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  • Writer's pictureSarah Nantel


I’m so excited to share our fireplace update with you! If you don’t know the history, keep reading. It has been a year of repairing, debating and trial and error. I’m thrilled with how it all turned out in the end!

When we were building our home, I wanted a fireplace that was linear, modern and minimal. The fireplace in our previous home was made of black rock so I was craving the opposite; light and airy.

A bright and airy living room with a white fireplace and oak mantel.

The day before we took possession, our concrete board cracked right above the fireplace. Uh! I was so upset and of course we tried everything to save the look of it. We had someone come in and try and re-tape the cracks, mud over top and refinish but every time we tried, it would just crack again. We eventually gave up. At that point, we knew we needed to find something to cover the face of the fireplace and we decided to use a slab of stone. I didn’t want a seam, just continuous material covering the front and sides.

A modern far mouse living room with a brown leather chair next to a fireplace.

A modern fireplace with a white oak mantel and a round mirror.

Alba Granite was the family owned company we decided to work with. The owner, Bardhyl Radaj has been in his line of business for over 17 years and started Alba Granite in 2009. I love that they work with and offer a large variety of materials. Because of this, we were able to look at several different options for our fireplace and decided that porcelain was best. It has the highest heat rating - Quartz and Marble can’t be applied because they aren’t rated for that high of temperature and will crack and shatter!

Our porcelain is called Laminam Tinta Unita / Bianco Assoluto and I got it in a matte finish because I wanted it to look like drywall and match my paint colour perfectly! Now, because we have 12’ ceilings, I couldn’t have the porcelain go up the entire wall - I mean I technically could but that would be quite expensive – so, I had it stop roughly 4.5’ from the ground; we measured from the floor to the firebox which came to 17” and then measured 17” above the firebox to make it even. Symmetry is very important to me – ha-ha!

Some succulent plants sitting on top of a white oak mantel in a modern farmhouse living room.

A pothos plant sitting on top of a white oak fireplace mantel.

When it came to the mantel, I wanted it to be sleek and modern and wrap around both sides of the fireplace. It also needed to match my hardwood floors exactly because I’m particular like that – ha-ha! Jesse Boyetchko, the owner of Marvel Cabinetry & Renovations, came in and took a sample of my hardwood. With a series of white washing and wire brushing, he was able to match my white oak floors perfectly!

Marvel Cabinetry & Renovations is also a family owned and operated business and I love that they are focused on creating beautiful, innovative and functional spaces that promote community and connectedness. They have recently completed several projects with HGTV’s Property Brothers here in Calgary and I can totally understand why!

A modern farmhouse living room with midcentury modern design.

I absolutely loved the companies we worked with on our fireplace remodel. My experience with Alba Granite and Marvel Cabinetry & Renovations was nothing short of amazing. Both companies showed high quality workmanship and I couldn’t be happier with how everything turned out!

I’m curious to know what your dream fireplace would look like. Tell me in the comments below!

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1 Comment

Jun 17, 2020

Where is your living room rug from? Could you please link it?

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