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:
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!
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:
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:
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:
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!