BOTB 8.14.15

By Kate Riley August 14, 2015

My mantra for August has been “play more, blog less” and that carefree approach to living and working has made this last bit of summer so relaxing and enjoyable. Yesterday I took off for a few hours to go wine tasting, it was fun to play hooky and enjoy some tasting rooms with no crowds before the harvest season begins.

I am blissfully out of the loop when it comes to all things happening online but I did manage to spy a few inspiring projects around the web (and also with Amanda’s help!) Enjoy this continuing ‘Best of the Blogosphere’ series !

Don’t miss Cassie’s kitchen reveal at Hi Sugarplum, wow that backsplash, right?

kitchen makeover hisugarplum


Brit at House Updated shares a clever tutorial for supporting floating open shelving in her kitchen.

diy floating open kitchen shelving


Construct a basic sofa side table for holding drinks etc. with Sinnen Rausch blog.

sofa side table


How pretty are these marbled clay necklaces? Via A Beautiful Mess.

marbled clay necklaces


Build a lap desk for supporting a book, tablet, or laptop with The House of Wood.

diy wood lap stand


Fireplace Makeover: Tile Options & Plan

By Kate Riley August 12, 2015

*This post is in partnership with Floor & Decor.

I’m preparing for a mini remodel of the fireplace in our family room. The gas fireplace is offset and because of that has never looked right to me. There is also a niche above which I feel very “meh” about, I’m not a big fan of niches, so I finally decided to frame it in and hang either a bigger flat screen TV above or some really cool art. You can see how unbalanced the fireplace looks below from this older post about painting the built ins on both sides.

I also decided it was time to fix the fireplace tile that I’ve never liked, it was a last second desperate choice made to fill the space because the tile guy was on site and I had a newborn and a two year old in my arms and needed the tile that same day. It’s brown and boring and off the shelf and it has bugged me for years which is why I rarely photograph this space and every time I sit down in this room (ahem, everyday) I have that same feeling of “that really needs to change” so the time has come to make it so.

family room built ins

So the plan is to 1) center the gas fireplace so it’s balanced, 2) fill in the niche above and run electrical to mount a flat screen TV (or hang art, still debating), and 3) swap out the tile for something more contemporary. The chair and rug are long gone, I’ll share the replacements when I photograph the new look when the fireplace makeover is complete and the new sectional arrives.

My first thought was to reframe the wall to allow the tile go all the way to the ceiling like with this stunning example but then I realized by removing that upper portion of the wall where the niche is I’d have to also remove the crown molding which I like and it looks nice because it wraps all the way around the room. I could also reframe the wall down below and pull the fireplace out those 6 inches but then I’m losing 1/3 of my wood bench and I do like that the way it is, and I’d have to wrap the tile around the edge which may look strange, so instead I decided just to keep it simple and frame in the niche above, perhaps add horizontal planks to that area, center the fireplace, and tile the inset with something more modern.  

I’m on the hunt for new tile to surround the fireplace when it’s reframed. I’m shopping at Floor & Decor for the tile, I had such a positive experience with them on the recent master bathroom vanity remodel. I’m going neutral and timeless, I’m drawn to linear and geometric patterns, here are some of the top contenders, notice the similarities.

fireplace surround tile options

from top left:  1. marble stick linear   2. silver shadow polished linear  3.  white brick marble  4. hex marble 1 x 1”  5. silver fantasy linear marble   6. bianco round  7. sahara carrara brick marble  8. cloud stick glass   9. 2 x 2” hexagon  10. bianco random  11.  carrara milano linear  12.  snow white matte

Which one do you like best? My faves at the moment are #1 and #11 but I have to see all the samples in my house first.

Want more fireplace design inspiration? I’ve been pinning fireplace design ideas all day, check them out here!

fireplace tile inspiration


*this post is sponsored by Floor & Decor, all opinions are my own.