Well, once again Kevin proved me wrong. He actually finished the fireplace on December 20. Since we were celebrating Christmas with family on the 23rd, I was relieved. He modified the design a great deal since our floor plan is unique. The fireplace sits in a corner and is angled. That required us to modify the web image that sparked Kev's imagination.
We used pine to tie the fireplace with the stairs. Kev had the perfect piece left to use for the mantle. It's three inches thick, just like the steps and the banister rail. Since it is the outside edge of the tree, it curves and isn't square, but it's awfully pretty. Kev then built the lower shelves to hold our DVD player and Satellite receiver, moving them from the east wall, as seen below.
With the addition of the upper shelves, he created more space for me to showcase items. Those shelves are "disappearing" shelves simply because we didn't want to put a side up against that angled wall. It would have looked...odd.
I like the firewood storage. I thought about asking him to make one shelf on this side, but he veto'd that, and I think he was right. We rocked the fireplace together. It took about 5 hours. I struggled with the layout of the rocks because I kept wanting them to fit perfectly. They don't. Kev did a lot of trimming to make them fill the space and they've grown on me...or I've let go of my idea of perfection. All in all, I'm happy with the end product. I'm also eager to put away my Christmas decorations to see how I'm going to arrange "pretties" on the shelves.
What's the next project? Who knows! It's now been a week since Kev has had anything to work on. He's getting stir-crazy already! We need to replace the Purple bathroom's tub and the skylight...we need to replace Kev's shower, and we need better cabinets in the kitchen. But, I'd be happy if we didn't do anything for a few months. I'm not sure Kevin can sit still that long!
Once again...before and after. Quite a difference!