for ya.

View to front door.

A client was tossing some old, chrome cantilever Steelcase chairs during a remodel a couple years ago. I snagged 5 of them and didn't think twice. I rarely accept items my clients are donating, but these are keepers, for sure! I just wish I could have found an even 6. Someday, I would love to reupholster them for our personal home. But, for now they are serving us well in the shop for meetings, meals and design work.

Before of fireplace room.
One of my favorite angles!

Do you see the fireplace cover now? It does look like another chalkboard! Speaking of chalkboards, The Twinpop Shop hand wrote the signage on my actual chalkboard signs. It's what was missing and I am so glad they were able to add that personal touch for me. Aren't they awesome?! Go check out their Etsy shop. Btw, the chalkboard was a huge 4'x8' that arrived damaged for a client. Instead of shipping back, they simply sent a new replacement and I salvaged the damaged board. One day, Barry (see previous pressure washing post) stopped by to see if I needed anything. He took the chalkboard around the corner to his shop and cut it down into two boards for me so I could fill this long hallway connecting two rooms. Here is the hallway before:

Brooke, my assistant, learning to prime!
Original details.

This built in was cool -- it just needed paint. Keep scrolling to see a photo of my landlord in front of the shelves, back in the day!

All "after" photos: Vanissa Murphy, photographer

If you missed any of the previous Shop Transformation Posts, click these links:

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