March 30, 2010

DIY Fireplace Mantle

At the start of this year, I set some "New DIYear" resolutions for myself outlining the big home projects I wanted to accomplish this year.  Well as New Year's resolutions often go, I've had a slow start with most of these resolutions.  But, I am VERY happy to announce the major progress we've made with one of the resolutions...a new fireplace mantle!

To remind everyone, our house had a very basic builder's grade mantle when we moved in:

builders_fireplace_mantle

Not only was this mantle not very attractive, but it wasn't very practical either.  The mantle shelf was only about 2 inches deep so nothing could be placed on it.  We also needed a deeper mantle to protect our obnoxiously large TV from getting too hot when the fire was on and to hide its various electronic wires.  However, we weren't looking to spend a lot of money on the mantle since we know this isn't our "forever" home.  Luckily, I have a very handy Dad that built us a new fireplace mantle shelf!

My Dad cut and stained two pieces of oak to serve as a wider and deeper shelf on top of the existing mantle.  Between each of the oak pieces, he added decorative rope molding.  Total cost was about $40! 

fireplace_mantle_shelf

fireplace_mantle_detail

Tada, our new oak fireplace mantle!  It's a very simple and subtle addition, but I think it dresses up the fireplace and adds some interest to it.  I haven't decided what to place on the mantle yet, but for now I have candles on it:

fireplace_mantle

I'm not quite done with the fireplace yet though.  I'd like to paint the horrible brassy gold vents with black high-temperature spray paint.  I am also considering tiling over the black surround with mosaic tiles.  Painting the entire mantle white has also crossed my mind.  What do you think, should I leave the mantle oak colored (which matches the cabinets in my adjacent kitchen) or should I paint the mantle white?  Any suggestions for what I should place on top of the mantle?

Here's a side by side look at the fireplace before and after:

builders_fireplace_mantlefireplace_mantle

I am also planning on hiding or disguising the TV's power cords.  I tried to hide them in the above photo, but in reality they are still sticking out of the TV.  And as long as I'm being honest, I guess I should confess that I don't usually watch shows about flowers as pictured.  In reality, my fireplace usually looks a bit more like this: messy power cords, playing puppy dog, and the Golden Girls:

diy fireplace mantle


This project is shared on Beneath My Heart, Blue Cricket Design, We Are That Family, A Soft Place, and The Nester, stop by and check out some of the other great projects featured!

10 comments:

Jennifer Juniper said...

That turned out great - and the added bulk makes so much more sense there!

Creations By Cindy said...

It really turned out nice. Be blessed. Cindy

Julia said...

Nice Job! I vote for keeping the fireplace oak color, rather than painting it. Good Luck!

Mary Beth @ Live. Laugh. Make Something said...

very clever project! great job! ...and I like the pretty oak color. I dropped in from Blue Cricket. Hope to see you back at my place soon! until later...

Little Lovables said...

nice job! it would look pretty white, but I think keeping it to match the other wood may be best

tales from an oc cottage said...

How cool!

m ^..^

Stephenie from Decorating Addiction said...

I say lose the Oak and paint it! I am a fan of paint, just ask my husband. :-)

fairfieldhouse said...

First visit to your blog via Kimba's Soft Place to Land. I think it's hard to determine without seeing the rest of the room but I do know you should do what YOU like most.

Deborah
http://fairfieldhousenj.com/2010/04/03/flowerplace/

Cha Cha said...

Great job, it look amazing.

Cha Cha

Ashley said...

What a cool way to give your fireplace a mini facelift! It turned out really elegantly! I think white would be pretty but the oak looks nice too! Why not just leave the oak for now and when you feel like you need a change go ahead and paint it? Great job and thanks for stopping by! (oh and for the top of the mantle... how about a long platter with a line of votive or tealights on it?)