Monday, September 02, 2013

Fireplaces, Stoves, Padded Hearts 'n Shit

It's been a while but we've been busy.

Progress has been made on our little bungalow and this post has been brought to you courtesy of a highly-skilled Chuppies, a wood burning stove supplier in Leigh-on Sea and a wood-burning stove installer from Grays.  And, of course, heaps of wonga from both London-Lass and the Chuppies.  Cos nothing's ever cheap is it?  Well nothing that's worth doing and worth doing well, anyway.

Which is what we did.  With a little help from the companies mentioned above.

For, in the bungalow's original decor, this is what we had to play with ladies & gentlemen :-

A shiny tiled 50s vision

That's right.  A 1950s tiled fireplace.  Not the stuff of nightmares (there is something strangely elegant about it I'll grant you).  However, it did not float the boat of either the Chuppies or London-Lass, and was one of the first things we wanted to remove from the property.  Well, one of the first things London-Lass wanted the Chuppies to remove - him being so much more stronger, skilled and better at stuff like this, you see.

So down it came :-


revealing the aperture which we could see from it's blackened back had been used at some point in the bungalow's history.

The chimney's throat - delightfully eccentric

On further removal/tidying up we were left with the fireplace above.  The exposed chimney's throat (i.e. the two brick archy bits either side of the fireplace opening) did cause some consternation at first (we had both envisaged a nice clean square opening when we started the work) but as you cant beat a bit of character/oddity to a property (particularly a fireplace), and as there wasn't anything we could do about the archy bits, we agreed to find them delightfully eccentric and move on with more important stuff.  Like how to do the hearth.

After a bit of to-ing and fro-ing in a local tile shop we finally plumped on some elephant grey slate tiles for the hearth which, as you will see from the piccie above, the dexterous Chuppies wasted no time in laying.

Once this was completed the heady task of removing all the woodchip wallpaper began and, as the exposed bricks to the fireplace were untidy, dirty and generally battered, the Chuppies purchased some brick slips :-

which as you can see immediately tidied up the opening and made it look a bit more proper (than, say, a hole that the Chuppies had decided to bash in to the wall as part of building fun) :-

Feeling strangely nostalgic (over something that wasnt actually ours) we decided to keep a teeny tile from the 50s fireplace and this, as you will see, is now perched in the top left hand corner.

After rendering, a mist coat of paint was applied and suddenly (voom) a honed fireplace was beginning to take form.

Obviously no fireplace is complete without a mantle, and so the Chuppies asked around at his place of work and managed to unearth an old oak beam from one of his sites.  After sanding and polishing (and treating for any possible insect infestation) the above mantle was produced.

So that was that, the hearth had been laid, mantle built and fixed - the only thing left was to install the wood burning stove - which as you will see from the piccie below is an extra wide 5KW model.  This contraption was purchased back in July but had a long lead-in time so was not installed until just before the weekend just gone.

The Chuppies took the day off for the installation and witnessed it being `tested' temporarily with some kindling.  We have been advised not to use the burner for about a week to allow the cement to set but, have been assured by the Chuppies, that it was ruddy marvellous whilst in action.

Let's take a closer look at the beauty :-

Unfortunately London-Lass is nothing but a perfectionist and, whilst the above picture may look complete, it wasnt long before she was whining for some chunky corbels for the mantle which the Chuppies set to in the back garden :-

and the Chuppies even added a little exposed bolt for good measure :-

So, there you have it.

The colour choice for the fire and walls is Eau-de-Nil by Little Greene.  We only have a sample pot but a full size 2.5ltr pot of the stuff will be acquired this weekend coming.

And, the plump little padded tartan heart (hanging from the exposed bolt) is just something that London-Lass felt compelled to knock up after staring vacantly and dribbling at the log burning stove on Sunday afternoon for about half an hour.

Imagine my catatonic state when it's eventually lit?


theperpetualspiral said...

Good choice with the log burner, ours is the focal point of the lounge now.

Trust you are both settling in well. :)

theperpetualspiral said...

I forgot to ask, have you set Chuppies the task of building a suitable wood store yet?

London-Lass said...

Hi Perp - good to hear from you :) And, yes, we're both settling in well!

Chuppie's log store, created and made here.

Unfortunately the wood we have came from the Leylandii overgrowth at the end of the garden and we were advised (in loud, shouty fashion) by the log burner suppliers "NEVER to burn anything with needles!!!" (unless it's been left to season for about 5 years). So a seasoned (non-needle origin) log order is on our to do list.

Can I enquire what's your `go to' log for your burner, Perpie?

theperpetualspiral said...

Usually ash and oak. Although I have some sweet chestnut that I'm saving for Christmas Day as it will smell really nice.

London-Lass said...

Oo lovely :)

We've got a log selection on order with a dude (recommended to us by our log burner suppliers) who has a lot of apple and ash (seasoned) - he does his orders by the lorry load so we have cleared out our store of Leylandii in readiness for our abundance of wood. Shall bear in mind what you've put about sweet chestnut as there's nothing that gets the Chuppies more happy than a bit of festive fun.