Sunday, July 15, 2007

How to make a brick hearth invisible

Check the Meehan photoblog for new photos and a new video

For the most part, our house is childproof. In fact, much of the childproofing was done by the previous owners. They left cabinet and drawer locks, atop the stairs there's a built in baby gate and plexiglass over railings, and just about every outlet was covered (even those above the kitchen counter, just in case your child likes to climb).

But even with all that, we had some work to do this weekend.

These days, Dan heads for the sharpest, hardest object or most dangerous situation in whatever room he's in. The brick hearth has been of particular concern. So Jim and I designed and built a padded bench-like cover (see photos below). Jim built a frame Saturday ($22 worth of wood). On Sunday, we went in search of decorator fabric and padding to complete the project. At the fabric store, we found fabric ($12) but struck out on the padding. The store charged $19.99 a yard (no kidding) for 2" foam padding. Their excuse? It's based on the price of petroleum. (Uh, okay, whatever helps you sleep at night.) A trip to Wal-Mart's fabric department yielded similar results. We trudged to Michael's and, again, struck out. Then, an idea hits. Why not use those lounge chair-sized cushions? Bingo, it's back to Wal-Mart and for $25, we have our padding. We stapled and glued the cushion to the top and some packing foam to the sides, stretched, folded and stapled the fabric around the frame and voila ... a hearth that is invisible to "Dangerboy" Meehan (the baby, not Jim).

As soon as it was installed, Dan headed straight for the staircase, with it's nice, sharp wooden corner. Eventually, he warmed up to the new addition to the living room, though.

1 comment:

CAL and SCL said...

I like it! It looks good.