1987 Fixer Upper Update : Family Room Design Ideas with a Fireplace

It’s week 3 of our Fixer Upper construction and I have to say (knock on wood) that things are actually moving along really well.  I don’t want to jinx myself though! 😉 This week was full of plumbing, more framing, low voltage electrical and cable, and masonry work.  The family room/kitchen area is such a critical part of any home design in my opinion.  That is where the memories are made.  The food, the family game nights, the parties…you name it, it usually happens in this space.  I talked a little bit about opening up the kitchen and family room back in the kitchen update post.  The previous owners had put up a wall in between the two and it was one of the first things on my list to go.  Open it up people! 😉  Most of the rooms in this house are a long, skinny rectangle, and the house is quite long.   Now that these rooms have been opened up, the kitchen/nook/family room has become one giant space that is 47 feet long.  Whoa!

When I walked through the house for the first time, the placement of furniture in the room was very awkward, and what was even more awkward and took my eye right to it, was the fireplace.  I knew that would be a major design change.  It was offset and that was driving my symmetry loving self a bit crazy. 😉  Here are a few before pictures of the room…

family room design with fireplace

family room design ideas with a fireplace

family room design ideas with a fireplace

family room design ideas with a fireplace

family room design ideas makeover

And here’s what it’s looking like now, minus the furniture, track lighting, carpet and bookcases on week 3…

family room design makeover

family room makeover

We have an amazing 83 year old mason.  Yes…you heard that right.  83 years old!  He is amazing and well known throughout the Salt Lake City area.  Thank heavens for his experience, because  one of the “surprises” we encountered with this room was being told (after we started construction) that the fireplace was old enough and specialized enough, that we could not remove it.  We tracked down the company that originally installed the fireplace 30 years ago and they broke the news.  WHAT?!  That was making me a bit sad because it just looked SO dated.  The cover on the fireplace wasn’t something that I could really fix either.  I thought I was just going to have to make do.  The fireplace installers gave me once sliver of hope.  They recommended that we chat with this amazing mason in town who had years of experience, and if he said it could be done, then it could be done.  Well, awesome 83 year old mason to the rescue!  He came and took a look at it and had fortunately dealt with this issue before and said it was an easy fix.  So, this week…it came out!

family room design with a fireplace

family room design with a fireplace

family room design with a fireplace

family room design with a fireplace

family room design with a fireplace

The pink represents where the new, centered fireplace box will go.  Here in CA we are accustomed to wood burning fireplaces and we love ours.  The air quality is poor enough in Utah during the cold months however, that gas fireplaces are the most common there.  We will miss our crackling wood burning fireplace, but at least we will have one that is centered on the wall! 😉

One design hiccup is the hearth.  Apparently there is quite a bit of structural support in a concrete box under that hearth, so it will have to stay.  The fireplace was a bit long on that wall, and I was originally going to shorten it up a bit, but we will have to work with it and see what we can do.  Here is a very grainy inspiration image from Pinterest that is the overall look I am going for in the family room.

fireplace design

A rough design plan…the before and after that I sketched out in the hotel room the night after my first walk through…

Family room and kitchen

I love having that wall gone and the space nice and open.  Where #5 is on the new design, that is where we are moving and replacing an old steel door to the backyard with a bigger, single french door that will be a nice big new window further down on the wall.

It will be a warm, open, welcoming place to entertain and spend time as a family.  I can’t wait to see it all finished! 🙂

I can’t wait to share what’s happening next!

Have a great day!


Creative Director at Pink Peppermint Design
Tammy Mitchell is the founder and creative director of lifestyle blog pinkpeppermintdesign.com. Along with being a homeschooling mom of two kiddos, she is also an in-demand prop and event stylist, photographer, interior and graphic designer. On Pink Peppermint Design, she shares creative DIY projects, easy entertaining and gift ideas, inspiring interiors and events. She lives in Southern California, with her husband and two children.

Fireplace 4

2 thoughts on “1987 Fixer Upper Update : Family Room Design Ideas with a Fireplace”

  1. Not sure you got my email. I need your promo teaser pic asap. Thanks tons, the house is looking amazing. Love the changes.


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