I’m still here…keeping the Home Fires Burning

14 Dec

It’s been a while, I’m sorry. But I’m sure you understand. We’re trying to crack on with some work in our own little home before Christmas, and I thought you might like to see what we’ve done ready for Santa’s arrival.

A new fireplace! Well, it’s going to be our first Christmas here, so we felt he deserved to arrive in style.

Remember this monstrosity back in January 2013…the flat wasn’t even ours at this point.


Then we were gifted this gorgeous cast iron fireplace.


Sadly, the measurements didn’t quite work with our house and the chimney breast. But then, as if it was meant to be, we came across another one in an antique shop and Big Man got to work. He removed the old one, measured up …


Then the chimney was swept…


And now it’s ready!


Come on Santa, we’re ready for you.


53 Responses to “I’m still here…keeping the Home Fires Burning”

  1. cathyandchucky December 14, 2013 at 11:34 #

    Gorgeous! Merry Christmas to you both 🙂

  2. Danny & Sue December 14, 2013 at 11:37 #

    We think it is wonderfull, Danny says can he be Santa, lol. xxxx

    • Chica Andaluza December 14, 2013 at 13:40 #

      He’s welcome to pop down our chimney any time!

  3. gardenfreshtomatoes December 14, 2013 at 11:58 #

    Lovely! Just hang your stockings, and head for bed!

  4. Melissa's Menu December 14, 2013 at 12:27 #

    It is absolutely gorgeous! All ready for the stockings to be hung with care. Merry Christmas!

  5. Mad Dog December 14, 2013 at 13:05 #

    I think your new one is the nicest 😉
    I couldn’t help thinking that the previous inhabitants had painted their fireplace and surround in Father Christmas colours!

    • Chica Andaluza December 14, 2013 at 15:02 #

      I’m convinced it was meant to be “living” in our house! I think the previous inhabitants were colour blond as we had purple, turquoise, orange and chocolate brown walls…eek 😦

      • Mad Dog December 14, 2013 at 15:57 #

        It sounds like Van Gogh was testing his palette 😉

      • Chica Andaluza December 14, 2013 at 18:48 #

        It was definitely in his mad phase!

  6. Tandy | Lavender and Lime December 14, 2013 at 14:08 #

    I hope he finds you!

  7. anyone4curryandotherthings December 14, 2013 at 15:02 #

    It looks lovely – and somebody has done an excellent polishing job!!!! Could you send this ‘miracle worker’ over to my house?? Have a wonderful Christmas and may the warmth in the new fireplace warm all your hearts, too. Carina 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza December 14, 2013 at 15:03 #

      Ah, what lovely good wishes! The polishing was a labour of love but worth it 🙂 All good wishes to you too!

  8. restlessjo December 14, 2013 at 15:19 #

    It’ll look great with a stocking or two hung 🙂 Have a lovely time!

    • Chica Andaluza December 14, 2013 at 18:48 #

      The stockings are waiting to be put out on Christmas Eve!

  9. Karen December 14, 2013 at 15:21 #

    The fireplace is stunning…you two have done such a lovely job with the house.

    • Chica Andaluza December 14, 2013 at 18:48 #

      Thank you Karen – we’re getting there slowly!

  10. cecilia December 14, 2013 at 17:40 #

    Oh my goodness tanya, that is just beautiful, so ornate and yet so cosy.. Have you go some wood in? And a rocking chair? Wow.. c

    • Chica Andaluza December 14, 2013 at 18:47 #

      I have the wood but no rocking chair…will have to ask Santa!

      • cecilia December 14, 2013 at 18:48 #

        Tell me about that santa, i want a moving chicken coop for the layers, when you find him give me his number!! c

      • Chica Andaluza December 14, 2013 at 18:49 #

        I’m on the case…hope you’re feeling a bit better (and keeping warm!)

  11. themateriallady December 14, 2013 at 19:13 #

    Beautiful fireplace Tanya! We don’t have a ‘real’ fire any more so I can’t send Santa my wish list up the chimney like I did as a child (but I let the Management know if there is anything I really think Santa needs to be appraised of…)

