I have had quite a few questions about how I covered up that giant black hole above the fireplace known to builders as the place to put a TV.
In case you are wondering why we don’t just put our TV there, here are the reasons. One, the fireplace is too high, probably close to five feet tall. Our sofa is to the left facing the right wall, so turning our necks up and to the side would be painful trying to watch a movie. And two, I like to decorate my mantel so having a TV there puts a damper on the fun. You either would have to decorate in front of the TV or only on the sides. Our TV is almost as wide as our mantel which left little room for decor. Lastly, if we put the TV there and then covered it up, it would be a pain in the rump to remove mantel decor in order to watch TV.
My TV is now directly across from the sofa on the wall to the right, which means we can look straight across to watch TV. I’ll show you how that is working out in another post.
So what did I do to cover up that black hole? You have seen my fireplace many times. As you know, there are “shutters” on the mantel. The shutters are actually just painted cupboard doors (that I took off my kitchen cabinets to make “open shelves”) but “shutters” sounds so much more classy and cool. I chose to use the cupboard doors because they were the only thing I could find that could cover the entire hole without looking ridiculously too large and awkward.
From the side, hopefully you can see the cupboard doors are really and truly just leaning back against the wall. They are tall enough to not fall in the hole. I do not attach them to the wall.
I used three doors, and the middle door is overlapping in front of the two side ones. This is just how it looked best to me. Also, because I didn’t plan this project out ahead of time, the two white cabinet doors are not even the same size. So the green door helps give the illusion of balance with the two white ones.
You can see in the before photo (below) that we do have an outlet in the niche. So if I want to plug in lights, it is not hard to put an extension cord around the shutters on the mantel to plug something in. That is the beauty of this set up, nothing is permanent so I can be flexible in what I do.
Because I like to evolve my decor with the seasons, I have changed the center cabinet door from blue to green, and I’ve also used a mirror in place of the center shutter to warm it up for fall and winter. I have plans to make a couple of extra center doors to update and change with the seasons. This is a very flexible and versatile solution!
Here are just a few of the various ways this mantel has been decorated:
Winter variation with mirror and wreath
Summer mantel with blue shutter
Fall mantel with wreath hanging on green shutter
So let’s see the before & after of the black hole!
If you want to know about the wall paint, you can find the paint colors here.
Hopefully this helps explain my fireplace black hole solution!