Before and After: A $700 Fireplace Project Gives This Blank Living Room Wall Tons More Character

published Nov 6, 2021
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Before: Living room wall facing front of house, with console table and artwork above
Credit: Erika Ver

Having a separated entryway or mudroom area is nice, but in many homes, the front door opens straight into the living area. That was the way Erika Ver’s (@peonyandhoney) home is set up, and for a long time, the first view anyone got when coming in was a blank wall.

Credit: Erika Ver

“I put a console table there and put my TV above it, but it just never had that “wow” factor,” Erika says. “It’s the first thing you see when you walk into our home, so I wanted this wall to have an impact!”

After some thought, Erika decided a fireplace was just the thing for this 9-foot-long wall in her 1950s home. “I had seen so many Pinterest pins of people building their own faux fireplaces, and I knew we’d be able to achieve a similar concept,” she says.

Credit: Erika Ver

With the help of her dad, Dave Wasilewski, Erika was able to finish the fireplace project in about three days. The pair started by building a frame for the fireplace before installing a new electric model.

To cover the frame, Erika chose a slatted wood design that used already cut-to-size furring strips from the hardware store. She stained the wood in a golden oak finish, then cut them to size before she and her dad nailed them up.

Credit: Erika Ver

The slatted wood — which has a mid-century vibe — helps hide cords, both from the new fireplace and from the TV mounted above. Installing sconces on either side of the TV makes the whole wall look truly built in, like it came with the home.

The new view from the front door is not only stunning, but also practical — and all for $700.

“I think my favorite part about the slat wall isn’t just that it looks beautiful in our space but it’s also a labor of love that my dad and I got to work on together,” Erika says. “Sometimes we get caught up in the aesthetics of our projects around the home, but I try to take a step back and think about how these projects make me feel when we finish them. We definitely added value and a massive cozy factor to our home!”