A Fireplace Transformation

On our very first day at Kookaburra Rise, we gathered kindling and wood for an evening fire.

We had a plan for a romantic fireside dinner featuring Ric’s famous mushroom risotto accompanied by a local Pinot Noir.

Late in the afternoon, I methodically set the fireplace with paper and kindling and lit the match. After a minute or two, it looked like the fire had taken.

Just as I was beginning to feel proud of my fire-making efforts, smoke began billowing out of the firebox and filling the house. Turns out that I’d neglected to open the chimney flue. Der.

The 1960s fireplace was not so good at keeping us warm.

It was the beginning of a series of unsatisfactory fires (yes, even with the flue open) that never offered much warmth and that resulted in the house smelling of stale smoke.

The fireplace, along with the house itself, is over 60 years old, so we figured it was time to be put to rest.

However, with winter upon us, we needed a better open-fire option pronto!

Within weeks we were happily ensconced by our new wood heater which was installed on the opposite side of our large lounge room.

The wood heater brought much comfort and joy during the harsh Red Hill winter.

Now we had an ugly old fireplace to deal with! As it’s the main feature between the kitchen and lounge room and the first thing to see when you enter our home, we had to do something clever to make it both beautiful and functional.

The fireplace ready for a makeover.

After a search on the internet for ‘what to do with a non-working fireplace’ revealed many ideas, we chose to create a kids library for Ric’s three Grandkids.

After washing down the bricks, painting it and installing a bookshelf (built by Ric), all we needed was a rug, a coffee table and a couple of cozy chairs to complete the library. Voila!

The fireplace now turned into a kids library.

With many big projects on our list, it’s often the small projects like these that make living at Kookaburra Rise so rewarding.

Small wins can bring big gains—and of course much joy to Ric who loves reading to his three cute Grandies; Bella, Billy and Audrey. Stay tuned for the photo.