Living Room Love: A New Mantel?

When we first moved into our home we fell in love with the large living room space and the beautiful arched ceilings.

We were also thrilled to finally have a fireplace! A fireplace of our very own.

High on our priority list was tearing down the white brick to reveal (hopefully) the original Spanish-style fireplace within. Well… two and a half years later that big fireplace reveal has moved quite a ways down the list.

The mantel decor has seen a few changes over the past two years, but here’s a look at in-progress photos from 2010:

Remember the big mirror or photo collage debate? Here’s a shot of the mirror option.

So while the fireplace is now low on the re-do totem pole, I’d still love to give it a quick, attractive update before it gets its big makeover somewhere down the line.

My initial thought was a simple, sleek beam that would grace the top of the fireplace and sit like one large block right on the existing brick mantel. Something like these photos:

It might even function like a hollow wooden box that sits on the top row of bricks with all of the edges mitered to create a seamless look. Easy, right? A little staining and a new mantel? We’ll see. I’m off to share my idea with a carpenter friend to see what the options (and cost) might be.

More living room posts: bookshelf styling tips, decorating in layers: stage 1, inspiration boards, picking the perfect couch, custom lampshade, coffee table-to-ottoman, and the ‘before’ photos.

Finally, I’m headed to New Orleans this weekend! Any suggestions?

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  1. says


    I’m so soooorry I haven’t been here for AGES! I was always thinking about you and your baby. The last time I was here you were pregnant still.

    I saw some pictures of your adorable baby girl. God, she’s pretty! I’m truly happy for you!

    I hope you enjoy New Orleans.

    Have a great weekend!


    Luciane at

  2. says

    I’m a fan of the clean lines of the second one or am I the only one that thinks the first beam looks kind of beat up…I think what might also be getting me is that the second option is also lower on the fireplace…You have fantastic style, so whatever you do will no doubt be gorgeous!

  3. Jennifer says

    We have a fireplace similar to your minus the brick and this is what we did. We bought a 4×4 that was about 6 ft long, beat it to make it look more “rustic and spanish-ie” and then stained it a dark brown. We drilled 3 holes in the back and basically screwed it into the wall. It was the cheapest and easiest way for us to get a mantle!!

    Good luck. I love that you have a spanish style house. Not a lot of blogs have that sort of style so it’s nice to see someone who does for inspiration!!!

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