A couple of weeks ago I showed you my faux fireplace mantel and the dilemma I was trying to solve. The situation was I wanted to use a mantel surround in my entry (even though there was no real fireplace there) to add some character. Unfortunately there was an awkwardly placed cold air return vent on the wall that I wanted to put it on. Story of my life! There is always a dilemma, non?
My question was how to keep the mantel on that wall but hide the air vent without blocking the air flow. And in the process I wanted to make the mantel look like it was there on purpose as an architectural element in the room and not some random after thought.
So to get my ideas flowing, I opened the comments to see what YOUR creative ideas were for solving my dilemma! And wow, I had over 200 creative suggestions! Thank you to everyone who left comments for me on that post! I really and truly read and considered all options and appreciated the time you took to share.
As a part of my decision making process, I was considering my limited time (I have a million projects waiting in line!) and lack of desire for a complicated DIY project, as well as the overall cost as I wanted to keep the budget minimal. There were other issues to consider such as how the mantel actually looks in the room (as opposed to how it might have looked in the photo), and of course what style I think would be appropriate in our home.
I had super helpful people send me inspiration photos, and others emailed me with awesome ideas, like my good pal Darlene from Fieldstone Hill who so graciously sent me amazing links to beautiful antique grates. She has awesome taste and totally got my desire to have the mantel be an intentional and beautiful architectural statement (as opposed to it looking just like a faux mantel). Love her.
Are you still with me? OK. Phew. So in the end, I couldn’t find an antique or otherwise interesting grate locally (I live on a peninsula and it isn’t easy to find cool stuff unless you travel a long way or order online). And I decided to not order something online (antique or not) just in case it ended up not being right once I saw it.
One of the interesting and unique ideas in my comments on that post was from Patti (above). She alerted me to a photo she had seen on Brown Button that was strikingly similar to the layout of my wall (which is also at an angle) and the overall look of my fireplace.
What I liked about the above inspiration photo (besides it feeling so similar to the layout of my room and the actual mantel on the wall) was that the design of the “screen” would not only cover up the air return vent without compromising the airflow but it unified the mantel and the screen together as one nice solid architectural statement.
Interestingly, the screen insert was white as opposed to black, which I actually liked a lot because it gave the entire mantel a much “chunkier” unified appearance.
So, with that possible inspiration picture stored on my phone (thanks for the inspiration, Patti!), I headed out to see what I could find on this not-always-inspiring-peninsula. But lo and behold, I think I found just the solution I was looking for. It won’t be exactly the same as this photo, but that is OK. Inspiration photos can be inspiration for your own unique interpretation of an idea.
So stay tuned for my next post and I’ll show you what I found! Oh, such a cliff hanger!