Small Victorian Bedroom With An Open Fireplace

by Jai Williams
(London, UK)

Original Edwardian fireplace from eBay

Original Edwardian fireplace from eBay

The smaller bedroom in my Victorian flat was simple and relatively easy to remodel ... apart from that little wallpaper glitch and, well, the built-in cupboards.

I removed all the old wallpaper and the bit of hard board across the open fireplace. Once the walls were made good, I tried my hand at lining the walls with a heavy paper, and then painted them in a light 'mushroom' colour. The papering worked but the joins aren’t great, and if I could, I’d re-paper. But that's the beauty of DIY - it’s all experience.

I had seen my friends' place, and they had a tradesman in to build huge cupboards from 18mm MDF sheet wood. "I can do that", I thought.

So I measured either side of the chimneystack, got my ruler and calculator out, and started making some working drawings. I figured with a couple of sheets of 8’x4’ x 18mm MDF sheets and a well-thought-out template I could get the parts cut at a DIY store that offers a wood cutting service.

You have to be millimetre accurate with this, and make sure you check every cut before you leave the store.

Once home, a quick assembly using PVA wood glue and a newly purchased nail gun, firing long pins into the joins. The doors are simply drilled with a special hole cutter, so the kitchen-style hinges can be inserted and assembled.

I measured the holes on a factory-made kitchen door to get the exact placement.

The cutter can be purchased from any large DIY store, along with the cupboard feet and handles.

A quick sanding of the door edges to round off slightly, and you have fantastic fitted units for under £150.

Building a drawer in one of the units - on ball runners - was a bit tricky as it was my first attempt, but it worked and looks great.

The fireplace was an eBay purchase. You have to make sure your measurements are correct, and don’t be frightened to ask the seller questions.

Mine is an original all-in-one Edwardian iron fire surround, mantle and inset. I loved the design of it, but bidding was tough.

Installing is easy. Simply bolt to the wall using the brackets that are normally moulded into the iron frame. A touch of plaster to smooth the edges and it’s in.

Once it’s tested & certified by a chimney sweep, it can be used as an open fire. Naturally, safety with open fires in bedrooms has to be of the highest importance and if children were in the property, I doubt I would actually use it. But with a glass of red and the girlfriend, it’s so romantic!

The furnishings I let a woman choose, as I didn’t want a 'bachelor pad' look for this bedroom. She chose green-and-grey leaf pattern curtains and matching cushions.

With a carpet fitted for warmth and noise reduction (with a quality wool underlay) the room feels very cosy.

So, here's the complete Before & After:



Renate's comment:
I love that little fireplace & wonder whether we could do something similar in our bedroom as well! And your built-in cupboards are awesome. The room looks like an oasis of calm!

Comments for Small Victorian Bedroom With An Open Fireplace

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by: Anonymous

The fireplace adds a touch of elegance to this room and the room itself looks so tranquil and perfect for sweet dreams!

by: Tonie

Wow, this fireplace is worth bidding for! I don't think I'm going to get a proper chimney in the near future, but will definitely consider building an imitation fireplace, to put candles in it - so very romantic!

by: Anonymous

Incredibly serene look, with that subdued wall color & the white fireplace surround & cupboards. Whoever chose the curtains, she did a great job too.

I'll have that one!
by: Diane

Love that little fireplace. It can give an ordinary room so much character. Great find!

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