A kitchen is the heart of the home, but if there are 2 chambers to a heart and I think the 2nd one goes towards the fireplace/mantle. It’s the place we all gather around for holidays. It’s always lit for dinner parties or to make you feel good, warm, taken care of & secure. Children gather round to warm their hands from frozen mittens, and special guests always get the warmest spot near the fire! Ours was damp, cold, filthy and lacked any appeal. We took off old pink tiles and removed brass items. I always loved marble on a fireplace. It reminded me of cold Christmas holidays with my family in Italy. I asked my husband for marble and we were quoted slabs $500-1000. My frugal man bought tiles in marble at The Home Depot for $75.00! It was a compromise, but a small one and I am more than pleased with the outcome. He then built and trimmed out a mantel box and painted it all in Dove White. It still didn’t cut it! Something was missing… DEPTH! One night, while snuggled watching Fixer Upper I told Henryk, “That’s it! I need SHIPLAP!” We searched and were told it isn’t popular to build with it in this area. Before giving up hope, we decided to make mock shiplap! We used 8” slats of wood and spaced them with 2 stacked nickles before placing another slat of wood on top & nail gunning them into place. With a little trim set around it, nobody could tell it wasn’t the real deal! The fireplace was pretty but not very warm. We invested in a Jotul wood stove and it heats up the entire home! It is so cosy, easy to clean and use, and we save a ton of money using it! We are very fortunate that Vashon Island is a 10 min ride from home and we can be supplied with a cord of wood easily from there. I change out FREE PRINTABLE art from favorite blogs and pinterest to decorate the mantle because I don’t want soot on my nice stuff and I like to change with the seasons & that could get costly when you are changing things as much as I am! GUILTY AS CHARGED! Thanks for taking a look at the before & after of our fireplace remodel.