Building a faux fireplace mantle, part 3

When we last left you, our beautiful antique mantle with its faux firebox looked like this:

Nothing was painted, no stone was laid. Things were kinda bare. And unfinished.

Our first item on the agenda was to paint it.

First, we caulked any cracks or areas we felt needed filling in. We painted the mantle and the adjoining boards behind it with white paint in satin finish.

Next, we installed Airstone to the surround and the bottom of the hearth.

This stuff is amazingly easy and fun to work with. Simply spread the adhesive on the back of the stones like you’re frosting a cake and press into place. You can also cut the stone with a hacksaw or circular saw.

We then laid faux slate vinyl tiles across the top of the hearth. We may upgrade it later to real slate but I am loving how this looks, and how little it cost.

We then painted the faux brick paneling with some matte black chalk paint. I just like the finish.

We still have a few areas to fill in and some trim to add, but all in all, I am loving it!

Stay tuned! The rest of our living room is about to change in a big way, and I can’t wait to show it to you!!

Have a great Monday!

Building a faux fireplace mantle

Building an antique fireplace mantle

Last month, I told you all about how my husband and I purchased and antique fireplace mantle.

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We have a long, blank and boring wall in our living room, that unfortunately is our focal wall when you walk in the door. I’ve always wanted a pretty fireplace on that wall but knew we couldn’t afford a real one. A faux one was the next best thing πŸ™‚

Using a plan from Bless’r House as a model, we decided how large the mantle and hearth would need to be and we purchased the wood.

Here is a list of what we used to build the fireplace:

  • Antique mantle (found through local antiques dealers)
  • 2 plywood sheets
  • Faux brick panel
  • 11 2Γ—4 boards
  • 2 1X12 boards
  • 1 2×12 board
  • Finishing nails
  • Deck screws
  • Drywall screws
  • Tape measure and yard stick
  • Circular saw
  • Jigsaw
  • Hammer
  • Power drill

We began by deciding how large we wanted the hearth to be and we cut two 2X4sat 64 inches long. We chose 64 inches because this made the hearth a tiny bit wider than the mantle itself. The cross pieces and sides are 24 inches.

fireplace hearth 1

We then cut a piece of plywood to fit the top of the hearth, but we did not hammer it down yet.

Copy of fireplace surround 3

We then carried the hearth into the house, placed it where we wanted it, and attached it to the baseboards. We then attached the plywood to the top of the hearth.

finished hearth

We then attached plywood strips and two by fours to the back of the mantle.

fireplace surround braces

After attaching the two by fours to the side, and the plywood strips, we cut out a surround from one of the plywood sheets. I attached it using small wood screws.

fireplace surround 2

I then attached 2X4s to the wall at the correct height to the wall. Be sure to hang these on studs, but if you can’t, make sure you use drywall anchors that can accommodate heavy weights.

Copy of Copy of Copy of fireplace no brick

I then attached the 1X12s for the side braces to the 2x4s.

Copy of Copy of fireplace no brick

I then put the mantle up beside these braces, and attached the two by fours on the back of the mantle to the braces. I used decking screws to do this.

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I then realized we had about an eight inch gap between the mantle and the wall.

Copy of fireplace no brick

Attaching a 2X6 to this space covered the gap and laid flush with the back of the mantle.

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We then cut and added faux brick paneling to the wall behind the mantle and on the sides so that the inside of the mantle couldn’t be seen.

fireplace almost finished

We have nearly finished the mantle. We now only have to paint, add the stone, and fill in some nail holes. Our living room looks so much better already! Can’t wait to share the finished product with you all!

fireplace almost finished

Living Room Toy Storage: How to have a beautifully organized living room when you have kids

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We all want living rooms that look incredible but that are still for, well…living. I want my living room to be a place where my family can be comfortable, but also a place that doesn’t look like a playground or a toy store. With a few easy tricks, you can have a stylish, functional living room with children.

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1. Use stylish storage furniture to hide toys

A cute chest or footlocker looks nice and provides a place to store small toys. This chest could also double as additional seating as well.

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2. Create a small “playroom nook” that melts into a corner of your living room

This tiny playroom nook is cute and takes up such a small amount of space in your living room. It’s literally a corner. You could do book ledges like this one, or your could use cube shelves and baskets. There are so many different ways to customize this to make it work for you.

toy closet

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3. Use an extra closet to store toys

What better way to hide toys than behind closed doors? If you don’t have a playroom, but you do have an extra closet, fill it to the brim with organizers and attractive storage for your kids’ playthings.

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4. Repurpose an old bookshelf to hold toys or art supplies

I have a few old shelves at my house that I could use for this. I could paint and modify them, then add some color-coordinated storage to corral those wayward toys. This would only take up a small amount of space, too.

 

I hope you have enjoyed this roundup! Our playroom is about to undergo a major revamp in the next few weeks and I can’t wait to share itΒ  with you!

Stay tuned for more DIY, parenting, and housey-goodness!

Farmhouse Fridays Pinterest Round-up: my favorite living rooms

I’m gearing up for quite the busy week. My children are back in school and my students are back in my classroom. In spite of all the busyness, I wanted to share some inspiration I found on Pinterest this week…Pin-spiration, if you will 😁.

First up is this lovely room. I chose it because of its rustic wood ladder and chippy furniture. This look would be easy to create and wouldn’t cost much.

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This room has so many fun textural elements. From the rug, to the throw pillows, to the big wooden coffee table. Also, did you guys spot that shiplap wall?

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I love everything about this room. The fireplace, the beams, and the high ceilings. And is that a headboard ceiling?

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I chose this living room for the barn door, the striped curtains and the typo art.

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Our own living room will soon undergo a bit of a transformation. Stay tuned, and have a wonderful weekend.

How to style your coffee table

How to style your coffee table

how to style coffee table

We have only recently gotten a coffee table. Our living room at the old house was too small for one, but in the four-and-a-half years we’ve lived here, we’ve never bought one. My first impulse was to buy one that matched our console table and end tables, but then I decided to buy one that coordinated with them instead. I wanted something a little on the cheap side, too, since the kids are still small.

I finally decided on an industrial farmhouse style coffee table with a second shelf for storing baskets.

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Except now, what’s a girl to do with the top of the coffee table?

1. Anchor your collected items with a tray or shallow basket.

coffee table

I used this cute tray I bought in the Target Dollar Spot last summer. It is small, so it works perfectly for our small coffee table. I added some burlap-covered books for texture, a faux boxwood plant for greenery and height, and a candlestick for height, which brings me to my next tip.

2. Include natural elements for interest

I love the outdoors, and I love bringing a little nature into our home. What I also love is decorating with some sort of natural element, be it pinecones, florals, or greenery. The boxwood adds color and a little life to the table.

3. Height keeps the eye moving

Displaying your decor at different heights makes each item stand out, but it also keeps things interesting, since it draws the eyes to continue moving. Use a stack of books or a small stand to add height to a smaller object, or use pedastal dishes, candlesticks, or flower pots with a base.

4. Add a stack of books or magazines on the opposite side of the table to balance out the tray.

I chose to use two books, a recipe book about Sunday dinners, and a book about Labrador retrievers. I am a believer in decorating with things that make you happy. Sunday dinners evoke happy memories for me, and the Lab book is a nod to our “fur son,” a 12-year-old Yellow Lab named Bear.

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The bottom shelf houses a large basket for hiding unsightly but necessary things, like coasters and a spare blanket. The side opposite the basket holds a stack of magazines.

living room

I hope you’ve enjoyed these tips for decorating your coffee table. How is your coffee table decorated? Comment below with a picture- I’d love to see your coffee table!

Have a wonderful day.