AROUND THE HOUSE // Harvesting the 1914 Simons Brick

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Seventeen years ago we undertook a major remodeling project in our home. We redid the entire back half of the first floor which included the kitchen, two bathrooms, the family room, my office and the back porch and patio area. We extended the family room out the back and added a covered porch and brick patio.

We planned out our vision, hired an architect and found a wonderful contractor. Things started out wonderfully and were moving along at a great pace. And then we got “the call”. The “call”?


What’s that? You know how on “Fixer Upper” when Joanna walks into the house and Chip says “Jojo we have a problem.” And then the two of them kind of decide who has to make the call to the homeowner asking for more money?

That was the kind of call we got.

Back in 1915 when they built our house they built a three-story brick chimney through the center of the house. This brick chimney was right in the center of the opening between our new kitchen to our new family room. It no longer had a purpose. We knew it had to come out.


where the brick chimney used to be

But the crazy part? My husband quickly realized the bricks were original Simons bricks and if it was possible, they were worth saving.


It’s hard to imagine that the contractor suggested we tear out the brick and haul away the destroyed bricks. So a slight delay and a new line item to the budget led to us having enough 100-year-old brick to build our entire patio and fireplace.


It was well worth it.

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  1. Patio and fireplace look fantastic. I love all the original finishes in your house and it’s great you were able to repurpose the bricks into something that is functional and beautiful!

    1. Thank you so much, Kristin! It was important to me to salvage them! It was a curveball but worth it in the end!

  2. Love this. We too live in a 100+ old house. …and we remodeled the entire first floor. And most of the 2nd floor. We didn’t tear out our fireplace…but now maybe we should have…this looks amazing. We have kept it and we are looking at putting in a wood burning stove and piping up the flew. Wish us luck.

    1. We had to tear the brick chimney because it was right in the middle of our new room. Plus it wasn’t even a fireplace. It was some kind of vent for an old boiler or something. Totally useless!

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