Today I'm sharing the area of our family room that has perplexed me from the beginning: the fireplace wall. This is how the previous owners had it before we moved in.
|Sorry it's so blurry!|
- The long mantel. I'm not a decorator by nature, so filling a space like that without making it look sparse (like above) or cluttered is overwhelming. And because the supports for the mantel are built-in brick, I can't really shorten it.
- The narrow space above the mantel. Less than 30 inches -- this really limits the scale of my mantel decor.
- The brick. I've always loved exposed brick, in old homes especially. However, there are no windows in this room. It does open to a sunroom with 7 windows, so there is some natural light coming in, but I feel like the dark brick makes the room feel dark and gloomy.
- The hearth. If there wasn't a raised hearth, I feel like I would have some more options of what to do with the area.
- The wood stove. We have since added a wood fireplace insert and I think it really is an improvement over the screen that was there already. However, while I love the clean lines and the heat it provides, it can limit my decor options, at least in the winter, because of the fire hazard.
The mantel itself is a long 2.5 x 7.5 inch board painted a dark brown. I have thought about painting the mantel, maybe black to match the stove. I also really like the idea of adding a "slipcover" front to it likeThe Lettered Cottage.
Take a minute to pop over and check it out Layla's $82 Fireplace Makeover. If I hear back from her with permission, I will add the picture.Wouldn't that add so much character? However, I think it would probably be a bit pricy, not to mention difficult to get a piece of lumber that long home from the store. We'll have to see if Hubby and I can pull something like that off.
As for decor, from the moment I saw this picture on Pinterest, I had my heart set on a mirror over our mantel like ThriftyDecorChick.
found a mirror at Goodwill over the summer that I was going to update with a thicker frame. I put it up on the mantel to see how it looked and it stayed there for quite a while, along with some art that was in the kitchen at our old house.
|Plus a few "accessories" we put up there to be out of Kiddo's reach...|
I think I'll have a better idea of what to do once we have finalized our paint color and rug. I love simple, clean decor, so whatever I do with the mantel will be very basic. I love the idea of a set of simple black frames lined across the length of the mantel, either with family photos or nature prints. I found the Valentines Mantel from Just a Girl to be great inspiration.
So, there's my temporary mantel solution, just in time for me to take it all down and put up some Christmas decorations. At least I've had the opportunity to enjoy it for a few weeks!
Do you have a mantel? How do you decorate it?