Every Home Needs a Mantle
When we first moved into a foreclosed Southern California home in 2010, our family room was covered in walnut-colored wood paneling and a fireplace wall made of stone in a similar color. Can you say "dark and depressing?"
The first thing we did was sanded and painted the wood paneling a soft yellow. This was an inexpensive and easy way to update the room quickly and the painted wood looked charming. But then we were left with this overpowering stone wall that reminded me of something you would find in an Elk's lodge. I've actually never been in an Elk's lodge, but I can only imagine what one looks like.
After adding our custom bookshelves to our living room (you can see these on the right in the photo below...I will feature these in another blog), we had a custom mantle built. How do you start to design a custom mantle? It was pretty easy. I found a few mantle photos on Pinterest, sketched a simple drawing that included all of my favorite elements and we were off and running.
Once the mantle was finished, our builder had to cut out some of the back of the mantle to help it attach to the bulky stone wall. We had the mantle painted in Swiss Coffee to match the other wood trim in our house. I love Swiss Coffee! I've been using it for years and vow to never stop.
Interesting fact...we would have liked to put a flat screen TV above our mantle, but in order to meet safety standards, the bottom of a mantle has to be at least 12 inches above the top of the fireplace. No worries, this still left plenty of room for decorating and hanging one of my favorites pictures.
I enlarged one of my Paperwhites portraits (https://lauralejuwaan.com/products/paperwhites) on metal and had it professionally framed just like you would frame a canvas. Metal prints do not need to be covered in glass...in fact what I love about metal photo prints is that the flowers have a three-dimensional look. It's like you can reach out and touch them. Metal prints are also waterproof and can be cleaned with a glass cleaner.
I also added two of my Fern prints, an artificial Gardenia potted plant and some small decor items from TJ Maxx and Target. Voila!
I can't wait until Christmas!