Thursday 16 May 2019

The bargain marble fireplace that only cost £10 / $13

I love a fireplace, me. When house hunting, high on my wish list was a fireplace to cosy up to of an evening. However in the end, the perfect property (sans living room fireplace) prevailed. The character properties we viewed with fireplaces and high ceilings were narrow and needed A LOT of work. The house we put an offer on (and won - hooray!) had a generous foot print with good sized rooms but lacked character features (a fair enough compromise). There was a chimney breast, but it was in the back of the property (well, the kitchen) with no fireplace to speak of at the front of the house. Without a fireplace, our living room lacked a focal point. Which is when I broached the subject with the man of the house.

Mr Curiouser & Curiouser: "Why do we need a fireplace?"

Don't try and talk to men about focal points and how the TV shouldn't be THE focus of the room. Because men love their TVs and you uttering these words is blasphemous.

And men certainly don't understand the joy of decorating a mantel piece with foliage at Christmas, or the joy of having a stone hearth so you can actually display your sizable candle collection and burn them safely rather than precariously balancing them on a fabric ottoman, trying not to set the house alight.


Mr C & C: "You do realise it wouldn't be functional, don't you? And that we don't actually have a chimney breast there?"

Well yeah. 

Mr C & C: "where will the TV go?" (again with the precious TV)

Me: "maybe in the corner?" (we have a completely empty other side of the room which gets zero use and is wasted space)

Mr C & C: "isn't that a bit far away?"

Me: "what about by the window?"

Mr C & C: "it's too bright by the window"

Me: "your parents have their TV by a window"

Mr C & C: "it's still bright"

Me: "well, wall mounted above the fireplace then?"

Mr C & C: "isn't that a bit high up? Won't we be craning our necks?"


Men don't get fireplaces. More so in this case, because it wouldn't be a functional fireplace. Instead it would be imitating the look of one.

Another challenge I had with trying to convince Mr Curiouser and Curiouser is down to the fact that fireplaces are bloody expensive. Brand new these can range from hundreds to thousands of pounds. Even when refining the search to just fireplace surrounds (the main frame and not the stone insert or hearth). Even when refining the search to used and unwanted models that have been ripped out of people's homes. 


Imagine my joy when one day I found the fireplace surround of dreams on eBay. It had a white surround (a must on my wishlist) with a soft grey marble hearth and wraparound which would match perfectly with my recent marble table DIY project

Expecting the worse, I clicked into the listing and found it was being listed for the surprising sum of £10 (approximately $13 with the current exchange rate). It was for collection only but the seller did have a van and said they would deliver for an additional fee. But even with said delivery fee, this was still peanuts. Excitedly I contacted Mr Curiouser and Curiouser with a link and all the details. Expecting a "not this bollocks again" type of response, he actually came back with the following: "Let's measure up later". SUCCESS.


The fireplace listing had 5 days remaining and no watchers. I refrained from watching the item myself as I didn't want to draw attention to it or ramp up the price. I honestly expected it to rocket in price but when the big day came and it was still listed at £10, I couldn't get too excited, expecting a last minute bidding war.


It was not meant to be. A last minute bidder got in there first (much to Mr Curiouser and Curiouser's relief). So the search for a fireplace continues.

If anyone knows of any secondhand or otherwise affordable fireplaces and fire surrounds that are willing to deliver, holler at your girl. Until then, you'll find me ogling pictures of enviable fireplaces:

Recent research has got me thinking that maybe I could mock up my perfect fireplace surround. That instead of investing in an actual fireplace, I try and DIY my own using a piece of wood for the mantle and then wooden boards for the sides and hearth, covering these in tiles / tile stencils / tile stickers to make the fireplace more of a focal point in the room.

Please tell me that epic fireplaces excite you as much as they do me???!

All images Pinterest (original source unknown). If any of these images are yours, please reach out to me so I can fully credit you!

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