The Plans {Continuing the Entry & Mantel Makeover}

The Plans {Continuing the Entry & Mantel Makeover}

Alright, so if you are new around here, welcome! I’m glad you are here! Over the past couple of months, I’ve been working on an entry makeover. Specifically right now, I’m adding a faux fireplace mantel to the room. Yesterday I talked about the ideas readers shared and the inspiration picture for the mantel. Now I’m going to fill you in on how I’m thinking I can recreate the inspiration photo in my own way. No, it isn’t done yet. Sorry to those of you who were holding your breath for the big “AFTER” reveal. It isn’t going to be one of those real quick things, but I’m still hoping it won’t take too long. {famous last words, right?}

I know there are dozens of options and ideas you all thought of for this that might seem easier or classier or cooler or better. An antique screen or vent would have been lovely, I know. But that is just not in the budget or time frame. So just stick with me here.

The Plans {Continuing the Entry & Mantel Makeover}

Inspiration image: Skonahem 

I happened to find white ventilated shelves (see them in the top photo) at Lowe’s. I figured if I got two of them and used them together lengthwise like a built in screen, they would almost fill the space in the mantel and would loosely give the same feel as my inspiration picture. Can you kind of picture using the shelves? I know, you kind of have to twist your head sideways and imagine the inspiration picture without the lattice. And with shelves.

I should mention that when I showed my husband my idea to use shelves to create a screen, he looked at me like I was crazy. Shelves? He isn’t all that into DIY projects. Let’s be honest. His eyes grow dull and almost roll back into his head when I mention that John and Sherry do DIY projects together.

Really, he is more afraid of ME working on this project because it is a known fact, I have no DIY skill. Or tools. I cause damage. I just want the finished project. Ha! So, this could be very dangerous for all involved. The riskiest part is that I’m telling you all about it now, before it is done. Kind of makes me have heart palpitations.

The Plans {Continuing the Entry & Mantel Makeover}

Let me clarify, I’m no stranger to covering up fireplace mantel black holes. But, that one pictured above was easy peasy.

All things considered, a mishap on this fireplace makeover is probably pretty likely. And everyone might not like how it turns out. But I’m willing to accept that risk. It is all a part of moving ahead on a budget, right? I’m determined to finish this entry.

The Plans {Continuing the Entry & Mantel Makeover}

If you missed what the other side of the entry looks like (the wall to the left of my mantel) you can check it out in my “painting stripes post.”

Coming up:

Besides this fireplace project, here are just a few posts that are COMING UP in the near future!

  • Paint Colors {where I am headed, where I’ve been, and things I consider when choosing my wall colors}.
  • Before and After: My Front Door. You never got to see an official before and after photo, so I’m going to remedy that so I’m keeping up with my entry makeover posts!
  • The Upstairs Bathroom Makeover Reveal! Yeah FINALLY!
  • The start of my Office Makeover Project! So excited to get this project started!

Seattle is expecting a whopper of a snow storm Wednesday, so I’ve stocked up on comfort food and am ready to hibernate for awhile! I’m hoping for lots of snow! Do you love a good snow storm? I do. If I’m safe and warm inside, that is! 

The Plans {Continuing the Entry & Mantel Makeover}


  1. Once you (any of us) have the vision…there’s no stopping that train. The good thing. You have great vision. Can’t wait to see the awesome transformation.

    I do like a good snowstorm when I DO NOT have to venture out in it. And when my neighbor comes over with his giant snowblower and clears it all out! Being warm inside is the coziest feeling. Enjoy!!

  2. Melissa, I am so excited to see what you do here! I have a HUGE fireplace…the firebox part alone is 5 ft x 4 ft and it’s like a giant black hole swallowing up our family room. We have been searching for a screen to at least break it up visually, but no dice unless we want to pay an arm and a leg. I think you may have cracked the code for us! Thank you…and enjoy the snow! We’ve had none here in PA this season, and I’m jealous!

  3. Melissa,

    I am pouring myself another cup of coffee and going to be wondering around you home this morning. Hope no one is in the shower. :O
    You are the queen of clever, creative solutions that don’t break the bank.

    Your Friend,

  4. Melissa, you are so creative with solutions like this. Look forward to seeing it all play out. Hunker down and stay warm during your big storm!

  5. Melissa,
    Your inspiration photo is lovely and your idea and materials look like they will be a solid substitute for lattice. I can’t wait to see it.

  6. I can’t wait to see the fireplace reveal – it’s such a terrific idea to solve this dilemma. You are truly a genius and I love seeing what you are up to each day.

  7. I hope you’re enjoying a warm and snuggly snow day!

  8. Brillant Melissa, I like the direction you are headed!!I love it when a plan starts to come together and unfold. It will be fun to follow along with your progress! Kathysue

  9. Melissa,
    I’m so glad you found your inspiration. I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

  10. I can totally see your vision with those shelves! Can’t wait to see the result!

  11. Good luck! I’m excited to see how this turns out.

    Also, your husband sounds like my husband to be. He’d rather we just buy pre-made stuff from the big box store, but I am soooo not into that!

