We moved into our house in February 2013, and the living room walls have haunted me ever since. The room is so large and decorating the walls overwhelmed me. It took a year, but I finally created the Family Tree that I wanted to use as artwork on one wall but was still left with one wall of blank space.
We had a nice television stand that I had refinished when we first got married that looked great, but it really wasn’t ideal. The cords still showed pretty badly and it really was not a great height for easy viewing. The other issue was that there was no way to decorate the wall around the television. If a piece of artwork was put on the wall on the other side of the television, it seemed unbalanced, but of course no artwork could be put behind the television because of the height. I had been racking my brain for ideas with no such luck.
Andrew and I were sitting watching HGTV one evening and I had an epiphany! Put a fireplace on that side of the wall, hang the television over it, and then hang a piece of artwork on the other side of the fireplace!! He liked the idea and the search for that perfect piece began.
For months I searched Craigslist, yard sales, etc. with no such luck. I didn’t want an actual fireplace with fake logs or something similar on the inside, I just wanted a nice wood mantle. Is that too much to ask? Then, while I was on a girls’ trip with my mom, a friend of mine sent me a link to a Craigslist posting for EXACTLY what I had been looking for and for only $50!!! Sadly, I was out of town but luckily, Andrew, who is the worlds greatest husband, was able to contact the seller and pick up the fireplace. It sat in my garage until I got home the next week.
This piece was killer! Solid wood with just enough details to make it a piece that will always be in style. We started by first removing the fake logs in the center and the barn wood backing. With that done, I could start sanding and filling in any dents or nail holes with wood filler.
I then used Valspar Stainblocking/Bonding Primer. We had used this when we painted our doors and trim for the floor remodel, so I knew this stuff meant business. I ended up using two coats, sanding in between.
Next up was to paint. I chose to paint the fireplace white to match our doors and trim and accent the dark wood floors. I used leftover paint from the flooring project, which worked out great. I used both a smaller roller (on the flat surfaces, like the top and bottom) and a smaller brush to apply three coats, allowing the coats to dry in between. Then, once that last coat was dry, I applied a wax seal that shined it up would protect the paint.
The next part was the tricky part. I needed to fill the hole with something that would match the room, as well as stand the test of time. I decided to use the plastic back splash that Lowes sells that looks like tin in a bronze. I cut up some cardboard to use as a backing and stapled it into place. I used two different sheets of this plastic back splash and just hot glued it into place on the cardboard.
This turned out to be a little harder than I had originally thought because I had to line up and cut the pieces to fit perfectly. The back splash is not the cheapest thing either (at $20 a piece) so I really didn’t want to mess up. After about 30 minutes, I was able to get it looking like I wanted and glued into place.
I now needed to find something to put in the center for decoration purposes and ended up buying a candelabra at Hobby Lobby. We moved the piece up into the living room and then started the process of hanging the television.
Once the television was up, I had to find a way to attach the cords and power strip to the back of the fireplace, so I decided to use a Command Strip Hook. It was the perfect way to hide the cords inside the fireplace, while still being able to use them.
I could not be more thrilled with how this project turned out. It is the perfect, eye-catching item I wanted in the room, and it is functional. I know it will be something I enjoy decorating for holidays in the years to come.
Primer/Paint/Supplies: $0 (leftover from previous project)
“Tin” Back splash: $41. 36 ( $20.68 per piece)
Candelabra and candles: $25
TV Mount: $75