One Room Challenge: Week 4 | DIY Fireplace Progress!

It’s week 4, and things. are. happening!!! We’re halfway through the One Room Challenge, halfway through fireplace construction, and I’m soooo excited!

If you’re new here, we’re doing a living-room refresh, and the main part of our design is building a modern fireplace bump-out for our electric fireplace insert. Feel free to check out week 1, week 2, and week 3, for our design plans and what we’ve accomplished so far.

The simple, modern fireplace look from our mood board is essentially what we’re going for with this project. We ultimately decided on the step-out style, where the lower front piece is out further than the top, creating a mantle ledge. We spent a few months trying to decide on a design style and dimensions, and have many iterations of fireplaces drawn on scrap pieces of paper, scattered around our house! Once this project is complete and we do the big ORC reveal, I’ll likely write a full DIY tutorial on how we tackled this project, but for now I’ll share our progress so far, and talk a little bit about what we still need to accomplish!




All the math and all the measuring!

When we decided to go with this design, we studied this DIY Fireplace Tutorial from I Spy DIY, and took some construction ideas and design inspiration from the wonderful Jenni! We ended up needing to make some changes to the dimensions and construction based on our own room measurements and hight preferences, which required doing a lot of math on our (Brian’s) part to figure out our supplies and cuts lists. We ended up labelling all the different cuts of wood so we knew which part of the frame they belonged to, which was really helpful! The drawing above became our legend, and really helped keep us organized!

The process so far!

So essentially we built three separate frames in our garage, and then brought them upstairs to assemble them. Because they each had to fit together, we needed to make sure all the measurements were exact, and that each piece was level. We used a really helpful corner clamp that allowed us to clamp the pieces together and make sure the corners were exact before we drilled them together. We used the level every single time we added to the frame, so that we didn’t have to back-track later if something was wonky!

Once the first lower frame was drilled into the floor, we added the second, identical piece that would become the step out, and hold the frame for the fireplace insert. We then added the top piece and drilled it into the first bottom frame, and then into the studs in the ceiling bulkhead.

Once the frame was built, we cut the drywall pieces and screwed them into the frame. To make all of the pieces flush, we used my new favourite tool (a rasp!) to shave down the edges of the drywall. We then used drywall tape and putty to cover all of the seams. We’re still working on covering the corner bead with putty, and then everything needs to be sanded down flush, and then painted!

Cord Control!

One of the most exciting things about this project is that all of our TV, cable, and console cords are going to be hidden! The thing that bothered me the most about our previous TV setup, was that you could see all of the cords and boxes, and it just looked so cluttered. So knowing that we would be mounting our TV onto the fireplace, we added a shelf into the top part of the frame that will be directly behind our Frame TV, and made it big enough to hold our TV and cable boxes. After these photos were taken, we also ended up adding an outlet in the space where the shelf was, so that the TV cord would plug in directly behind the TV, and not have to run through the studs.

We also added an extra outlet to the side of the fireplace, since we were covering up the only one on this wall. Directly below the outlet, we added this HDMI plate to connect to the TV via HDMI cords, so that when we want to use our videogame systems, we can just plug them in to the wall and not have to access the back of the television! SO exciting! And when we’re not using the consoles, they’ll be stored in our lovely ivar cabinets that I shared last week. Yay for clutter solutions!!

Up next!

We haven’t checked much more off of the to-do list, but once we’re done mudding and painting, I’ll have time for the other ORC projects we still have left to do! Next week I’ll be sharing our upcycled mid-century modern chairs! Follow along on instagram for story updates, and don’t forget to check out the Featured Designers and other Guest Participants!





  • Jenna Pilant of Room Bloom Design
    June 1, 2020 at 2:16 am

    It’s been so fun following along on this space !

    • Julie
      June 8, 2020 at 2:06 pm

      Awe, thanks so much!

  • Tim
    May 28, 2020 at 11:44 pm

    great job on the fireplace and so smart about the built-in power on the side and how it transforms your TV media centre into a lovely fireplace with a TV!

    • Julie
      June 8, 2020 at 2:07 pm

      Thanks Tim! I’m just so happy to reduce all the clutter! 🙂

  • Erin
    May 28, 2020 at 11:56 am

    This is amazing! So cool to see a whole fireplace on a wall where there was nothing!


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