Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Mantel Reveal…aka: Part 3 of While the Cat’s Away

Ok, folks, I know you’ve been on the edge of your seat since my last post…just dying to find out if I finished the fireplace mantel I decided to build. 

In case you missed my last post {see it here} I was just telling everyone how my husband was out of town and that I wanted to do a few little high impact projects to surprise him with when he comes home.  I installed drapery rods/panels on day one.


On tap for day two was painting the flagstone fireplace…

January 2011 082IMG_5389











…which turned into: painting the fireplace AND building a mantel!

So that brings us to today’s post: building the mantel.

After spending all morning painting, at 2pm I decided that a mantel would be a nice finishing touch.  {With all the mantel linky parties going on, what’s a mantel-less girl to do?}

So I enlisted the help of my aunt {to play with my kids and give me a woman’s opinion} and my uncle {to help me secure the skill saw and drill holes in mortar} who are always getting roped into helping me so generous with their time.

A quick trip to Home Depot {which ended up being the first of two trips this afternoon} and before you knew it, I was sawing and sanding away. 

IMG_5359 IMG_5399

I am using a leftover board of 100+ year old reclaimed barn oak from when I built my kitchen island {with the same uncle} back in January. I love how it ties the kitchen in with the living room {which are both part of the same “great room”}


On one of my trips to Home Depot, I picked up a pair of iron brackets to hold the mantel:



They aren’t the most decorative of brackets in the world {the Depot didn’t have too many options} so I can see them being replaced by a splurge on something from, oh maybe, um, Anthropologie? Just a thought. Like howz about these…



oooooo, wouldn’t that be fun?  Wanna know what I love about them? 

~the painted and distressed white iron

~the painted and distressed teal iron

~the whimsical, but not too over-the-top scroll

~did I mention the colors? they match my home perfectly! Love it!


A-hem. Ok, anyways…moving right along.  Oh and by the way, I did paint the hex nuts black on the Home Depot bracket…not to worry! {See ugly silver nuts on pic above Anthro pic}

So while I sanded and sanded and sanded…and then did a bit more sanding…my uncle drilled the 4 holes in the flagstone mortar for the bracket. And one sore back later, I proudly announced the board was finished and ready for installation.  Up we propped it onto the brackets, added a couple of screws to secure the wood to the bracket and voila, finished!


And it’s not even 5pm yet!  I said my thank yous and bid farewell to my aunt and uncle {purposely not reminding him of the dining table I’d love to build out of the same wood} and then started to play!




Grabbed this picture from the hallway…a little too BIG, ya think!  









So then I found this mirror hiding under my bed. Now we’re getting closer…though it would look great in distressed turquoise! But for now we’ll go with it…it’s free and I can’t go buy paint at this point ‘cause my kids are all in bed.


Remember how my son’s room used to be surf-themed and now it’s evolving into a Star Wars {cringe, ok now smile} theme? So I stole a few things from his room…namely the “Beach this way” sign…and his personal shell collection…& the next morning I picked up a few things from Cost Plus and Michael’s and here we are the next afternoon:


And finally, I couldn’t resist these “beachy” rattan ball lights…I’ve been so mantel deprived that I just wanted to go all out!


Eeeeeee, I’m so excited for my husband to come home from his trip!  Do you think he’ll be surprised?

When he left it looked like this:

January 2011 082

And he’s coming home to this:


I’d say a back massage is most definitely in order, wouldn’t you?

Bring on the mantel linky parties!! This girl is ready!


  1. mavis E. ButterfieldMay 4, 2011 at 9:22 AM

    Get Thee to Urban Ore in Berkeley where you'll find all sorts of brackets in the "distressed" fashion you relish. Good luck with that back rub dude, I hope DH is working on his thumb exercises to get ready. . .
    PS: what, praytell, are you doing up at 4:48 AM young lady??

  2. You can probably fit a lot of Star Wars figures on that mantel (but the shells and lights look a whole lot better). May the Fourth be with you!

  3. What a great transformation - you are very talented.

    Cousin Monica from Long Beach

  4. Love it Celeste!!!
    You have been one busy girl and wait til hubby sees!
    Beautiful job!!!

    Deborah xo

  5. mavis E. ButterfieldMay 4, 2011 at 2:56 PM

    Fourth???? is there something you aren't telling me??

  6. How did you attach the brackets to the bricks?

  7. That is awesome!! You did a great job!!

  8. Beautiful, Celeste! I love everything. Painted brick, gorgeous mantel and your pretty beachy decorating! Great job!


  9. Hi, found you on TT&J. Your fireplace looks amazing! Great job! Almost everything should be painted white - I even think new houses should be all white! :) We'd have a lot less work to do! Keep up the great work - I'll be checking back - you have a cute blog! Have a good week!

  10. This is gorgeous! You have done a fantastic job. I really like the white {and I loved the flag print} The beach theme is perfect for summer! Thanks for sharing - Hope you had a wonderful weekend!
    ~Stephanie Lynn

  11. I think you husband will be surprised but love it. It looks gorgeous.



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