I’ve made some big changes in my living room thanks to a new wood fireplace mantel I found recently on Facebook marketplace. This was the listing photo.
I scroll marketplace often, especially in the winter when I can’t get out to the flea market. I’ve found some amazing things but this wood fireplace is by far my favorite so far!
It was love at first sight with this one. However, I still went through all the reasons why I should not buy this in my mind. Then, I texted my friend to get her input,
The text I sent her read something like this: If I were to find a mantel on marektplace that I don’t need and have nowhere to put it but is so incredible I may not be able to pass it up, how would you feel about taking a ride up north with me? And by taking a ride I mean you’d be driving my car, lol,
Her reply: When are we going?
That was the answer I was hoping to hear! I messaged the seller and set up a time to pick up. I asked him if he made the mantel (because it looks hand carved) and he said yes out of Mahogany. He also was selling a really gorgeous chair frame for only $20 so I bought that too. I was amazed at his craftsmanship.
The chair frame didn’t have a seat (hence the $20) so I asked if he’d make the base at least before we picked up and he said yes. But when we got there he hadn’t made it. Long story short, after the pickup we had a good laugh at my thinking this was all handmade by him. In retrospect, I think these pieces may have fallen off a truck. 😉
After I got it home, I quickly realized I really didn’t have anywhere to store the new mantel so I made the decision to remove my vintage chippy mantel from the living room and put this one in its place.
Curved Wood Fireplace Mantel
However, adjustments were going to have to be made to fit the new mantel. It was a little wider and a little shorter than the vintage mantel. We never added a fireplace surround with the old mantel, but considering the width of this mantel, I knew it’d be necessary.
I made a bunch of design boards in photoshop trying out different ideas. With this curved front mantel design, I didn’t think a boxy surround would look right. I was imagining an arch instead.
The existing brick veneer in the faux firebox opening could stay, I would just need a new surround over it.
Wood Fireplace Mantel Surround
Another thing I was envisioning this time around was a little more depth in the firebox opening to make it look more realistic. I’m not sure what type of wood was used (a contractor installed this for me) but it was done in layers to add the depth I wanted. Here is what it looked like after the first layer.
I loved it but it felt a little flat so I asked for it to be built out more creating the depth. And here it is after three more layers were added.
Now I needed to figure out what to do with the surround. A friend mentioned Roman Clay to me, which was not something I had really heard of before. The more I looked at Roman Clay, the more I loved the idea.
After experimenting with several samples, I ended up picking a neutral tan color. My thinking was that either gray or tan would mimic the look of real stone. I applied the Roman Clay myself and will share another how-to post on that. (Update: Roman Clay Fireplace How-To) I’m still debating whether or not to do a second coat of it.
Ideas for Fireplace Surround and Hearth
With the Roman Clay applied to the surround, I decided to change the color of the brick veneer in the firebox to black. My thinking was that black would give it the illusion of even more depth.
The hearth was built up higher than the previous vintage mantel to make up the height difference.
Living Room Fireplace Decor
You may also notice the furniture here is a bit different. We have been clearing out our family room to convert to a bedroom temporarily when my husband comes home. If you are unfamiliar with his Coronavirus story, see my Instagram page.
It’s a small living room and it actually feels larger this way. I think a few larger pieces look better in small spaces than a bunch of small furniture. Both of these sofas are great options for smaller living rooms. I do wish they were both white but for now, I’m liking this new look. And they are both very comfortable, though the white sofa is soft and the gray sofa is firm.
I was a little sad to let my chippy vintage mantel go. I really need a warehouse like Joanna Gaines has! Though I did end up making a good profit on the old mantel compared to what I paid for it. What’s even better than that is the person who bought it owns a store in Asbury Park, NJ where the old mantel will be installed.
Here’s a quick before and after video I put together of the new mantel. Sometimes regular photos don’t do it justice. The Roman Clay looks darker and more defined in person than it does in these photos.
Morale to this story: buy what you love and appreciate your amazing friends who are always ready to go on a crazy adventure with you!
What do you think of the new mantel? (linking with bnotp)