One of the main things that I was looking for in our new house was a real fireplace. In previous years, we have created faux fireplaces. We have made them out of cardboard and one time we redid an old bookshelf to look like a fireplace. Here are a couple of the ones we have done (I can’t seem to find the rest).
I feel like a mantle is an iconic place to decorate for the fall and winter holidays. It brings a coziness to the space when there is a fire lit. I just knew I wouldn’t settle for a house that didn’t have a real one. I really wanted a brick or stone fireplace that burns real wood.
We had walked in a couple of houses where I was instantly in love with the fireplaces. I was sad when we did not wind up getting those houses, but I knew ours was out there somewhere.
When we first walked into our house, we weren’t sold. Perhaps we were just burnt out on looking by this point. The more we thought about it afterwards, the more we thought maybe this is the one. I just kept going back to the fact that it had a real fireplace. Even though, it wasn’t a “pretty” one.
I liked the built ins, but the color of the stones seemed too dark for me. There also wasn’t a mantle or protective covering of any kind. I knew it would be one of our main projects to be done; sooner rather than later.
The first thing I did was paint the stone. I used white exterior paint and did stippling with a brush. It was just easier because it got inside all the cracks and crevices.
We had planned to sand and restain the built ins to match the ceiling beams, but we haven’t done that part yet. To be honest, it doesn’t bother me as much as I thought it would.
It took me quite awhile to figure out a mantle. I really wanted a solid piece of wood, but we couldn’t figure out how to hang one on the stone. Even our handyman friend said he wasn’t comfortable trying to do it. I had seen a post on pinterest that suspended a tree branch from the ceiling to be used as a mantle. I thought it was a cool idea and figured we could find a branch off one of our trees. Chris, however, wasn’t fond of the idea. Back to square one for me.
I was on Amazon, window shopping for Alice in Wonderland party things. I figured, why not search Amazon for mantles? So I did. There were a lot of different mantles. Somehow, I wound up finding this one Pearl Mantle. I decided to ask a question on it to see if it could be used on masonry. I quickly got 8 replies saying yes it can go on masonry, but you need masonry drill bits and anchors.
I let the mantle sit in my cart for a couple weeks. I still really wanted that solid piece of wood. Two weeks ago, I decided I didn’t want to wait anymore and ordered the mantle and some masonry drill bits. I also ordered just a black protective screen. It only took 3 or 4 days to get everything; thanks to being an Amazon Prime member.
The only thing I didn’t order were the anchors because I wanted to make sure we had the right kind once we got the mantle. Last week, our van was in the shop and right next to the shop is Home Depot. I told Chris we needed to go and find anchors for the mantle. Long story short we found some anchors. I figured we would try to get it put up that same day, but laziness took over and there the project sat for almost a week. I told Chris we needed to get it done since it was sitting there waiting. Thankfully it was much easier than either of us anticipated.
Alas, we have a fireplace with a functioning mantle.
And yes I have already started decorating for Fall.
I am very happy with how it turned out! I also cannot wait to see our stockings hanging over it this Christmas.
Until next time,