Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Over the fireplace

decorating a mantel

Hey hey! I mentioned yesterday that I was feeling the NEED for some DIY up in here. (Hea?) I’ve been planning a project for months now and just needed to figure out the details – mainly the exact materials I wanted to use.

Ever since we covered our corner fireplace last year, I’ve been planning a treatment over the mantel to finish it off a bit. It has looked just a bit nekked to me all this time, but I wanted to do something I knew I would like long term, so I waited:

walled off corner fireplace

I was just SO thrilled to not have that annoying corner fireplace anymore, I was fine with a little nekked. (Can you be a little nekked?)

I wanted to do something different than my normal wainscoting squares, and I finally figured out exactly what I wanted to do yesterday and got ‘er done. I started with these baseboard pieces from Lowe’s:

baseboards wall treatment

They come in eight and 12 foot lengths and are about 5.25 inches wide. The design couldn’t be simpler – just one board across the top, mitered at the corners, then two side pieces coming down:

I was lucky because the measurements allowed me to use ten boards horizontally, and they fit perfectly in the wall space above the mantel. I didn’t have to cut any of the boards down on a table saw to make it work. Which is a good thing cause I don’t have a table saw. ;)

The only hiccup I came to was how to mark where I had the screws for the mirror that hangs above the fireplace. They were already exactly where they needed to be and in studs, so I didn’t want to have to redo the whole thing.

Sooo, I grabbed some lipstick, painted the front of the screws with it, then I placed the board that was going in that spot directly on top of them to get a mark for the holes on the back:

hanging mirror hanging a mirror

It worked like a charm! I just drilled the holes where the lipstick was and then took the screws out of the wall, put the board up, then put the screws back in through the board. Does that make sense?

The design was so simple it took me less than an hour to get it up:

horizontal planks wall

(You can see the screws for the mirror up on the top.)

Since I kept the middle basic, I just cut a bunch of 42 inch boards and nailed them up – super easy!

Of course the project that I think about for months takes all of an hour to do. :)

I LOVE how it turned out!:

wall treatment over mant

Confession time though – I haven’t even painted it yet. Primed boards are worth their weight in gold, I tell you WHAT.

I want to be careful about painting it because I like that you can see the “seams” between the boards – I don’t want the paint to fill any of it in, so I’ll need to take my time with it.

And who am I kidding, you can’t even tell it’s not painted unless you get close, so it will most likely be eight months from now before semi gloss touches it’s surface. For REAL.

I had to notch out one of the boards to make the outlet work, but the accessories cover it well:

wall treatment over mantel 

And if anyone ever noticed it…well you know what that means. THEY GET A COOKIE.

I think it is the perfect finishing touch to the fireplace wall that I now LOVE:

wall treatment over mantel

Let’s look back on the transformation, shall we? I put up molding above our old corner fireplace years ago, then as I mentioned, we had the wall (and a REAL mantel) put up last fall:

 image[42] IMG_8703_thumb[12]

Now it’s what I’ve always dreamed it would be…sniff.

wall treatment over mantel

It took about $60 and an hour to do – and after all this time I have a fireplace that makes a statement instead of hiding away in a corner. ;)

I think fireplaces can be so hard – so many I see in blogland look effortless but I find something that works and stick with it…forever. I like the accessories I’ve had up there so unless major inspiration hits, they’ll be like this till fall. Do you struggle with what to do on your mantel and above your fireplace? Do you change it up often?

60 comments:

  1. I have a huge corner white brick fireplace. It makes arranging the furniture difficult.

    I am constantly struggling with how to decorate the too small mantle and the huge white space above it. Add that it opens up into my outdated 1970's avacado green kitchen and it is a nightmare.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Your fireplace mantle wall looks great! I don't have a mantle in my new house, but when I did it was getting the scale of the accessories right that I had trouble with. I Love what you did!

    Mary

    ReplyDelete
  3. LOVE it! Great job and really creative!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Love the fireplace wall, and your fireplace looks fabulous. Hugs, Marty

    ReplyDelete
  5. It looks awesome girl! We just redid our fireplace area too and it makes such a huge difference. I'm with you though...I don't change it up much. :) Maybe for Christmas. Haha!

    ReplyDelete
  6. looks great, Sarah! almost pallet-like, or has a shutter feeling to it but yet a little more sophisticated!

