Adding A Fireplace To The Farmhouse


When we bought the farm 3 years ago, there were 3 things that I wanted… a wrap-around porch, a barn and a fireplace with a mantle. I got 2 of the 3. There wasn’t a fireplace.

I love backing up to a fireplace and turning myself ever so often, like a rotisserie. I love the crackling sound the burning wood makes. I love the smell. I even like making the firestarters like we made in Girl Scouts years ago.

I wanted a fireplace so badly, that I bought an old, vintage mantle and put it up against a blank wall, and downloaded a YouTube video of a woodburning fireplace with crackling sounds onto an extra computer. I put a monitor in the mantle opening and hooked it to the computer.

I’d catch myself standing in front of that stupid monitor like it was a real fire!

Did I mention that I love a fireplace? And yes, that “fire” is actually the YouTube video on the monitor.


Next attempt was a wood burning stove… it was okay to stand in front of, but it stuck out in the middle of the room and I still didn’t have a mantle!

Did I ever mention that I wanted a fireplace and mantle?


A few weeks ago, I had a brilliant idea – I just happened to mention to my husband, that since I had the blog and would be posting articles on decorating for the holidays, that I really NEEDED a mantle. He just looked at me, turned around and walked off without saying a word.

A few days later, he told me we could sell the woodstove, buy a wood-burning fireplace insert, and I needed to decide what I wanted the fireplace to look like.

I had a picture to show him in under 3 hours!!!!   Well, with one modification… gotta have a hearth!

The wood stove was out the next morning, sold that afternoon, and we were off to buy a fireplace insert we found on Craigslist! I downloaded the Installation Manual on the way home. (You think I’m getting excited?)

We had found and bought a truck load of old wooden beams and slabs several weeks before and there were some pieces that would easily make the mantle and support corbels.

I showed my fireplace picture to Emma Pratt at Godfrey & Black Brick and Stone in Fort Smith and she had me fixed up with the stone in no time.

By the time I got home, Gary had a gaping hole knocked in the wall.

Over the next few days, the house, inside and out, was a mess! We started early in the morning and worked until dark… or until we were exhausted.

The mantle and corbels had to be cut to length, washed and glazed.

The stones had to be washed,  cut if needed, laid out and numbered.

The expanded metal wire had to be put up and mortared so that the mortar on the stones would be rough enough to adhere the stones to the wall.

Still work to be done on the outside, but it’s coming together and I can hardly wait for it to turn cool enough for a fire.

Do you have a fireplace?  Do you catch yourself standing in front of it… cooking your backside, then turning like a rotisserie?

Do you decorate the mantle for the holidays or just leave it the same all year around?

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