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After 20 years of heating our house with a wood stove as our only heat source; we decided to go with a gas fireplace for our heat. Getting up in the middle of the night, cutting or splitting fire wood every weekend, trudging out into the cold to bring in fuel, and having the house too hot or too cold was no longer the way we wanted our life to be. So we took out our wood stove. Tore out the brick wall and platform. Built a new wall,with an angled section and installed the necessary plumbing for a gas fireplace with a thermostat and a blower. We have a very small house and so just the one fireplace would heat the entire house of under 1,000 sq. feet.
As I set my mind to deciding just how I was going to make my fireplace a point of interest in my home, I came up with a very unique idea. My sister and brother- in- law had recently disassembled an antique upright piano . They stored the wood pieces in their garage that they didn’t use. When I asked my sister if she had plans for them she said she didn’t and that I could have them if I wanted. So of course I accepted her offer. I had an idea already in my head and hoped the wood pieces would work for what I wanted to do. And they were perfect.
After we installed the fireplace I set to work putting the surrounding slate tiles into place. I purchased one expensive tile in a brick red with the silver gray tile in the middle to tie the brick colors with the slate tile colors.
Once the tiles were all fixed in place and the mortar was dry I applied the grout. Once that was completely dry we went to work on placing the mantle.
Using the wooden carved front piece of the piano as the main focus point, we placed it directly above the slate tiles. We then used the long curved piece (that was used to cover the piano keys) directly above it. We had to place some 2″ x4″ supports behind it to have something to nail it to.
I took one of the smaller pieces in to Sherwin Williams to have them match the stain color . I purchased the hard wood piece needed for the mantel shelf and the two pieces that go along the sides of the slate tiles to frame it all in.
This has added so much to my little home. This fire place looks like it has been around for years. To add extra interest I left visible the serial numbers that are carved into the curved key cover board.
When I tell people I made my mantle from an old piano they still can’t believe it. I love music and though this antique piano was beyond fixing up to play, it still brings sweet music to my soul! What a beautiful way to heat my home.
Think out side the box. What else could you use to make a unique mantle? An old door maybe? An old headboard? What kind of ideas do you have?
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