    I honestly never thought of doing a treatment above my mantel but now you have me thinking. Will have to ponder it for a while! :)

    Yours looks so pretty - so much better than your corner one and I know you love it!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love this! and the fact that you're semi-peeking out in the last photo! You're so crafty.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Love the boards above your mantle. Totally aced it! And that little notch for the outlet? Well if they notice that, they've gone from visitin' and on to nit-pick'n and it's time for them to leave! :o)

    ReplyDelete
  9. love love love it!! i really love how the space has transformed over the past year or so! it is a testament that you don't have to do EVERYTHING at once! design takes time. i'm telling myself this. over and over. :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Looks great! A real focal point :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Lesson #1: Learn when NOT to tell Bloggers about crtain things. For example, if you had no told us the boards were unpainted, no one would ever have known and someone would have possibly asked what color you used. :-D

    Just love this idea! It goes perfect with your decor and style. Your fireplace looks happy. :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. love it. it looks so good. did you pick a winner for the giveaway? oh and if you move the accessories you would not see the outlet. ang

    ReplyDelete
  13. I LOVE this! If I had a fireplace I would totally copy you! So sad I don't... Thank you for sharing all of your decor/DIY projects. I am not a creative person and love getting ideas from you.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Looks amazing! Beautifully done, its a perfect backdrop to your mirror and I'm sure it will make your upcoming Seasonal decor pop!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Your mantel looks so great.. both custom and expensive. And thanks so much for the lipstick tip. Such a good idea!

    ReplyDelete
  16. These are exactly the home improvements we bloggers love to see! Thanks for sharing this whole transformation. This is very clever!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I thought it looked done before, but now it looks finished! Very unique idea that is perfect!

    ReplyDelete
  18. love it and so right...I still have not come up with what I want...or lets say I know what I want,just lots of work and a little costly and is it smart for the lay out in the house...hmmmm may be someday.
    Love what your did and yes hugh impact...

    ReplyDelete
  19. That looks FANTASTIC!! =) xo ~Liz

    ReplyDelete
  20. well done! and very lovely! Great tip about the lipstick!!

    ReplyDelete
  21. That is really pretty! Great idea.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Looks great, hey at least you don't have to mess with brick on your fire place. It was great to meet you at Haven last week. Can I just tell you I was surprised that your voice was a little deeper{not manly}than I thought. I hear your voice on your blog as you write, and I think you make up a voice in your head, sound crazy I know!! Oh anyway, love ya even more! Thanks for sharing so much and always inspiring

    ReplyDelete
  23. Yup, don't paint it. Perfect as is.

    ReplyDelete
  24. It looks amazing! What a huge impact. I wish I could do something similar with my fireplace {it's dark and I hate it}, but since it's all brick I'm a bit limited.

    ReplyDelete
  25. The fireplace looked good before! I wouldn't have thought you needed to do anything, but now it's done, it looks awesome!

    ReplyDelete
  26. I love this transformation Sarah! The lipstick trick makes you seem like a chic yet powerful DIYer! Haha! The boards look great! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  27. It looks great! What a perfect finishing touch. And I love that you didn't even have to paint the boards. :)

    ReplyDelete
  28. Your fireplace is looking fabulous!! What a fabulous, quick & thrifty way to add more oomph to it. I tend to change up my fireplace accessories on a regular seasonal basis but the backdrop I leave as I have 10'ft ceilings and changing up the artwork is too much work!
    Have a great day!!
    Christine

    ReplyDelete
  29. Brilliant! I am so Pinning this...as soon as I finish my comment. :) Your mantel really and truly pops now. Love the lipstick tip--who says you can't use lipstick when you are DIYing? ;)

    ReplyDelete
  30. Phooey, you mean you're supposed to paint the pre-primed stuff? :) Your fireplace looks great!

    ReplyDelete
  31. I love it! Hard to believe you did it in an hour...looks like a big job that turned out perfect!

    ReplyDelete
  32. It looks great Sarah! I thought it looked good before, but now it really does look even better!! Everything pops against the white background! And I can't believe it only took you an hour!!

    ReplyDelete
  33. I love that lipstick trick with the screws--so clever! I am definitely going to use that. I am also a big fan of primed molding for the very same reason--no one can tell if you're lazy! Though, getting mine painted is one my to-do list... :)

    ReplyDelete
  34. What a great clean and casual look! I love it, and can't believe it only took an hour! I have already added this to my "fireplace ideas" Pin board. :)

    By the way, I've used toothpaste to mark nail/screw holes before - cheaper and maybe less messy than lipstick. (I really liked your color, though! :))

    ReplyDelete
  35. I luuuurve it! ;) I think it adds that extra pizazz to the fireplace and rounds out the whole room. Great job! I'm off to pin it now, in case I ever get a fireplace. Thanks for the inspiration.

