The Fireplace – Week 4 – ORC


Fireplace filled with books


I can’t believe it’s week 4 already of the One Room Challenge, I still have so much to do! Though I did get some things accomplished last weekend. I was most excited for filling the fireplace with books, and I do love how it turned out!

But before getting to that, I had to clean the nasty fireplace. I swept and removed a ton of ashes from inside and the vacuumed the rest. The bricks above the opening were so black we needed to clean that as well. There are several ways to clean them, but I went with dish soap and baking soda. Mix a half cup of baking soda with 2-3 tablespoons of dish soap to create a paste, not too thick.


how to clean fireplace bricks

Use a scrub brush to apply the mix in a circular motion. Let it sit on the bricks for 10 minutes and then rinse with a spray bottle filled with water. Repeat if necessary. We really should’ve done it a second time but we stopped after the first application.

how to clean fireplace bricks

Once we cleaned up the bricks, it was time to fill with books. It took what seemed like a ton of books to fill this fireplace. I cleaned out every extra book in my house, and so did my mother. (Thanks, mom!) ย I also made five trips to my local antique store where they sell books for about .50 cents each. The day we painted the woodwork was when I began filling the fireplace with the books and was so disappointed when I didn’t have enough. It took two more visits to the house to get that baby filled! But it looks amazing!


Fireplace with books


I have received all the items that I ordered as shown on my design board for the room. I am hoping to get back over there this weekend. I need to arrange a better furniture layout using only what is already in the house, and add some decorative accessories. I’m hoping I might even finish the room.

If you missed the previous weeks you can catch up here:

Week 1 – The Before Photos

Week 2 – The Design Plan

Week 3 – Painting Original Woodwork

Week 4 – The Fireplace

Week 5 – Sneak Peek

Week 6 – The Reveal!




  1. This is darling! It keeps the feel of the fireplace cozy even without a fire! Absolutely love it!!!!

  2. Wow, what a change this room is going through just by using white paint. Your daughter’s landlord will be thanking you, I’m sure! Good luck with week 5, Roxanne!

  3. Wow, this is stunning and so much brighter! Bravo on all your hard work! I love your design plan and where you’re going, especially with the creative idea of books in the fireplace! I can’t wait to see this space on reveal day! Let’s do this! Sarah

  4. It’s looking great Roxanne! I love the books in the fireplace!

  5. The fireplace looks great. Now you’ve got me thinking that I ought to clean the top of mine as well. And the books look incredibly cool in there. Can’t believe it took that many to fill it. Good luck on your challenge.

  6. You are really turning that room around!! Love the fireplace revamp. I can’t wait to see what else you do with it!!

  7. That’s a lot of work, but it looks great! The books really amp up the space! Just beautiful!

  8. That is a lot of books Roxanne! Looks amazing though ๐Ÿ™‚ Good work on cleaning it out. Ps – wish I had a place to buy old 50 cent books!

    1. Thanks, Lindi. I am so lucky to have one of the best antique stores in my state right down the street from my house!!

  9. Those books make your fireplace a very unique one. What a clever idea!

  10. The books look so great! I bet your daughter and her friends are getting excited about the room–can’t wait to see how it turns out!

  11. Seriously… I can’t even breathe looking at this amazing space. The planked looking storage around your fireplace is so gorgeous in white! Please move this entire space in my home… please! Featured you this weekend on Party Junk! ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Love the books! Such a cute idea I have never seen that before.

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