When Henrik June Home blogger Steph Lidin and her husband moved into their Delta, British Columbia, home, their daughter, June, was 15 months old, so babyproofing the space wasn’t a concern. Plus June never really seemed to push the boundaries of safety. But it’s a different story now with their almost-1-year-old, Alder. “She is everywhere,” says Lidin. After noticing that her little one was learning to crawl fast, Lidin knew she needed to block off her home’s main gas fireplace stat. “I want her to be able to explore the house, but keep the dangerous stuff out of reach,” she adds. 

The danger zone in question is located just off the dining room in a space where Lidin and her husband often hang out when they’re having a drink or hosting friends, so she naturally wanted the room to have a more grown-up look. In other words, she wanted a gate that was chic—a task that proved tough when she started scouring the web and Pinterest for ideas. Then, while going through her parents’ garage (Lidin’s family conveniently lives seven houses down from theirs), she spotted the IKEA Sniglar crib they had temporarily used for June a few years back when their house was undergoing renovations. “I thought, okay, this might work,” she recalls, noting how the simple wood spindles had the Scandinavian vibe she was going for. Rather than let the piece gather dust in the garage or wait until a friend happened to need a spare crib, Lidin carried the furniture back to her place and got to work.  

The Deconstruction

After sawing off the legs using a miter saw (you could even use a hacksaw, though it would take a bit longer), Lidin chopped the shorter crib ends off. These parts act as the framing for the sides of her fireplace surround. While cutting, she made sure to keep one connection point to the longer ends so she could seamlessly attach the corners later on.  

The two longer crib walls serve as the fireplace front. She cut each one to fit her space (in her case, Lidin only needed to cut one, but if you want the seam to be in the middle, you will have to cut both crib walls symmetrically).

The Assembly

Lidin brought all her pieces to her fireplace and assembled the crib sides by attaching them to the front pieces, as the crib would normally assemble. She drilled two small pilot holes and then connected the seam in the front of her gate with a small mending plate she picked up at a hardware store and two small wood screws. 

Safe and Sound

Acting in accordance and following the guidelines outlined for her particular fireplace insert, Lidin secured the gate to her fireplace surround. While you can drill a pilot hole and sink a wood screw on the side crib walls to secure the gate to the trim, she took four heavy-duty 3M Velcro strips and attached the barrier to the millwork (even adults can tug on it and it won’t budge). Now Alder pretty much knows this spot is off-limits, which has saved Mom and Dad—who are always close by supervising—a lot of stress.

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