Thursday, November 18, 2010

A faux fireplace transformation

After painting my faux fireplace mantel, I finally brought it inside the other day.  I was so excited to get it in my living room and see how awesome it was going to look, how warm and inviting and cozy it was going to make my room feel. 

And it looked like this



What?  You aren’t blown over by my fabulous transformation?  Yea, me neither.  It looked so out of place and random stuck in the middle of my wall.  And I hated that bright white outlet right there in the middle of it as well as the white baseboard running along the bottom.  It wasn’t working for me.

So I started brainstorming ways to make it look better.  I looked into getting a fireplace screen to set in the front and hide the fact that there wasn’t actually a fireplace there, but those things are pretty darn expensive!  And I just wasn’t all that excited about spending  so much money (plus I was pretty sure I couldn’t convince Tim that we needed an expensive fireplace screen for our fake fireplace). 

So after some more thinking, I decided to get a flat board and paint it black (with paint we already had) and slip it behind the mantel to cover up the outlet, wall, and baseboard.  I figured it wouldn’t be too expensive to buy a board and it was a pretty fast and simple fix, one that didn’t require a lot of cutting or construction, just some quick painting. 

And then it looked like this


Much better, don’t ya think?  The black board at least gives more of an illusion of a real fireplace than the wall with the outlet on it.  It was definitely a step in the right direction, but it still didn’t give me all the warm fuzzies yet. 

Then, I read this blog by the nester.  It was all about hacking decoration ideas from Pottery Barn.  I was totally inspired to try out some of the ideas and start decorating my faux fireplace mantel with them. 

She had this image from PB on her blog and I figured that would be easy enough to recreate in my house.  I even had some bottles, so I just needed the candles.



After I bought some candles, I added my own touch to the PB idea by filling the bottles with acorns from my yard and wrapping the necks with twine.



Here is another PB image that I liked



I noticed the leaves tied around the candle, the apothecaries, and the nuts in the bowls.  Here is my twist on their idea:

leafcandle nutapothocary 


I loved the idea of using things from nature, so I just went with that.  I bought the vine wreath and added the fake berries to it to give it some extra color.  Then I tied some pretty green ribbon to it and hung it over my mantel.  I broke off the dried berries twigs from a tree in my yard and stuck them in the green  bottles, which I already had.  And then I added  the pinecones (cinnamon smelling!) and nuts just to add some more depth and interest. 



And in the end, I think my faux fireplace turned out pretty good and it does give me the warm fuzzies now when I look at it.  And the great thing is that it didn’t end up costing an arm and a leg to spruce it all up and make it cozy feeling.



Now, if only I could actually light a fire in it when my mood strikes….


Oh, but I can!



  1. I LOVE your chalk fire! Brilliant.

  2. What a terrific transformation, Jamie! I used vintage fireplace mantel pieces and designed a headboard for my bed! :) The black board really gives your fireplace depth, and the way you decorated it is just stunning! Love it! :) Great artwork, btw!! lol!

    xoxo laurie

  3. LOVE it! You've inspired me...

  4. I enjoyed looking at your faux fireplace. Very cute and creative with the chalkboard paint and drawn flames. Thanks for sharing. Terry

  5. Great ideas. I just bought a big bag of nuts so I will empty out an apothecary jar and do that too. Thanks!

    Best wishes,

  6. WOW!!!!!!!!! I love it! I chose not to build a fireplace in this house and now I regret it. I've been thinking about faux fireplaces and your idea is really fun!

    I would love for you to join my link party at

  7. This looks amazing! I love the PB knockoffs, and LOVE-LOVE the faux fireplace! I never would have thought to use the "chalkboard" like you did! Very clever! Now if I could just find me a fireplace mantel....

  8. the fireplace is amazing and your mantle is LOVELY!

  9. Very pretty! I painted the inside of my faux fireplace with chalkboard too, it made all the difference!


  10. What great inspiration and a wonderful vignette! Love the natural elements. (and I agree, the blackboard looks great.)

  11. The chalkboard fire is what totally put this over the edge. DARLING! :)

  12. wow, i love it! that is so darling.

  13. I'm in the process of building a faux fireplace surround and your ideas have been very helpful... I just love your chalk fire... I'm building mine a bit wider and getting a heat insert from ACE Hardware.. not a bad price and I need the bit of heat in my living room.
    Love what you did and the decorations on the mantel.. great job!

  14. I like your decoration. I love your nice conservatory. I hope that You bring new fireplace for your living room.

  15. I love this!! Can you tell me where you bought/how you made your mantel surround? I am having no luck!

  16. I knew that the Acorns I collected were speaking to me(LOL) It looks Wonderful.

  17. Did you post how/where you got the faux fireplace to begin with? I want to copy you desperately!

  18. A faux fireplace? Nice one! Who would’ve thought of making one like this? Haha! Why don’t you build a real fireplace in your house? You can even have an indoor or an outdoor one. Anyway, I really love the idea of a faux fireplace!

  19. Its been awhile since this post but I hope you see this comment! I was wondering how you secured it to the wall. I'm looking at doing something similar but not sure the best way to make sure it doesn't fall over! lol thanks!

  20. Aimee, my husband just used a long screw and screwed it into the wall to keep it from falling over. Hope that helps!

  21. The last photo made me laugh! A faux fireplace with a drawn on fire to make it look real? Why not?! Your husband did a great job in setting up this one! Cheers!

  22. Please let us know where you bought the fireplace surround. Please.