Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Turn in the Right Direction

When it started raining yesterday, Jason the Mason wanted to move inside and work on the living room fireplace.


I had become enamored with the idea of having a herringbone hearth in the living room. I went on an internet search of inspiration photos, but it was tough. There are lots of photos of mantels and fireplaces, but it’s hard to get a glimpse of a hearth.

I found this one. It was a little contemporary, but I liked that the hearth wasn’t too deep. I also liked the slanted bricks above the firebox in the surround.

I had gotten these awesome wood mold bricks contributed to the cause out of the extras from a beautiful house that was built in the 1980’s. We started messing around with a brick pattern.

P1160464 This was pretty much what we thought the hearth in the picture looked like. But then we came to a critical point. With only two rows in the herringbone pattern, it looks like a series of arrows. It starts to look like a secret symbol from The DaVinci Code: this way.

The question was which way? If the arrows point one way, they point to the bedroom and if they point the other way, they point to the kitchen – and the laundry room.


Louie looked like he had a plan as they began to work on the surround.


They squared up the hearth,


put down a mesh base,


laid out the border,


and avoided the question altogether.


Even though it meant cutting and fitting more little triangles of brick, they turned the herringbone pattern 90 degrees and had the arrows going front and back.


Jason put in the final piece and they cleaned it up.


This is how it will look as you enter the living room. It still needs to have a mantel build around it and the grout needs to dry to a lighter color, but I think it looks pretty good for a gas fireplace. It’s a step in the right direction.


Now I just need to put this image out on the internet for others who want a herringbone hearth and can’t find any pictures.


  1. helpful pics, cheers

  2. Question!! It sort of has nothing to do with it but maybe it does, a little. We currently have a fireplace in our home which I *love* - I don't want to cover it - in fact I want to make it bigger if possible! Not the front or the sides or anything like that, but the mantel/shelf itself. Right now the mantel is made out of brick as well and it looks great - I don't want to add a wood mantel. However it's really narrow and i would love to have more space for pictures, xmas decor, etc. Can I add bricks the make the "shelf" bigger? I've never worked with bricks before so I don't know if the weight will be held up by just the mortar (?). Hope that makes sense...
    Thanks in advance!