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Very small living room - worth opening up fireplace?

(16 Posts)
evrybuddy Mon 23-Nov-15 10:45:46

We have a dining room which is 10 feet X 10 feet and almost square.

Like the photos... it is the same position as the red room but without the arch (and without the fire surround) - instead we have patio doors there into a large conservatory/main living room.

There was originally a fireplace and it would have been a 1930s fireplace but it has been removed and plasterboarded over.

At the moment we have just bare boards but are planning carpets and weighing up whether to open up the original fireplace.

Where the hearth would have been is a small rectangle of concrete - not raised - level with boards - so it could just be carpeted over.

Basically we're wondering whether it's worth the bother of opening the fireplace up again - maybe not putting in a surround but just having a brick opening.

We wouldn't have anything as horrible as the fire surround in the photos - the room will be painted white and may be used just as a dining room - so the fireplace will really be a feature - maybe a small stove - maybe just reclaimed brick surround - maybe something used just at Christmas.

Or should we not bother and just carpet through?

What would you do?

VulcanWoman Mon 23-Nov-15 10:51:28

I wouldn't bother with the mess of a real fire when there's central heating, I have a fireplace with an electric fire and use the LED flame effect to be cosy. I do like the gas ones now though, they look very realistic.

Artandco Mon 23-Nov-15 10:52:07

I would. It being small will make it lovely and warm and snug during winter evenings.

The key is small furniture. Small chairs and sofa rather than modern day bulky ones. Look the traditional old style French ones with higher backs, and small arms.

yomellamoHelly Mon 23-Nov-15 10:59:50

I would - and then put a modern electric fire in the hole so it's cosy but doesn't take up any room. Assume the lintel etc is all still there.

MrsBalustradeLanyard Mon 23-Nov-15 11:01:05

I wouldn't bother. You lose a whole wall where a sofa etc could go. Real fires are quite a hassle, don't put out as much heat as you'd think either.

evrybuddy Mon 23-Nov-15 11:08:08

Not sure if the lintel is still there!

Everything has been done in a fairly lacklustre way by the previous owners so if it was a lot of trouble to remove the lintel they probably wouldn't have bothered.

The original 1930s surrounds are usually just tiles on a cement mould/backing and they usally just pull away/unscrew from the wall so I think they just cut a piece of plasterboard to cover the gap left by the surround.

We're worried putting a raised hearth on the floor would just create an obstruction/trip hazard in such a small space but don't know what else to do to blend with carpet in the rest of the room.

Have seen some people just cut straight across the opening but it can look really bodgy.

Hadn't thought about gas or electric fires - definitely worth a ponder - although it would be rarely used I think.

Just a grate for the annual burning of shredded bills!!!

evrybuddy Mon 23-Nov-15 11:11:32

Yes - worth noting the wall with the radiator in the photo has a bedroom on the other side and the other wall from fireplace to arch joins with the neighbour's living room so we'll probably have bookcases/storage unit there for some attempt at sound proofing

VulcanWoman Mon 23-Nov-15 12:06:11

This is my LED one.

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Tue 24-Nov-15 13:25:42

I wouldn't [and I love a proper fire] as you need the wall space. Rather than going to the expense of it all [plus for household insurance you will need to have it swept annually if it's a real one, I would look at upgrading/moving/replacing the radiator in the room instead
It's also possible to have a radiator which also has an electrical element so you can run it separately to the central heating. Handy if it's a chilly room for impromtu nice dinners.

If you have kids later you may end up using it as a play room and a fireplace particularly an electrical one is a hazard.

If it is just ply, it may be worth making sure that the chimney has been capped off and insulated?

WhoTheFuckIsSimon Tue 24-Nov-15 13:28:58

I wouldn't bother either.

evrybuddy Tue 24-Nov-15 17:40:18

Thanks all - valuable thoughts.

In retrospect I don't think we would go so far as to buy a £1000 wood burner and put it in - we just wouldn't get the vale from it as this room will only ever be a dining room/play room/ possible spare bedroom.

However we did think an open grate might be attractive but maybe it's not worth the faff.

The state of the plasterboard they covered the old fire opening with is poor - a bit bendy - and the skirting board bits at the bottom don't match - which made us think well, open it up, save the hassle of new plasterboard and skirtings and get a pleasant feature at the same time.

Not sure which would be cheaper (and easier) now - new plasterboard and skirting section (if we can find a good match) or just create an exposed grate... ummmh...

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Wed 25-Nov-15 15:43:43

Exposing it will cost you in terms of energy if its open to the sky don't forget.

Could you rip it out and remove the arch?

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Thu 26-Nov-15 09:43:02

Or is the hole in the wall large enough to put a cupboard into?

evrybuddy Thu 26-Nov-15 13:39:35

There's no arch on that wall. It's got patio doors leading into a conservatory.

Don't think the hole (do you mean the fireplace hole?) would be big enough for a meaningful cupboard - only something that looked like an entry portal to the Borrowers;-)

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Thu 26-Nov-15 15:24:14

Confused confused Did you buy it recently? Got a floorplan?

So Pic 1 that has the window in the centre, dangling light shade and a red dado stripe in the wall paper is the dining room?

But it doesn't connect to the room in the other pics which is sort of a sitting room at the rear of the house with a sunny section at the back through the arch, and a bedroom at the front perhaps?

Sorry, I am trying to visualise your floor layout. My answer still stands re the fireplace but I am just wondering if you will actually ever use it as a dining room and should plan accordingly?

And yes - the fireplace hole grin

evrybuddy Fri 27-Nov-15 12:59:53

Afraid no floorplan - been here too long to have not decorated by now - shamefully...

If you imagine both rooms laid out in front of you. Standing in the hall - the pink room (bedroom) is to the left and the red room (dining room) is to the right.

The dividing wall between the two is the wall with the radiator on it in the red room.

Each room has identical dimensions - 10 x 10 and each would have had a fireplace against the angled corner wall/chimney breast but all are blocked up.

The fireplace in red room pic 2 is/was electric and there is nothing behind it except wall/blocked up fireplace as in room in pic 1.

This room is a 'probably' dining room.

Where the arch is - the arch is now gone - as is the small curtained room beyond it - now has patio doors leading to a bigger living room / conservatory.

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