When Hubs and I bought this house I had one thing that I really, really, really wanted before the holidays made their way around. If I had to save up all my extra money and count pennies, I was gonna have this.
We never had one at our other house because there just wasn't a fireplace anywhere. We hung our stockings on the wall and it was fine, but a home to me screams a cozy fireplace....
And then I saw how expensive they could be if you bought them ready assembled. No thank you.
I'd have to do it myself. Which actually worked out so much better for me because I didn't have to scrimp and save. One Saturday morning doing nails paid for the wood, paint, nails, etc. Even if it didn't pay for the manual labor that hubby put in.
We went from this:
To hubs and his brother (thanks!) building me a half-cubby-wall:
To this (the rest I did myself!):
I took the molding off the cubby holes to frame above the mantel. The actual mantel is made up of a small molding piece and then a 1x4 above them that is screwed and nailed into the studs in the wall. Then, I nailed and glued piece of crown molding (it had a perfect angled edge) to the bottom of the 1x4. Then, I topped it with a 1x6 that was cut down to a 1x5 and then trimmed in small molding that creates little lip on the mantel. Then I Kilz it with primer and painted...and wah-la!
Now, my biggest issue is that I don't have anything to put on a mantel because I've never bought anything to do that! I'm thinking some apothecary jars filled with autumn leaves and fruit and then some orange and red berry picks. We'll see! I don't really care for mirrors above fireplaces, but for now, this will have to do! Yes, it's unbalanced, yes, it's a mirror...yes, it's not my favorite and yes I really need something larger up there to break up all the white (and now that I've taken a picture, I realize that streak-free windex doesn't mean streak-free at all!) but I'm so stinkin' excited to have a mantel!
(oh...did you all notice that I painted my walls? I love the color and it looks great with all my black/white stuff).
In all, it cost me about $40 for the molding (not counting the molding above it because that was FREE!) and $15 for the primer and paint, about $20 for the 2x4 and drywall to build up the half wall.
Considering mantels start at $175 for 6', we did pretty darn good!!!
Check out DIY Day at Kimba's!
One shopping trip to Goodwill and $5 later:
Not perfect...but much MUCH better.