Faux fireplace? So what images do you conjure up with a title like that? How can a fireplace be faux anyway? Faked out fire? Answer…creativity! Once in a while I purchase a home which needs a strong architectural element either inside or out. If the home lacks such an element, what do you do…if you’re me, you build it. Building a faux fireplace really is a simple DIY project if you follow what I did. First off a real fireplace has to be built to code and should accompany a permit before you start. They require proper venting and event some kind of chimney. I built my first faux fireplace in a mobile home because the corner of the living room was screaming for a warm and cozy focal point.
I was on a very limited budget but actually had a few materials on the site calling out to me every time I passed them. The actual fireplace element, which was a flat panel wall heater with fire element and a glass screen, but was not nearly as important as the overall focal element I needed built. The wow factor was created by all the surrounding components, the mantle, the hearth and the surrounding surface areas.
I started with 4’x8’ sheet of ¾’ plywood and cut out a hole for the heater insert. I cut out a vent on the outer exterior wall for extra ventilation. I also made sure I picked a spot which had electrical power and I had my electrician run a cable line for a wall mounted TV. I mounted the 4’x8’ sheet to the corner and then mounted my mantle which was made out of an extra piece of crown molding we had laying around.
Then I was able to use the best element in the whole project, a product from Lowes called Air Stone. This stuff was terrific. It looked like heavy outdoor concrete ledge stone, only made of light material for indoor use and easy cutting. I surrounded the opening from floor to mantel with the Air Stone creating a natural texture which cast plenty of shadows in the evening light. The final design element I used was inspired by the decorative weathered lap siding used on the exterior of the house.
Seen here, I also used the siding on other focal walls throughout the property to carry the theme. Once completed, I put down a couple extra tiles left over from the entry and I had a perfect focal point in the room to house a flat panel TV and a few candles… I like comments, let me know your thoughts or questions.
This post is written by (me) Don Gilmartin in order to inspire the DIY, design & flipping community. As CEO and founder of Fliptechs I have over 20 years of design, construction, and real estate, experience to share.