It’s one of those details I walk by 417 times a day, and even still, it’s taken me 417 days to finish what I had in mind for the living room fireplace. A basket full of driftwood has called this little cavern home (a.k.a. storage) since I removed the gas logs and capped the line in July of 2011, and as I’m implying, it was always supposed to be temporary design solution.
Yesterday, I evicted the basket, tossed the driftwood into the backyard for Cody, reclaimed my much loved Pottery Barn platter (a decorative base for the last 417 days), and backed authentic logs into it’s place. Beeep, beeep, beeep.
Even though the family who lived in this house before me had fires often (circa 2009 and earlier), I had a fear of igniting the gas logs myself while I lived alone, and because I never went through the due diligence to have the chimney cleaned and checked, I really lost all interest in making it an active feature in our home. Plus, it’s shallow, and our living room is narrow, so it seems like the wrong spark could flick straight through any metal grating and land on me or the couch. The couch would probably ignite immediately, at least I imagine so. Also, this stems from me having watched too many episodes of Rescue 911 with the classic reenactments as a kid, and now fearless Pete’ll make me start recording Mythbusters again upon reading this neurotic brain dump, even though we only have 4 free hours of HD space left on our mammoth Dish Network DVR and it’s already taking all we have to keep up with the new fall premieres. How’s that happen?
I totally digress. How about a picture of a cute dog?
The logs themselves aren’t stacked to the full width of the fireplace and therefore could be a bit wobbly/rolly/loose if I gave them that option, but a few carefully placed wedges of scrap wood along the base really helped to lock it in place, giving me a solid base to stack upon. And if it were to be pushed and rolled, it wouldn’t roll out of the fireplace and into the living room, it would stay locked into the brick confine. I know this, because I tested how much force was required to knock the whole shebang down.
The lumber itself, we could have probably bought at any country roadside stand, but Pete’s parents have an excess of cut branches from fallen trees and graciously gave us a variety of straight, pretty logs to work with. With no prior planning, they all happened to be the perfect length to sit lengthwise in our fireplace too. If you’re asking us to identify what kind of trees are stuck in there, we might tell you that they were just lame little weeds that grew to become really, really big trees, but now they’re weeds of value.
Their presence really takes the living room fireplace from looking kind of crazy and unfinished, to a cleaner, seemingly used space.
Side note: The horseshoes have no significance to the overall display; they were delivered years ago by my parents and, well, I like them but don’t have a permanent home for them yet.
The logs feel especially autumnal to me, adding a new little something to complement our seasonal squash, a.k.a. dinner, (and big pumpkins priced at four for $6!). And heck, maybe we’ll even get up the courage to convert the fireplace back to a wood burning model, and burn the wood pile before springtime.
What autumnal touches are you bringing into your home (after thinking about it for 13 months)?