brick-a lecca hi, brick-a hiney ho

Ok, admittedly, I had to google to remember what Mecca Lecca Hi, Mecca Hiney Ho was from, but since I started trying to come up with a title for this post, that has been stuck in my head.  (Does this happen to other people?)  Yet, I couldn’t place how I knew it.  Guess I had locked Pee-wee’s Playhouse away for random trivia nights.  And now, thanks to Wikipedia, I’m caught back up.  What did we do before the internet??

So… it feels like we’re so close to being done with this family room makeover, but there are still so many things to do.  Luckily, we finally got the brickwork, speaker wire, shoe moulding, and return vent covers knocked out.  (Especially, since it seems this over-zealous list-maker actually left a few of those things off the ol’ to-do list in the last post.  Oops.)

Here are the deets…

When Michael’s uncle came over to look at the new fireplace and the flat bricks we’d bought for the facade, he came up with another few decisions for us to make:
– Did we want the shoe moulding to dead-end into the side of the fireplace jut-out, self-return just before the brick threshold of the fireplace, or run all the way across in front of the bricks?
We opted to run it all the way across the front since that’s how our den is (though the threshold is a few inches higher in the den).
– How did we want the brick pattern to look?
Exactly like the ones from The Lettered Cottage, our inspiration.

Here is what the fireplace area looked like when we left off.  (The gray part is concrete backer board and the black part is a box.)

Fake Fireplace Original

But, I originally thought we would only use the flat bricks on the fireplace (and didn’t plan to use the matching L-shaped ones for the front corners – since I thought they would only show around the edge of an insert) so the measurements I gave to the cabinet makers were off a little.  Oops.  Oops.  Oops.  Luckily, Michael’s uncle was able to make us a bigger fireplace box and cut down the concrete backer board on the face.  He also added a board in the front to raise up the bricks on the threshold slightly.  Crisis averted.

Fake Fireplace New Box

Since the original box was supposed to just be a temporary box until we ordered a fireplace insert, the depth wasn’t any specific dimension.  But, now that we’d decided we didn’t need an insert, we are going to brick the whole thing in.  So, when he made our new box, we picked a depth that would fit the bricks exactly.

Fake Fireplace Checking Side Fit

Then, we started to look at the height of the front bricks relative to the shoe moulding and decided we needed to raise the fireplace “floor” up a little.

Fake Fireplace Checking Front Height

So, he built a little T-shaped platform to raise up the floor.

Fake Fireplace New Front Base

Meanwhile, we bought new shoe moulding and stained it to match close enough.  I swear I bought at least six different stains that looked right on the little swatches at Home Depot, but got them home to find out they were in fact not a good match.  On the upside, now I am the proud owner of lots of little cans of stains.  Craft/DIY supply hoarder collector in the house.

Time to start adding bricks.  Woohoo.

O, and before I forget, here’s what we used.  The thin bricks are called Thinbrick by General Shale Brick — since we started with leftovers from the garage project, we used a mix of the two colors that best matched our outside brick: Englishpub and Smokestack.  We went the tile mastic and mortar route when we used these same bricks on the exterior of our garage column a few months back, but since this won’t be exposed to the elements (unless you count a toddler!), we just used construction adhesive (Liquid Nails) and grout (Polyblend Sanded Grout in Delorean Gray) this time around.

He attached the floor bricks and set the height for the top horizontal brick on each side.

Fake Fireplace Bricks 1

He attached a board to the underside of the fireplace “ceiling” to use to line up the soldier course across the top and worked his way down for the corner bricks on each side.  (Those are tile spacers and nails temporarily holding things in place.)

Fake Fireplace Bricks 2

Fake Fireplace Bricks 3

Added the inside rows on the sides.

Fake Fireplace Bricks 4

Added all the bricks on the back wall.

Fake Fireplace Bricks 5

And grouted. (The back wall is still wet in these pictures.  I just couldn’t wait.)

Fake Fireplace Bricks 6

Fake Fireplace Bricks 7

Fake Fireplace Bricks Done

Yay bricks.  And grout.  And shoe moulding.

Even though it halts my frame-the-TV cause (how great would it have been if I’d put a framed one-way mirror in front of the TV?!), it seems we have a solution for the speaker bar wire. He also built us a little shelf that fits in the little 4″ x 4″ cubby under the TV to raise up the speaker so that it will sit right under the TV and its cord will be hidden. The shelf is really basic – it’s pretty much two sides and a top. And, David painted it to match the cabinets (along with the return vents) so that it looks like it was always there.  Woohoo.  Yay speaker shelf.  And return vent covers.

Fake Fireplace and Speaker Bar

We wanted to let the grout dry all the way before we painted all the bricks black, but now I’m not sure if we should paint it.  Hmmm….

Here are the remaining items on the to-do list:
– find small end tables
– find baskets for toys
– find white ceramics for shelves
– decorate the shelves
– find/make art for walls
– find throw pillows
– paint the walls (SW Silverplate)
– find/make curtains
– frame/hide the TV (out since the speaker is so close to the TV now.  boohoo.)
– decide if we want to re-cover the ottoman squares
– decide whether or not to paint the fireplace bricks
– paint the wood “ceiling” in the fake fireplace black

(Feel like you missed some of the previous family room posts?  Catch up here, here, here, here, and here.)

Should we still paint the bricks black? Or should we leave them brick-colored?  Decisions, decisions.  Now, if we could just get the walls painted…  I better run style the shelves so I can take some wider pictures of it next week!

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4 thoughts on “brick-a lecca hi, brick-a hiney ho

  1. Looks great!! Where did you find the topiaries??? Need some for our fireplace and man they can be $$$!!!

    • Thanks, Laura! Those topiaries are from Joss and Main a few months ago, and I found some cute (even cheaper) faux boxwood ones at Home Goods a few weeks ago. Still trying to decide which ones I like better for this room :)

  2. Looking great! I’d wait until you get the room painted to decide on the brick painting. The black looks good in that link you posted, but then they didn’t have pretty brick colors to start with. The brick you just put in looks nice on its own, so I’d wait to see how well it gets along with the rest of the room. You could always paint it then if it feels out-of-synch with everything else.

    • Thanks, Ellen! Yeah, it’s always easier to paint later than to undo :) Right now, I’m on Team Brick-Color since it’s already that way.

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