    • Chica Andaluza December 14, 2013 at 20:05 #

      I find that dropping heavy hints and leaving a list lying around often helps 😉

  12. narf77 December 14, 2013 at 19:14 #

    I am PURPLE with jealousy over that gorgeousness!!! Where do you guys come up with these wonderful things?!!! It’s at times like this that I feel decidedly twitchy about having to live in a country with only 200 years of colonised heritage where “stuff” abounds…but then I remember how I can go to the beach tomorrow…I can sit out on the deck with a glass of red and my feet up and the sunshine wafting its gorgeousness over me and you know what? I can pinch that lovely picture of your gorgeous new FANTASTIC fireplace and put it on my desktop. It might not be much, but it goes part of the way towards salving that jealousy ;). Have a great Christmas. You guys are the BOMB at renovating. If I was a rich bollocks living in the U.K. I would have the Andaluza crew doing my reno’s de rigeur :). By the way…remember not to light the fire on Christmas Eve…Santa might be a miracle man but I am not entirely sure he has fireproof pants…the more I look at them, the more they look like that parachute silk polyester stuff you get and have you SEEN how that stuff goes up when it lights?!!! A bare bummed Santa howling to the moon might be the stuff that Boxing Day editors dream of but might not be in your best interests come next Christmas and you are on Santas black list 😉

    • Chica Andaluza December 14, 2013 at 20:02 #

      Am howling with laughter at the image of a bare bummed Santa calling for an ambulance on Christmas Eve. If you were here or we were there we’d happily work on the renovation crew. The only provisos would be that we use as much recycled stuff as poss (no prob there methinks as we share the same mindset about that), and that we laughed, ate and drank together! Bexhill is a scrimpers heaven as there is a large ageing population and loads of charity, junk and antique shops (full of stuff from their house clearances when they depart this world). Apart from the white goods, the beds, the kitchen and bathroom (and even then the taps were second hand!) everything is second hand and we’re proud of it!

      • narf77 December 14, 2013 at 20:17 #

        I love that you guys use recycled, reloved stuff with stories attached. Forget about the savings for a moment, the fact that you stopped some of this gorgeousness from going to landfill is reason alone to not be (too) envious of you…gotta say though, I would KILL for that fireplace! 😉

      • Chica Andaluza December 14, 2013 at 20:51 #

        Well…maybe I was the assassin of Bexhill in order to get hold of it….(evil laugh). No…I paid honest cash for it but it was indeed a bargain!

  13. Gather and Graze December 14, 2013 at 22:18 #

    Such a beautiful fireplace Chica – you must be looking forward to many an evening relaxing and warming yourselves in front of it!

    • Chica Andaluza December 15, 2013 at 09:11 #

      It was the perfect time of year to get it completed!

  14. Marianne December 15, 2013 at 00:02 #

    Perfect for the real Big Man to come down on Christmas Eve! 🙂

  15. Eha December 15, 2013 at 02:26 #

    That is one elegant and stylish fireplace! You must be so pleased and it did get ready just in time for an open fire and some mulled wine in front of it! Hmm – just a wee worry: I do hope Santa has been on a healthy diet thru’ the year and lost some, hmm, girth 🙂 ? Do hope it will be a happy Yule for you and that weather will allow you to put your nose outside also to look for Rudolph!!!

    • Chica Andaluza December 15, 2013 at 09:12 #

      Thank you Eha – we both loved it when we saw it and it was an almost perfect fit for the spot we had. Luckily Santa is magical and can fit through tight spaces 😉

  16. TheDorsetFinca December 16, 2013 at 09:54 #

    Wowsers! What a terrific fireplace – certainly a stylish Christmas is ahead!

  17. ChgoJohn December 16, 2013 at 10:08 #

    Beautifully done, Tanya. That fireplace is gorgeous! You’ve done a great job with the floor, too. I can almost see the flames reflected on it late Christmas night. How nice will that be.

    • Chica Andaluza December 16, 2013 at 11:54 #

      I can’t wait – and Big Man has been in Spain for 10 days so hasn’t seen it working yet. He gets back tomorrow so will see the flat decorated and ready for Christmas and the fire burning 🙂

  18. spicegirlfla December 16, 2013 at 16:39 #

    Oh my goodness….just gorgeous Tanya!! Santa may want t stay at sit by that fireplace for awhile as I know I would!!! Happy Holidays!!!

  19. kathryningrid December 17, 2013 at 05:12 #

    It’s a *dream*! Gorgeous. Hurray!

  20. TBM December 17, 2013 at 12:33 #

    Did Bert sweep it? is that the guy’s name from Mary Poppins. Big Man is quite handy, isn’t he. Looks great. Don’t forget to put your stockings out! Happy holidays to you and your family.

    • Chica Andaluza December 17, 2013 at 18:32 #

      No, it was Adam, but he did have a young lad with him who I half hoped he’d send up the chimney!

  21. bitsandbreadcrumbs December 17, 2013 at 16:45 #

    That is really one of the most stunning fireplaces and mantles that I have seen, Chica. And I’m so happy that you have your fireplace in time for Santa’s arrival…very important. 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza December 17, 2013 at 18:42 #

      Ah, thanks! We’re sitting in front of the fire right now 🙂

  22. 76sanfermo December 17, 2013 at 21:58 #

    Great work and stunning result! It’s just beautiful.

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