Monday, November 29, 2010

Mantel Moment!

After the Paper Whites Flowers on Friday I had some questions about the Fireplace mantel. Here's what we did!
To get the Mantel to this point:

From this:

First we covered the hole! I still have no idea why they would build a hole above the fireplace in that shape? We thought about boarding it up, but . . . . there are electrical connections there and that wouldn't be up to code, something about needing access to live wires ? ? . . . . I don't know, moving on. Then we thought about shrinking the hole to the height of the T.V. but the T.V. won't fit between the sconces anyways (I suggested a smaller T.V. Lee didn't go for that ). Then we thought shelves. We have lots of DVDs that we don't watch that often and that would be a great spot to store them. But, who wants to look at that all the time? 
So we combined, boarding it up, and shelves and came up with a swinging door idea. 

Lee added 3 MDF shelves to the inside. We don't have very much to store in there now but I'm thinking I might keep all the small decor pieces I like to change out periodically in there, things like candles and sea shells for summer, Acorns and Dried Leaves for the fall.
To add the "door" we measured the opening and had Home Depot cut a large piece of MDF to size (in case you didn't already know, Home Depot will do 2 free cuts on their huge saw for you, free of charge and every additional cut is only $1, although if you take your sister and not your husband with you it's pretty much and all you can cut buffet)  and hung it up with 4 hinges, It works really well for us. The seam is visible up close, but I don't mind it, and from just a couple feet away you can't see it at all!

I know what your saying, what about the frames?
They move with the door, they are secured into the door and swing open with it. We do have to be careful when we open it, but we only store items that aren't regularly needed. That door won't be opening more then a few times a year.

As for the frames themselves, they are glass front and back. I bought them from JYSK for $8 each. I printed out some old family photos in black and white and just added them in. Pretty simple. 

You might remember these old family photos and frames from our Old Manor. We used them in a larger grouping above the stairs.

and last,
I've been asked a few times if I had any tricks to spacing all the frames perfectly, I DO! A BIG ONE, his name is Lee and he does all the picture hanging around this Manor! I really have no idea how he does it, I see him use a measuring tape, and he mutters a lot of random numbers out loud while he's doing it . . . . . thank goodness for Lee, if it was up to me all of my picture arrangements would be in random haphazard groupings.

So, here's a special shout out to all the Handy Hubbies out there!!! Love 'em!


  1. I love the solution you came up with! The photos look great there and I adore the added storage!

  2. What a great solution! I know you were not happy about that niche!! And, I do think it will come in handy for storing seasonal items. I have a chest in my family that I use for that purpose, so much better than digging through boxes!

  3. Brilliant solution to such a strange niche.

  4. You two are so creative! Love your solution!

  5. Top marks for thinking of this clever idea.
    I like it!

  6. Great solution to the niche problem. Really love the simplicity of the frames and the black and white pictures!

  7. That is such a clever idea and it looks beautiful! The black and white photos are nice and simple and classic. You and Lee are quite the design couple!

  8. Ingenious and lovely! Great idea and use of space! I really gotta get on hanging a few pics...well a good bunch of art/pics/mirrors...apparently I am an art commitment phobe! LOL!

  9. hey I recognize those pictures.
    They look great on the mantle.
    I also like the glass matting as it saves you the hassle of matching size and color.

    I've added you a link on my blog, please do the same
    aunty donna

  10. Genious! You've turned an awkward spot into an awesome feature. Thanks for sharing x

  11. That door and shelves....genius idea for that weird hole!

  12. It's so strange, I did not even notice the outline of the door before!!! I have to say this was an ingenious idea on your behalf, I love any kind of added storage. ;)

  13. Awesome idea! It looks great and so functional for some extra storage!


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