Spring Mantel

I know, I know, I just did a post about my mantel decor.  🙂 But, ya know that was for Easter and Easter’s over so I needed something fresh that would last for a while.



When I decorate my mantel I really do challenge myself to use things I have.  I move things around.  Steal things from other places in the house and make things new.  


Everything else I pulled out of my stash or borrowed from elsewhere.  You can find my burlap wreath tutorial here.  


It just got some new bows.  🙂  The trough my hubby made for me at Thanksgiving – I just filled it with a garland that actually used to hang on my front door. I made a small purchase of a couple of ivy plants to bring some fresh green and life to the mantel.


I love the simplicity of it and the pop of color.  


I finished up a few pillows for the family room this weekend, and I’m waiting on a fabric order to arrive to put the final touch on the room for a while at least.  I think I’m ready to move to the backyard.  I have been scheming ideas in my head for that space!  🙂

As always thanks for stopping by!  

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Easter Mantel

Did you miss me last week?  Sorry for the absence.  Hubby and I were in sunny California where we met up with our oldest son.  The baseball team was there playing some California teams on their spring break.  So, three for one – I got to see my boy, I got to watch him play baseball, and I got to go to the beach! It was a great time for sure!!


It only took me a couple of days after having the mantel finished to start scheming it’s first decor. Since Easter is coming quickly I thought I would do something simple for that.  

I have never had a mirror above our mantel, but I knew that was something I really wanted to find to add to our new light and bright space.  I scoured high and low for an affordable option and landed with this one from Ross.  A great size for $25 I think!

I added a free printable from here. And the rest are items I already had.

The vase on the end there got a little update with paint.  I have had it forever, and it was just a little tired.  But, now I love it all over again!

I cannot begin to tell you how much I am enjoying our new space.  I still have a couple of details to attend to (like something to put that other plant in), but it is so much better already!!

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DIY Floating Mantel

Another addition in the Family Room Refresh!! A while back when I decided to paint the brick around our fireplace I also removed the mantel. It was never really my style. The fireplace sat naked for weeks, as I pondered what to put in it’s place. I toyed with the idea of building a surround, something tailored and traditional, or just a simple floating mantel.  My mind just kept going back to the latter, so that’s what we went with. And I’m soooo glad we did!!  I love it!!
 
DIY floating mantel


I had considered adding corbels, and I may still do that if I find some I love, but for now I love it as is!!
 
The DIY was not as hard as I thought it might be. Sometimes I can dive right into a DIY and get ‘er done, and other times I’m a bit intimidated.  I don’t know why, but some things get me psyched out!  
We started by attaching a ledger board to the brick.  We attached the appropriate anchors into the mortar in between the bricks, and then attached the board with screws.  
 
How to attach a floating mantel to brick
 
Screwing into the anchors and into the two pieces of wood on either end.  (That puppy ain’t goin nowhere!)
 
Then, we attached six 2″x4″x6″ pieces along the ledger board to help support some of the weight of the mantel.  
 
attaching a floating mantel to brick
 
You can see that we really weren’t concerned about them being spaced exactly even – no one is going to see them remember.
 
Then we moved on to building the actually mantel piece.  You are building a box that is missing one side.  
 
how to build a floating mantel
 
We used 1″x8″ pieces of basic white board for this.  This is the same wood that I used in our entryway.  I wanted some character to the wood since I was staining it, so this was a great economical choice.  I used two 6′ pieces and one 8′ piece which cost me around $25.  
 
This was my first time to use my nail gun, and man did it make this project easier!! Each joint was glued and nailed to make sure it was secure. 
 
building a floating mantel
 
In an effort to have as few cut end pieces showing as possible, I did this.  
 
how to DIY a floating mantel
 
The two side pieces (which are actually the top and bottom) were cut shorter to accommodate the end pieces (the width of the wood shorter on each end).  
 
building a floating mantel
 
This way, from the front and the ends – the most visible parts, there is only one end of the board showing.  Clear as mud right? I hope so!! Here is the dry run before staining :).
 
floating mantel installed
 
I filled a few tiny gaps with stainable wood filler, and everything got a good sanding.  I smoothed all the edges and corners really good.  Then I stained it with a dark walnut stain, and topped it off with a couple of coats of polyurethane.  
 
floating wood mantel
 
Hanging it was super easy!  Slip it over the supports, and attach the mantel to the ledger board with screws.  We made our ledger shorter than the actual mantel to allow room to adjust the placement of the mantel when we were mounting it, which was very helpful to get the desired placement.
 
I snapped this shot right after we finished hanging it.  Such sweet satisfaction to DIY!!
 
updated fireplace with painted brick and floating mantel
 
Loving the finished product and can’t wait to get it styled up for spring!!
 
family room
 
Our family room is coming along.  It really is feeling more and more like a space I want to stay a while.  And, that’s a nice feeling.  

