In case you aren't aware of this, Rob is a tech geek. He was worried about the excess heat escaping from the fireplace and overheating the TV. It was also very important that the television be mounted at the correct height for viewing. Since most fireplaces are taller than longer, or are square, the TV ends up being mounted over 4 feet high which leads to watching it with crooked necks or having to mount it on a funny swivel to get the angle just right.
Last fall, we went through the Park City and Cache Valley Parade of Homes together (and I went through the Salt Lake Parade of Homes with Emily and Alaina). We saw a lot of televisions mounted above fireplaces and took note of what we liked and what we didn't like about them. I also browsed online a lot for inspiration images.
We realized that if we installed a more contemporary fireplace we could get one that is a lower and longer rectangle than the standard fireboxes that are generally used which would allow us to mount the television lower than most of the ones we had seen in the parade homes.
We showed this image to Visionary and told them this is the style and overall look we were shooting for. Val found a couple of options from Napolean Quality Fireplaces and we decided that the LHD45 was just right. I should remember to ask Val when I get to select the glass or stones we want to use in the bottom. I'm waffling between those two options. I like the glass because it speaks to the contemporary design of the fireplace, but I like the stone because it speaks to the location of our house and adds to the mix of comfy contemporary with just a touch of rustic traditional. Do you have an opinion? Vote in the comments.
Once we had that decision made, I got to work designing the surround. I used Visio, Olioboard, Publisher and good old graph paper until we came up with the dimensions that worked.
I thought he was probably right but was having a hard time getting the visual imagery correct so I built a scale model of the first design and then of the modified design.
We both agreed the second version was much better and sent off the dimensions and details to Visionary, so they could build it the wall around it and get it installed correctly, to Carpets of America, so they could help me figure out how much tile to purchase, and tile the surround, and to Rivermill Cabinets, so they could mill the surround and mantel. I actually created a pdf with dimensions, inspiration images and comments. Now we are waiting to see if all the parts come together appropriately.
I've been nervously watching each step wondering if the design was going to actually come out okay. There isn't a lot of extra fudge room since the whole thing was built specifically to my design.
Here the fireplace is installed and it fits perfectly. Good job Framers and Installers!
We think that the support boards and outlets for the television might be higher than we wanted them. Another instance of, "well, we didn't tell them EXACTLY where we wanted themso they went with the standard height". Rob thinks this shouldn't be a problem because he will be the one mounting the TV anyway and points out that once the TV is on the wall no one will notice that the outlets are actually above it.
This is what it looks like today. I think next time we go up to the house I'll measure it and lightly pencil in the markings for the tile and the wood surround, just to ease my mind that it will all fit together. Then it's just a matter of waiting to see it finished.