Friday, February 27, 2009


I really like the house we live in. Nice location, great rooms, well built. It was built in the early 70's however and there are a few more things I'd like to see disappear from that era. Our mantel is one.

The entire family room area has this rustic barn/beam wood theme. I can't say I liked it. It's on the ceiling, lining the back wall into the kitchen, and the mantel has the same faux wood. Or maybe it is really wood but not really an old barn beam. Whatever it is, I don't like it. You can see the beam near the ceiling in the kitchen. It's like molding but not the way I'd like to see crown molding.

We painted over (it was a risk I was willing to take!) the dark brown beams on the ceiling. The lighter color toned it down enough for a quick move in.

But painting the mantel the same creamy white color just didn't seem to work in my opinion. And now it is 2 1/2 years later and we haven't done anything to it. Each year at Christmas I try to cover it up as much as possible.

Every time I look at it though I think "this thing has to GO." I guess it's not THAT bad but I would like something else that looks like real wood.

While we were out antiquing, I saw these neat old mantels. I thought that might be a neat idea. Paint the brick the creamy ivory and add a vintage mantle painted to match. Maybe that's mixing up too many different looks? The family room area blends right into our "LuRay" kitchen so it needs to stay similar.

We may have to just remove the 70's mantel and replace it with something more traditional for now. Either way, it's got to be dis-mantled. Any ideas would be welcome.

We probably won't be doing anything about it now, we're still really busy with Dear Bebe.

But I am going to start thinking about it. If I get some "me" time I may try to sift through some magazines for ideas. I have a 3 ring binder where I've saved decorating ideas and pictures over the years. I'll have to look in there and see what I can find.

And there is always the internet!

Google probably won't bring up what I'd like to search for. "Ripping out ugly old 70's fake crappy wood mantle." But hey, you never know. We're probably not the first to do it.

Oh. And I forgot to mention Dear Hubs has no idea I'm ready to dis-mantle. He probably thinks it's fine the way it is.

Have a great weekend!


Connie said...

Jillian, I'd "rethink" the painting of the mantle again, honey. I think it would be lovely painted white but cant' see it very well from the photo. However, in California we had a brick fireplace and painted it white and it worked pretty well. It was then "roughed" up a bit to look distressed and it served us well for many years chickee. OR if you don't want to take that leap, try some white lace on it to try and make it lighter and cover up the wood. I've done that to MANY things and that works extremely well and can then be changed any time with no problems at all.
xoxo to Le Bèbè,

Jillian, Inc said...

Oh know I do this for a living so I do have an opinion and a suggestion. I'd paint the brick and mantle more neutral, keeping the mantle a shade or two darker than the brick. I'd paint the wall in the room something more neutral and warm. And I can't tell what your ceiling is like. I think I'd make the ceiling light and keep the beams the color they are. I do much better with other people's houses than I do with mine. I live in an early 80s house and I swear I've done everything twice. Good luck!

Jillian said...

Hi Jillian! Thanks so much for the great thoughts on how to re vamp the mantle and surrounding area. I love the idea of the neutral color in the living room....the problem is, I don't want it in the kitchen. And they blend together. I will probably end up doing things twice as well! But still, I'm liking your idea for the mantle and the fireplace area. You've got me thinking! :0)

Penny @ The Comforts of Home/Lavender Hill Studio said...

I love the idea of painting the brick cream/white and removing the old mantel and adding a vintage one!

MJ said...

Is it possible to drywall over it?

There must be a common code amongst men where they vow "it's fine the way it is" and act shocked when we raise the issue of "it isn't so fine".

So Shabby Pink said...


I see you are another Princess Bride fan!

Thanks for sharing your pretty home with us.

I love the idea of painting the brick. Paint is inexpensive and can easily be changed. Your house is pretty. :-)


Paul said...
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Paul said...


Ok ladies what is with the painting. Give you ladies a can of paint and everything will be white...even the the cats! It appears that the brick matches the cream color of the trim. Just install a new mantle and call it a day!