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Painted Brick Fireplace Surround

I did something a couple of weeks ago that I never thought I would do.  I painted brick.  I love the texture and interest that brick brings to a room, but only if it’s a nice brick.  Our brick is ugly, always has been.  I’ve just lived with it for years because I was too scared to paint it, and to cheap to replace it.  You know, painting brick is pretty permanent.  😉
 
But, with the encouragement from many of you, I finally took the leap.  And let me say, I LOVE it!!
 
 
Here is a pic of what it looked like before the paint.  If you want to see the real before you can check out this post, where I kinda half got the nerve, and kinda white-washed the brick.  Which led to it looking like this.
 
 
I did a lot of reading first as to whether or not I needed to use a special paint, but most of the things I saw said that you didn’t unless you were painting the actually firebox, which I was not. 
 
I started with primer, nothing special here because honestly I wasn’t that concerned about an opaque coat.  I figured if some of the nuance of the brick came through to give the wall some variance, I would be okay with that.  If you are not, you might want to get a high-hiding primer. 
 
Halfway progress with primer – which takes forever btw.
 
 
Priming takes forever because you really are almost scrubbing the primer into the bricks. Bricks are porous so they really soak it up. Better the primer than the paint though!  I could have used a roller and saved maybe a tiny bit of time, but honestly, sometimes I just prefer a brush – more control.  Here is a pic after the primer was done – already tons better.
 
 
I let this dry for a couple of days, I wanted to make sure the primer was good and soaked in.  I don’t know if that’s necessary, it just sounded like a good idea to me. 😉
 
Then onto the paint.  I chose to use a satin finish because I didn’t want it to be shiny at all.  I have had good luck with satin being pretty durable, so we shall see.  I chose to match the color of the built-ins which is a lovely creamy white.  It’s not bright white, but it’s not off-white if that makes sense.  It is Glidden Antique White.  The sample reads a lot more beige than it actually is.  
And finally, here are a couple of pics I snapped when it was finished!!  I just couldn’t help admiring it.  🙂
 
I talked my hubby into ripping off the mantel which was leaning and seemed pretty shaky, but was actually attached VERY well.  What a booger!  I’ve never really liked it very much anyway – it just looked like a weird afterthought. So, we are living with these weird wood blocks in the middle of my white wonderland until I can decide what to put in it’s place.  I’m thinking either something like this
 
source: The Lettered Cottage
or something like this.
 
source:  The Lettered Cottage
Thanks to all my friends who cheered on my progress along the way!!  It really was just the help and encouragement I needed to mark this off the list!  One step closer to our new family room. 🙂

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Breathing New Life Into Our Family Room

Hey friends!!  Hope everyone is doing well!!  I’m happy to have the sun shining here today!!
 
In my post for the new year, I mentioned wanting to update our family room.  Although I have done a couple of things here and there and there to brighten up the space, it still doesn’t feel very cohesive to me.  
 
Here it is at Christmas time.
 
 
I know I’m not the only one who fell in love with the HGTV dream home this year!!  Several of my favorite bloggers featured it on there site.  The light and airy cape cod feel is so what I would love!!
 
We are missing a few elements – lots of windows, skylights, hard wood floors, and of course the beach – but I’m hoping to come close to this feel with our update.  Here are a few more pics to give you an idea of what I’m thinking.
 
 
1.  We have a center beam in our vaulted ceiling, and I have toyed with the idea of adding some down the sides.
 
2.  The fireplace is getting a makeover.  I’m still on the fence between more white wash, or full-on paint.  And, I plan on trimming out part of that brick wall with wood.  And, of course a natural wood mantel (see the new mantel here).
 
3. I am on the hunt for a couple of chairs to re-cover in a fun print or pattern.
 
4.  We are in need of new furniture, and I am currently trying to convince my hubby that white slip-covers are the way to go.  🙂
 
5.  I went all-white with our built-ins a couple of years ago and loved it, but I think I’m ready to pull some color back in by painting the backs.
 
6.  We have one smallish ottoman right now that we all fight over.  We either need a giant one or two.  I love the idea of using something with pattern and interest to cover it with to contrast the white couch.
 
I plan to go with a warm white on the walls.  I love the flexibility it gives you with all the other decorating.  What warm white do you love??  
 
So, there you have it – a plan.  It’s good to corral all my thought together!!  Who knows where I will start or how long it will take (because as usual it will all be done on a snug budget), but at least I have a plan right?  Ha!

Wanna see how we’ve done? Check out these posts

Painted Brick Fireplace Surround

Family Room Progress – Paint

DIY Floating Mantel

 

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