  12. I can’t wait to see the finished product and I’m sure it will turn out better than you expect. I get the same look from my husband when I say ” hey honey, I have a great idea.” He cringes. Glad I’m not the only one. I keep thinking that one day he’ll just trust that I know what I’m talking about. It might help though if I was not famous for leaving projects unfinished and that I broke a window with a baseball bat once. All I’m saying is that I couldn’t find the hammer. I’ll never live it down.

  13. I told my husband that John and Sherry blog and diy together and he said “ahh, isn’t that cute they blog together” with that sarcastic husband voice. So I feel your pain he doesn’t like diy either. Well he doesn’t mind it as long as he is not involved. At first glance I thought that your shelves were the bed rails to a crib…I thought wow that is creative. I have never even heard of vented shelf so I am excited to see it all done.

  14. I can’t wait to see how it turns out! Hope you’re enjoying the snow day. We’re up on a hill on the Eastside, and we’ve had snow on the ground since Saturday. We’re taking the boys out sledding after lunch to make the most of it.

  15. I DO love a good snow storm! {we live in the snow belt of Lake Erie, in Pa} I think you are on the right track with your fireplace! Don’t forget to paint out the baseboard to match the wall too, I’m thinking you might see it through the “screen” Looking forward to seeing the results!

    Blessings, Michelle

  16. Oh, I hope you ENJOY your snuggly snow storm.
    I just LOVE your solution. I think it will be just the perfect amount of chunk and architectural quality… but without the hassle.
    Thinking outside the box and keeping it GORG! love it!

  17. Melissa,
    Enjoy your snow! Here in Chicago we’ve barely had any at all. But, we’re not temping Mother nature either. We know she’s probably just storing up her good stuff for us in March…or April!

    I never really thought about how lucky I am to have a DIY guy. (The Pex Christmas tree and M&M wreath were the wonderful work of my hubby and step-son. And, most of the signs hanging for our Jimmy John’s Kitchen were hung by them.

    Course that last part is not really DIY. I guess what I’m saying is…my husband has used my glue gun as much ans I have. That’s better.

    Looking forward to all your new posts and pretty ideas.

  18. i love your inspiration picture i think it’s perfect for that space and will cover up that vent really well!

    i seriously love your work and love your blog!

    follow mine, if you wish of course…


  19. Sorry, I’m late to the conversation! Up to my elbows in homework. Love the idea for the mantel! I’ve wanted to do the same thing in our living room, and have been trying to find a screen or something for a while now. Good luck and enjoy the snow!

  20. I don;t think there’s a wrong answer to this one, and I am sure your idea will look fabulous, the inspiration photo is great!


  21. Sounds good, can’t wait to see it when it’s done : )

  22. I love what you did with the mantel! …of course I also love the “before” mantel. It gave me about half a dozen ideas just looking at it! I hope when I move into a house it has some interesting areas that I can decorate.
    I’m also still jealous of that cabinat in your entry. I have plans to start antique store browsing in the future in hopes of finding some nice unique furniture and things.

  23. Love your idea…it’s going to be great! Can’t wait to see the progress as you move along. And I love your stories about you and DH ~ I can SO relate! Stay warm and safe in this storm…just found out no school again for us. My son is happy! :))

  24. I LOVE your inspiration photo… have to file that one away for myself some day when I add a faux fireplace to my bedroom. And yes, I can picture your shelving giving you the same look. :)

  25. Oh I think you will love it when it is finished! I think that is a very creative way to solve your delimma and stay on budget:) I’m impressed!

  26. I think it’s going to look absolutely wonderful! Great idea about the shelves. In my head (yes I think things up a lot, but don’t have tools to do), I’d build a frame in the opening, then add some lattice from the back of the frame and then the shelves in back of the lattice! ok, that’s as far as I’ve gotten :) Very excited to see your finished product!

  27. I love that you are creating your own interpretation of the idea you were most inspired by. That, to me, is what makes our projects our own and totally worthy of all of the ooh’s and ahh’s at the completion of our grand design!! Also, you are right, not everyone will like the end product but as long as you do, therein lies the prize! Another thing, even if the end product isn’t everyones favorite, I would go as far to say that everyone was at least inspired by your creativity! Thanks for sharing!!

  28. Hi! I know you’ve already got a plan, and I can’t wait to see how it turns out, but I just came across this post and thought of you. Near the end are some pictures of a white fireplace mantel with simple white lattice in the opening.

  29. FullOfCharacter says:

    I have this very similar problem with an intake vent cover on my wall, in my kitchen, where the only space to hang any art or decor would be. So, I need to figure out how to cover my wall vent without protruding too far into the room (our table sits right in front of this wall as well). Love those small country eat-in kitchens!

    So my question is: did this project ever come to fruition? I am not a blogger and I rarely post anything in response to a blog, so I have no clue if I missed this entire project finale or if it hasn’t happened. I just don’t understand how to navigate these things. Can someone please let me know if the finished result for the faux mantle has already been revealed?

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