    ReplyDelete
  36. It looks amazing, Sarah! It's the perfect finishing touch to your new fireplace wall!!

    It was so nice to meet you at Haven. (I was the dork that walked up to you at the cocktail party and muttered something awkwardly, that I can't seem to recall!)

    Haven was fantastic, and I want to say a big thank you to you and the ladies, for all of your hard work!

    xo-Lisa

    ReplyDelete
  37. It looks amazing, Sarah! It's the perfect finishing touch to your new fireplace wall!!

    It was so nice to meet you at Haven. (I was the dork that walked up to you at the cocktail party and muttered something awkwardly, that I can't seem to recall!)

    Haven was fantastic, and I want to say a big thank you to you and the ladies, for all of your hard work!

    xo-Lisa

    ReplyDelete
  38. Ooooo! I love this! AND your tip about the lipstick! :) You're so lucky to have an outlet on your mantel, too. Thanks for sharing your great project!

    ReplyDelete
  39. Love your blog. Have poured over the pictures many times. Come visit me at my brand new blog-right now mostly self-help but eventually will include DIY projects.

    Keep up the good work.

    ReplyDelete
  40. That looks absolutely 100% better! I love it!

    ReplyDelete
  41. I love it! It was worth the weight. I don't change my mantle up until the holidays (Thanksgiving and Christmas)

    ReplyDelete
  42. Oh, wow, that's really beautiful, Sarah. Such a huge difference from what that corner used to look like! It really kind of brightens it up, too. Love it!

    ReplyDelete
  43. Love all the changes to the fireplace! The planks really tie together the mantel and bring some presence to the fireplace. Corner fireplaces are a real challenge (but oh so lovely on a cold night!). I have a lovely 1960's stone behemoth in my tiny living room. I call it 'the Hulk'. Removal is not an option, so I'm going with the retro-vintage vibe for now. Thanks so much for all you share in your blog! It is wonderful!

    ReplyDelete
  44. I feel your joy! We had the 80's 'wall o' brick' fireplace--with ugly brick AND an ugly blocky mantel that was neither deep nor level. 8' wide and floor-to-ceiling ickiness.
    Horrible.
    Would love to say I performed a diy transformation, but actually I sought professional help. We had the top half sheetrocked and a surround added to the bottom, wire-brushed the remaining exposed brick (it came out more mellow-looking), had built-ins added on each side, and I now have a beautiful 8' long x 10" deep mantle to decorate. I change it out seasonally at least--hubby calls it my new hobby. Lol. I'd link pics if I knew how--sorry!
    Susan in Raleigh

    ReplyDelete
  45. This looks so nice. It really lightens up the room!

    ReplyDelete
  46. Love this, what a fab idea! I hate to say it, but I never would've thought of doing that! We have 4 fireplaces, guess I need to get to work :-)

    Stephanie
    Fresh Picked Vintage

    ReplyDelete
  47. I love it! I've never seen anyone doing something over a mirror before. Very creative. x

    ReplyDelete
  48. Can you tell me where you got your rug? I love the colors!

    ReplyDelete
  49. What a great idea, and I love the lipstick trick--I'll have to remember that!

    ReplyDelete
  50. Yes! That looks super. Super duper. I praise your patience, your problem solving abilities, your aesthetic, and your simply gorgeous new fireplace corner.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Love your Mantel. I actually recently changed it up for the 4th of July season. See it her: http://mandyandconner.com/2012/06/29/baby-youre-a-firework/

    ReplyDelete
  52. What a great idea -- it really looks great! And I love the accessories you have up there -- truly timeless. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  53. Great idea. I love how you showed the three stages of transformation. It looks fantastic.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Hey, love the mantle! So gorgeous!

    If you do paint it, you can always use a glaze to hi light the groves.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Looks AWESOME! And you can't tell at all that it isn't painted. Definitely gives your mantel a nice polished touch!!

    ReplyDelete
  56. Nice job! Before I started blogging I only changed my mantle at Christmas. I liked the way it looked a lot and didn't see any reason to change it. Since blogging, I have been experimenting with seasonal mantles and it has been a fun challenge. I've been slow with summer and probably will get it done just about the time the fall mantle parties start though!

    ReplyDelete

I LOVE, love, love your comments! (I read every single one.)

I occasionally have to turn off anonymous comments because of spam. If so, you can comment if you sign in with a WP/Google +/gmail account.

If you have a specific question, make sure I can answer you back by adding your email to your google/blog account! And be sure to check out the FAQs tab at the top of the site. Due to the number of emails I get, I just can't get back to everyone.

THANKS so much for reading!