I’m not sure that this is a true “restoration” because I never saw what this fireplace’s original deal was. I can only speculate that it was a sweet 60’s mesh curtain instead of the fancy brass door affair our house came with. Again, only speculation so I’ll use the term loosely. I have dreamed of the day I removed and replaced the insert, and it was more satisfying than I imagined. Easier too, so add it to the why didn’t I do this years ago? list. The black hole that remained was an upgrade itself, but I’ve had my sights set on mid century mesh goodness and there’s no deterring a girl on a mission. Unless mesh is complicated and expensive, which apparently it is in 2016. It’s a custom job and I couldn’t find anything less that $400. My husband was not cool with me tearing out a perfectly functioning door insert and then spending cash piles to replace it. Enter this wonky little device sold on Amazon. It’s not custom, it’s not quality, and it’s not even super inexpensive. What it is is an adjustable valance with a clean look that gets the job done. Consider me sold.
Obviously, the segmented look of the adjustable valance isn’t my #1 choice, but it’s a solid second to a custom piece. Not bad for saving a few hundred dollars. More info about this contraption can be found on Condar’s site. If you go this route, note that you need to purchase your “curtain” chain separately, by size (I bought this one), from the valance. You are supposed to drill masonry screws into your fireplace lintel (the big metal bar across the top) and surrounding sides but we affixed the screen to a clamp and the clamp to the lintel, much in the same way our old insert was installed. Working around the uneven surfaces of the rocks made measuring and fitting a bit of a challenge but we managed. I painted the valance matte black with high heat paint, which seemed more period appropriate than glossy. The whole process looked like this:
Are summer fires too opulent? I’ll be back to my usual yard updates soon but I needed a mental and physical break…landscaping, man. xoxo
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