The Fireplace Project

We’ve had dark and stormy skies in Austin these last few days.  Even though it hasn’t exactly turned cold, I’ve still been tempted to start a fire in the fireplace just to make the living room a little more cozy feeling… which then reminded me I need to post pictures of the fireplace renovation we did last winter, because it’s so AWESOME (if I do say so myself)!

Here’s what it started out like, our 1980s Texas flagstone fireplace and hearth, along with adjoining dark brown, wood veneer built-ins:

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After yanking out the built-ins and hammering away all the rock facade and the bulky hearth (which was some heavy, dusty work) we got down to the brick firebox:

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Our next step was to frame out the fireplace surround with flame retardant cement board. Since our plan was to mount the TV over it, we ran the TV’s power cord and the built-in sound system wires through PVC pipes in the wall so we wouldn’t have any dangling wires:

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Once that was done and the drywall replaced, textured and painted, it was time to apply the covering, a gorgeous stacked stone product called RealStone, in honed white birch.  Isn’t it so, so PRETTY?  I’m obsessed with it!

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The final step was to paint the grate and the interior brick a neat black, and then we were ready for the new floors to go in, the TV to go up, and the decorating to begin.  Here’s how it all turned out in the end:

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Cozy, no?  We were absolutely thrilled with how it came out!  It’s about as far away from its original 80s look as it can possible be, and we don’t miss that a bit.  We wanted it to look sleek and contemporary, but still feel warm and inviting.

Speaking of inviting, I believe it’s calling me now.  I’m gonna go light a fire, pour a lovely glass of wine, and ride out the rest of this stormy evening.  Y’all enjoy yours!

Just Keep Swimming

One day you’ll be in your ocean

WELCOME, WELCOME, WELCOME!

You’ve landed at my blog, either by intent or accident — and I’m happy to have you!

I started this blog as sort of a catch-all spot to post all kinds of random stuff I’d like to pass along, most of it pertaining to Austin real estate (my own business in particular or market info in general) or interesting/funny tidbits about Austin … or gardening tips, home decor/design ideas, places you should check out, coming events, notes about the weather, or pictures from in and around Austin I happen to like.

Like this one, which I took outside the Palmer Events Center a few weeks ago:

emma-long-ctr

Or this one, of the beautiful Brandy (my son’s dog) playing at Bull Creek Park (Austin being a very pet-friendly city):

brandy-at-bull-creek

Please feel free to leave me your comments or questions or, even better, reach out to me if you’d like to chat about real estate.

If you want to talk about purchasing a home (either now or in the future, for your primary residence or as an investment property), listing your home for sale, or just finding out what your home is worth, these are all things I’d be delighted talk with you about!

You can also check out my Facebook page by clicking the link in the side-bar (and don’t be shy about hitting that LIKE button once you get there — it makes me feel good)!

Sunshine & Graffiti
Austin: Keeping it real, keeping it weird at the Hope Outdoor Gallery

And in the mean time, like the unknown artist at Austin’s graffiti wall says above, “Just keep swimming. One day you’ll be in your ocean.” 

I’m not entirely sure what that means, but I think it’s profound.