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Jun 30, 2012

Mantel Madness: Again?

Oh man.  The decorating ADD has kicked in big time.

I LOVE the mantel that Steve built for me.  But after looking at it for about a month, I began to feel that it didn't quite look right.  The scale was still off, somehow.  So I asked Steve to move the mantel down the wall, closer to the top of the piano.  He dutifully agreed and retrieved his power drill from the garage.


Power tools?  Steve's in.

Steve held the mantel up to the wall while I stood back and looked.  I thought bringing it closer to the piano would help fix the scale, but it actually made it worse.  So we sat and stared at the blank wall, trying to think of a way to improve the proportion of piano:mantel:wall space.

Itty bitty piano, big giant wall.

I always hate suggesting ideas that would mean extra work for Steve, but I had a thought cross my mind and I just couldn't ignore it.  What about an overmantel?  As long as we were sticking a mantel over a non-fireplace, why not just go all the way and make it even more fireplace-y looking by adding an overmantel?  Surprisingly, Steve was all for it.  It still amazes me that this man will take on extra work when I get hare-brained ideas like this.

I went to find images and tutorials of DIY faux fireplaces and Steve began sketching some diagrams of his plans.

Here's what I found on Pinterest:

Remodelaholic has a lengthy tutorial that includes lots of less-than-glamorous (but very useful!) photos of the process.


 
From Remodelaholic.com

A Place For Us had a short tutorial, and their mantel looks pretty similar to the one that Steve built.

From A Place For Us Blog

Remodelando La Casa had a short tutorial as well, but I really love the way their overmantel looks, with the super-thick crown and the large set-in panel in the middle.  It's just begging for a big art-deco style round mirror, don't you think?

From Remodelando La Casa

Steve looked at these and agreed that he liked the way the one from Remodelando La Casa turned out the best.  He also said that he had already figured out most of the how-to details while I was busy searching the interwebs.  Here's his diagrams.

Front view.  A 3-D rendering, even.

Side view.  I could've helped if the diagram called for stick people.

Looks pretty nice, huh?  You can see in both pictures that we'd end up attaching the mantel to the built up overmantle, and adding a little behind the existing mantel on both outside edges so that the mantel will still be flush to the wall.  We also considered bead board or planking for the inset panel in the middle, but I think I'd rather just have it appear smooth- it'd be more versatile if and when we redecorate.

Essentially, we'll hang the mantle just above the piano (like an inch-ish, to ensure the piano won't bump against the mantle when I'm playing loudly), and continue a little bit of the backing down under the mantle so that it looks like it takes up the whole height of the wall but is partially hidden by the piano.

So when we're done, hopefully we'll have something that resembles this:

Less horribly photoshopped, please.

So the mantel madness continues.  Steve is itching to do some woodworking, so we will probably at least have progress to share in the next week or two.  Cross your fingers for us!


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