April 20, 2020

House to Home - Mantle Makeover

I LOVE fireplaces.  Love them.  I grew up with one in my house in Florida and two out of three of our houses we have owned as adults have had them.  I love the coziness, the mantle decor, the whole shebang.  

Having already done a fireplace makeover in our last house, we aren't new to changing the look of them, but ever since we moved into our new house this fireplace has had me stumped.  I didn't love it...and I didn't know why.

Here is a before picture -

I couldn't stand the gold face plate and knew that was an easy fix.  We used the Rustoleum high heat spray on our previous fireplace makeover and actually had juuuust enough left to spray the face of this guy.  

We removed the insert, taped the glass and gave it a good spray outside. 

I will say, just that alone did wonders for the look and feel of the fireplace, but it still wasn't right.

Every time I walked in our living room I just couldn't quite put my finger on what was still bugging me.  Initially I thought it was the trim on the sides.  

I started looking on Pinterest and was making plans to have Mike rip the trim off of the sides and essentially "rebuild" the mantle to fit whatever plan I had in my head.  I wanted to keep it white, but maybe add some natural wood on top to make it a bit more interesting.  Of course, he wasn't totally sold on that idea (or another project), so I just kept an open mind and I kept scrolling.

Then, BINGO.  I found some inspiration that was soooo far from what I thought I wanted and what I have ever done before.

Paint it dark.  Very dark.  

You see, what kept bugging me was how many white shades there were on the focus wall.  The walls are a very, very light gray and with a white mantle there was no real contrast.  That is what I was having a hard time identifying.  It wasn't really the trim at all, but the lack of any sort of statement being made.

I found a few inspiration pictures and I just knew.  That was it...that was the cheap and fast and perfect answer.  Paint it dark.

After a few days of debating the perfect deep charcoal color using only my computer and my friend's Sherwin Williams Color wheel via Marco Polo I decided on Iron Ore.  It is very dark, but not a pure black.

Color Scheme for Iron Ore SW 7069

The rest as they say, is history.  Truth be told, I was super nervous, but now that I am home all day and staring at it, I knew it was the contrast we needed in that room, so I went with it.

Just before the transformation!

As soon as my paintbrush hit the mantle I knew it was the right decision.  I loved it from the first stroke!


Of course, Mike didn't even notice the color change, except for the fact that he saw painters tape.  LOL.

He was however, very glad that he wasn't ripping off trim and remodeling the entire mantle.  So I probably could have painted it any color and he would have been happy!

After it was all painted I deliberated on what to put above the mantle.  My initial plan was to hang a mirror, but then I kept being pulled toward different abstract paintings.  Most of them black and white.

I really liked this one  by Scout and Nimble.
Until I saw the price tag.  Wowza.  I'm sure the real thing is gorgeous, however that price tag was definitely not in my price range.

So, with no where to go (thanks Covid-19) I started "shopping my house" to see what I could scrounge up to try to make this on my own.  

I found a frame that was big enough in Everett's room, and paintbrushes, white poster board and black paint in the attic.  About 20 minutes later it was done...and cost me $0.

And, after all is said and done...here is the finished product.  The mantle decor still needs a little bit of tweaking, but for the most part it is d-o-n-e.  

I love the contrast and love the coziness it gives to our space.  Total cost...$25 and a little bit of time.  Boo yah.




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