Building a Thin Brick Fireplace with Kelly Hopton - Jones

February 18 2022

Join us as we learn about Kelly Hopton-Jones, owner of instagram account @hillside_farmhouse and how she built out a custom thin brick fireplace in her home.

Brick: Glacier Bay, whitewashed

Who Is Kelly Hopton-Jones?

"We are a husband and wife duo renovating our 1860 stone farmhouse in Bucks County, PA. I am a pediatric nurse practitioner with a love for design, and Brian is a hardscaper, plus my own personal handyman."

How Did You Get Into DIY?

"You learn very quick when you move into an old home that needs a lot of TLC! We knew we could not afford to pay someone to do all of the projects we wanted to do… so we started to figure it out on our own. My dad was always similar in thinking “if they can do it, I can do it too”, and he has helped teach us a lot of what we know now. Once you have the mentality of figuring it out, the possibilities are endless."

Framing out the fireplace

What Other DIY Projects Have You Done?

"The list is endless, we have slowly completed projects in most rooms of our home since we purchased the home in 2019. A few favorites include our old mill brick kitchen floor, uncovering original stone walls in our home, and our most recent bedroom renovation including this faux fireplace and a DIY upholstered platform bed frame!"

Could You Briefly Describe You Fireplace Project?

"Since we walked through this house for the first time, I pictured a fireplace on this wall of our bedroom between two of our big windows. We initially put together a DIY mantle, but we envisioned more of a statement. We wanted a classic brick fireplace look with an arched opening, so we designed the wood framework based on that." 

Brick: Glacier Bay

Why Did You Choose Brick For This Project?

"I chose brick because I wanted the faux fireplace to be a statement in itself, but appropriately compliment the homes original stone that Brian uncovered and repointed. We loved using Old Mill Brick for our kitchen floor, so the decision was easy. We went with the color Glacier Bay because I was hoping for a subtle white wash look."

How Long Did The Project Take?

"Start to finish, the project was completed in one week." 

What Was The Easiest Part of the Project?

"The whole project was relatively easy, but the upper half of the fireplace went a bit more quickly because we did not have any cuts."

What Was The Hardest Part of the Project?

"The hardest part of our project in particular was working around our baseboard heat, which made the design a bit more tricky. The arched opening was also a bit of a design challenge to figure out the best layout for the bricks."

Brick: Glacier Bay

Advice for Those Looking to Do a Project With Old Mill Brick Products?

"Unlike tile, the bricks have variation and character, use of long spacers and string lines ensures that the overall appearance is straight and level. There are two ways to mortar the bricks: sanded ground using a sponge trowel to wipe over the whole surface OR pipping in using a mortar bag. If you are looking to keep the original white wash and/or color of the bricks, I would recommend pipping in the mortar." 

Brick: Glacier Bay, lightly whitewashed

Looking For More?

You can follow more of Kelly's projects either on her instagram or her amazing blog!

If you want more information about Glacier Bay, the brick Kelly used on her fireplace, please reach out to our customer service team or visit the our website.

For more Old Mill Brick projects check out our Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest accounts. Everyone's posting about thin brick. Don't miss out on the trend!

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