Before and After Fireplace: From Squatty to Stacked Stone

April 28, 2016

We believe we should all love where we live.

We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 




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Befores, afters, mood boards, plans, failures, wins. We’ve done a lot of projects, and they’re all here. 

We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen. 

Even when you don’t want to rip down a wall, you can make that space in your home better. Right now.

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Opportunities outside our home, to pay our time and sponsorships forward to our readers and friends are becoming more frequent and we couldn’t be more excited about that. In all actuality, it feels like we’ve been working on this blog thing for the past 7 years to get to a point where we could help other people with their spaces and it’s a really great job. It’s a dream job and we’re soaking every chance up. Our biggest project yet is coming up in two months on the other side of the country, but I’ve digressed.

A couple months ago we were asked, along with a few other bloggers, by Angie’s List to makeover a fireplace. We had just finished making over our basement fireplace, (remember the one in the basement family room that we revamped for $100?), but fortunately, they were open to us making any fireplace as long as it stayed within the $1500 budget–which felt like a fortune. The one we recently tackled in Long Island we accomplished with just $300!

Before and After Fireplace: From Squatty to Stacked Stone | Chris Loves Julia

But, for this challenge, we wanted to do something completely different and we quickly learned that our new friends were wanting to tackle their fireplace as a final step to a living room renovation they had been working on.

Before and After Fireplace: From Squatty to Stacked Stone | Chris Loves Julia

Above, the before was oak riddled and outdated. When we got ahold of it, the flooring had been replaced and new furnishings were about the room, but that fireplace wall was still majorly bringing down the vibe. We removed all the oak surroundings and old tile and decided to make this fireplace a dramatic focal point.

Before and After Fireplace: From Squatty to Stacked Stone | Chris Loves Julia

Let’s bring stone to the ceiling! Let’s make it dark! Let’s update that insert! How about a chunky mantle?! I broke down what we did step-by-step, along with the materials and cost breakdown right here. It took just $800 and now that fireplace looks like this!:

Before and After Fireplace: From Squatty to Stacked Stone | Chris Loves Julia

Pretty incredible before and after, right? Taking the stone all the way to the ceiling made a previously squatty looking room so much more lofty and grand. And I love that dark stacked stone so much I’m already scheming an outdoor fireplace in the same material.

Angie’s List didn’t tell us this was a competition until after the fact. And then they put some prize money down for the blogger with the most votes for their before-and-after fireplace. So if you like this before and after, I’d love your vote! We’d love to keep doing more projects like this for other people and every vote is a little boost of confidence for us and our sponsors in that direction.

You can vote once a day right here until May 20th. Would appreciate it so much!

What do you think?

  1. meghan jay says:

    Hi! I was curious if you purchased the mantel online?

  2. Whitney says:

    Love the dark stone against that beautiful chandelier!

  3. Shell says:

    Our crew really enjoy your blog guys. The other day our staff was discussing how we don’t particularly care for at all your new/different ….click to read more of the post :( Is there anything we can do to avoid this?? We really prefer to scroll and read more than one post (takes way too much time & really is a pain the new way. We’re begging you to PLEASE go back to how it was dear.

    • Julia says:

      We appreciate the feedback! We JUST changed to this yesterday because of other feedback we’re getting about the site loading. Taking everything into consideration.

  4. Whitney J says:

    Yours was the best. All the white paint I see in other makeovers just seems too blah to me, but I’m paralyzed when it comes to going bold in my own house. I’m always afraid I won’t like it then.

  5. Jodi B says:

    I have enjoyed your blog so much and enjoy reading all of you new project posts, whether they are in your home or for someone else. I have a bit of an off the wall question, what kind of camera do you use for your photos? They are all so crisp and clear!

    P.S. loved your Blue Apron blog post!

  6. I voted for you! I thought yours really was the best.

  7. Britt says:

    Hey Julie, <3 the fire place! Such a huge improvement.

    Just wanted to let you know, in case anyone else is experiencing this, but your website in the past week has gotten extremely slow to let me navigate. It's not that it's taking forever to load, it's just not scrolling well and it's not letting me type easily. It's like it freezes what I'm doing and unfreezes constantly. I'm using Chrome, and doesn't appear to be doing it it on any other site I use.

    • Julia says:

      That’s really helpful, Britt! Thank you for letting me know. Last night we moved to truncated posts to try to help with that, but we’re doing other things, too. Hopefully we’ll have it running smoothly to keep up with the traffic in no time.

      • Britt says:

        This morning seems to be running much more smoothly! Y’all are the best ;) Gotta get my CLJ fix.

  8. Kyla says:

    Hi Julia – this looks amazing!!! You might not know, but I need to ask in case you do – where is that gorgeous chandelier from! I have been looking for something just like it!
    Thank you!

  9. Kristen says:

    What a great transformation! The fireplace looks a million times better!

  10. Jamie says:

    What a transformation – it looks great! What a difference a good looking fireplace can make in a space. :)

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We believe we should all love where we live.

We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 

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