I’ve come to notice over the years that there seems to be two types of people; those that love painting and those that hate it. I’m definitely one of those people who loves it. Whether it be through transforming a room with nothing more than primer and paint, or something more elaborate like a sponge or faux finish I enjoy all aspects of it. Today with the temperature on the cooler side and the holiday festivities on my mind I’ve decided to focus on a faux finish project of mine from a few years ago. Having lived many years in the same place it was only natural to make changes over the course of time. The walls were made more warm and intimate with the touch of my brush and technique, the furniture updated and re-arranged. Over the years our home had become quite cozy and welcoming, complete with the tiniest of details. The addition of a freshly cut Christmas tree each year was usually enough to make even the crankiest of visitors put on a smile. I wanted for nothing, but if there was just one thing that could have tied the space together, it would have been a fireplace. Figuring it was time to do something about this, I went to one of the major big box home improvement stores and was soon the proud owner of a plug in wood stove, the kind that displays fake flames and doubles as an electric space heater. My enthusiasm for it soon diminished upon getting it home and realizing that it looked very much like a fake stove shoved up against a boring white wall. The stove sat there for some time collecting dust, and may have been soon forgotten about if my wife hadn’t been browsing through a catalog one day and pointed to a picture of a fireplace she liked. The solution at that moment was simple. While our home didn’t come with a fireplace, I could make her one! With a roll of tape, a combination of numerous leftover paints, a generous handful of beach sand for texture, and the occasional layer of joint compound, that boring white wall behind the wood stove was soon transformed into an extremely convincing fireplace. The addition of a layer of matching patio blocks, a small pile of firewood and a mantle made out of a piece of crown molding was the final needed touches. Even Old Saint Nick would think it was legit, at least until he attempted to travel down it!
Our home has seen many holidays come and go, and is often the scene of a lively Christmas Eve party. It’s not uncommon to see many gather around the fireplace, seeking to take advantage of the heat it puts forth. The sight of that faux fireplace decorated for the upcoming holiday sometimes gives me reason to pause as a feeling of nostalgia and reflection washes over me. I took something that didn’t seem to amount to much, and with limited resources turned it into something spectacular. Much like the holidays it’s the little things that amount to something great, whether it be spending time with loved ones or decorating a Christmas tree. Or in my case, creating a cozy place for my loved ones to gather. Merry Christmas to all, and remember to take the time out during this busy time of year to appreciate the seemingly little things that make the season so grand.