The Hideous Hearth: Wk 7 – Day Two

We have a conundrum and, would you believe, it concerns a fireplace…

You may remember that we revealed, beneath a sheet of wallpapered hardboard, a cast iron fireplace in the lounge. Then we did the same in the dining room (now, to S’s utter dismay, coined the ‘snug’) which also offered up a glimpse of a rather beautiful tiled hearth though we have yet to pull back the carpet to see if it is wholly intact. Based on this lucky streak we hoped that we might reveal, under the peeling marble-effect laminate in the lounge, something of a ceramic nature and thus complete the hat trick. I have a suspicion that S’s solitary journey away from both wife, son and a fully functioning shower was tempered only by the thought that he could finally scratch the itch of curiosity and pull away the chipboard. His revelation was emailed over late Sunday night. It was, indeed, a tiled hearth. A monstrous one.

We had begun to love the (slate?) mantle. We disliked but thought we might learn to live with the marbled inserts. The discovery of the cast iron fireplace within, complete with tiled side panels, was a delight …but even those three elements were lacking coherency. With this latest finding, a myriad of tiles of dubious authenticity, we are now the owners of a centrepiece ranked officially as A Dogs Dinner.

We have been pondering the ethical position we now find ourselves in. Bearing the guilt of already making one original feature homeless we are committed to retaining this one. However, quite how much of it is original we are unsure. The yellow tiles are, I’m told, an illusion of the camera. Whilst the colour palette of the ensemble as pictured below is bad enough, the truth is worse. Salmon pink is how S described them, suspiciously similar to ones we had in our now demolished downstairs bathroom, which begs the question as to whether this creation is actually the artistic output of an enthusiastic 21st Century DIYer as opposed to anything remotely Dickensian. Quite how we turn this hotpotch into something a little less migraine inducing I do not yet know.

S’s suggestion is to call in the experts and see if, in return for the fireplace we extracted from our bedroom, they will restore the two fireplaces we still have en situ. My impulse, which I’m resisting, is to cover the whole thing back up again. Suggestions, please, on a postcard. Or better still, for fear of overworking the Royal Mail staff at our local post office who are so often found busily drinking tea, in the comments box below…..

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