That time we got a new house while Mark was out of town (also, HELP. Fireplace dilemma.)

So . . . funny story. A couple weeks ago we put an offer on a fixer house in a neighborhood we’ve been trying to buy in for the better part of a year. We love our current street but the houses are very small, and we wanted a bit more space and an extra bedroom.

We’ve been looking for a fixer because we really love the process of making over a house. So when we found this particular house, we jumped. Things seemed sketchy – it was an estate sale, there were permitting issues, there were feuding heirs . . . but we sort of took a leap of faith and tried not to be invested too much in the outcome in case it didn’t happen.

But it did . . . which . . . YAY. But also WOAH. Because we now need to move, and we’ve got about three weeks to get this remodel mostly done, and because the day that we closed escrow, my husband left for a nine day trip to Peru. so I have to make all of the remodeling decisions by myself.

So, internet. Help me out with this one, which needs to be decided by tomorrow.

Here is the original fireplace:
Photo Mar 27, 10 39 05 AM

 

It’s right in the middle of the house, and a pretty imposing feature. It is double-sided. There is an off-centered fireplace facing the living space on one side, and another fireplace that starts at elbow level on the kitchen side. Kind of like a pizza oven?

Photo Mar 27, 10 38 41 AM

 

I don’t anticipate we will use that kitchen fireplace too often. So I need to make a decision. First of all, do I keep the stone? The house will have wood floors and the kitchen will be modern, sleek white cabinetry. If I’m pushing a mid-century modern look, will this fireplace fit in?  Or should I refinish it?

Second question: should I keep it the size that it is, or chop it down so that it’s more of a single fireplace? (That is what we did in our current home. This fireplace used to extend to where the kitchen cabinets start.)

Photo Mar 26, 6 23 29 PM

 

In our current home, I like the way chopping the fireplace  into a single, centered fireplace opened the room.

 

Photo Mar 26, 6 23 54 PM

 

At the same time, it left us with very little wall space, and I can see the advantage of this bigger fireplace, since we could put a credenza and tv against it on the left side.

Photo Apr 02, 8 57 07 AM   Photo Mar 27, 10 39 18 AM 

Armchair designers . . . I need you. What say you? Should I make it smaller or leave it as it is? And should I leave the stone, or cover it with another surface?




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