We didn't put a fireplace in our house, because, honestly we never used the one at the last place. And, we were really trying to keep the budget as low as possible.
So when I realized I totally had permission to just slap a mantle up any ol place I want, I started scouring the house for the perfect location.
And found it, on a small empty wall in the master bedroom.
When we designed the layout, the architect wanted to make our hallway longer and then have a door on the left at the end of the hall. I swiveled it and put the door at the very end of the hall, so when you open the door, there is a small 'landing spot.'
Which totally doesn't make sense, basically, I didn't want the door taking up valuable floor space, it has it's own little nook.
Also, I thought this would be a fun little project that I could do with just leftover wood pieces hanging out in the garage.
It didn't quite end up that way.
I had rosettes, fluted molding for the 'legs,' MDF for the top and leftover baseboard to fill it out. But I was missing the crown molding part to give it dimension. And while we could have bought the basic stuff at $1.69 a foot, Brad and I settled on the $7 a foot dental molding. Which, does look awesome, but still, it was expensive.
I started by painting everything blue (the leftover "Harmonious" from the dining room).
And then I distressed it a bit, using a nail to create 'wormholes,' a box cutter to cut away edges and sandpaper to reveal the natural wood underneath.
I followed up with a layer of polyurethane and then topped it off with a couple layers of antique white.
After that, more distressing. I wanted to be able to see both the blue underneath as well as the natural wood. I really wanted to create the feel that this was some really old reclaimed mantle that had been hanging around for a long time. (also why the dental molding was important)
Then we -OK, actually, I- hung it. I felt all special using the power tools all by myself.
We thought about putting beadboard inside of it, but considering our house is practically draped in the stuff, I figured that would be overkill. So I left the center empty, placing this single candle holder in the center for now.
Also, check out the fun mirror on the wall! I got ahold of the spray paint again. It's addictive, I promise. I think the funniest part was looking on the back. You could tell it was originally painted gold, then blue, then gold and now, back to blue!
Anyway, it was a cute little project that (should have been free) only cost $30. I like how the doorway frames it and gives you something to look at, rather than an empty wall.
And, as always, I need to use a better camera! (Note: I'm pretty sure my 3Gs camera is worse than the 3G)