It. is. finally. done.
It's a green-black granite tile surround, with plywood edging.
What's that you say, my friends? Different from the "before" only in materials and color?
We couldn't do an all-wood surround like I wanted because of that pesky fire code, and we were limited by budget, will power and ability in any other fancy designs. Plus, we had been living in this place for more than five months by the time this baby went up. I just wanted it done.
Renovation geeks will attest to the fact that the longer you live in a place, the less willpower you have to complete renovation tasks, no matter the ugliness of the unfinished item, the inconvenience of incompleteness, or the sheer shame at not having finished months (or years) later. This fireplace cover proved to be that final task — the one that didn't really affect how we lived in the place, had no impact on our daily lives, but still stared back at us every time we sat on the couch. And now it's done — hallelujah!
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