DIY Fireplace Mantle Inspiration

In At Home, DIY by Michelle KowalskiLeave a Comment

DIY Fireplace Mantle Planning

As an incredibly thoughtful gift to me, my sister bought me a new house to play with. She literally got the keys last night and I’m already going full-steam ahead on planning the DIY updates. Since the rest of the house just needs some new paint and light fixtures, I’m focusing all of my attention on gathering inspiration for a DIY fireplace mantle. 

I have decided Jennifer’s interior aesthetic is: Traditional, Beachy, Cleveland (Rustbelt) so please keep that in mind as we move forward. Also, keep in mind that I snapped this pic yesterday before I knew I’d fully spiral into this photoshop madness, so ignore that super bulk amount of Costco’s finest toilet paper in the front.

The current mantle has a scalloped edge that isn’t doing anyone any favors, so the main goal is to get rid of that. Then the debate is: take the mantle across the whole wall like it is now, or cut it off so it is just over the fireplace. Jennifer is leaning towards having the mantle go all the way across to bridge the fireplace and the cabinets, so let’s get started.

DIY Fireplace Mantle Before

Question: if the mantle stops at the fireplace, what happens to the top of the cabinets to the left? The current shelves are getting removed, but having the mantle there would be a nice spot to lean some art.

I thought it might be so super fun to take you all through the process of making some interior decisions through the world of a zillion photoshop mockups. Buckle up.

Since Jennifer knows she wants the whole room to be one color, I started by toning down that red accent above the fireplace.

Great, already looking better.

Next, those shelves to the left are too thin and look out of place, let’s kill em. A note on the shelves, they are for sure practical, but the thickness of the boards and the vertical panels don’t make sense here, if she wants some shelves, I’d recommend a couple of juicy floating shelves.

Boy, bye.

She is also hoping to restain the floors darker to match the updated floor color from upstairs. So let’s add that to the mix.

Now, onto the actual task: the mantle. The simplest option would be to pry off the scalloped edge and replace it with a straight board.

What if it was a full-width beefy wood mantle? I’ll admit, this one would be hard to manage as a DIY without a table saw to miter the long edge of the pieces of wood, but if there’s a will, there’s a way.

Or, should we bring in some wood in a couple floating shelves above a white mantle?

I think we have a winner for now! It might be nice to add a small trim detail to the mantle if it looks unfinished in person, but the simple profile is looking fresh!

I find it so much easier to make decisions after a round of crazy-person photoshopping, what are your thoughts on these options? If you have any interior dilemmas that you need to solve, let us know if you want any help!


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Michelle Kowalski

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Michelle tries things in Cleveland, Ohio.