How to make a corner fireplace look a million times better by building a wall over the mantel. Our family room set up was part of the issue for a very long time – but I addressed that earlier this year with our new sofa and moving the TV.
Ahhh…all those years ago, I thought oh yes – let’s do a corner fireplace and be all cool and different and uh...ANNOYING.
I’ve addressed it numerous times – first by adding molding to the top. I added crown to the room this year, and I had to end it by the molding over the fireplace. I hate the weird stop – but I’ve not found a better way to do it.
And I realized a few months ago that part of the reason the fireplace looked weird to me was because it was so top heavy – big on top, little on bottom. And the corner mantel was really a pain in my patoot to decorate.
And even though the top was large and in charge, the whole thing felt too small for this space. Then I thought about building a wall above the mantel to close it off (many of you have suggested that).
But then there was another issue – the firebox couldn’t be moved out to meet up with a new wall. But then, one glorious day, I walked through a model home (one of my favorite things to do!
Vince (Handyman #1) took the mantel off (it was way easier than I thought it would be) and the trim around the front of the fireplace, then started building a wall: They couldn’t go real beefy with the surround because I wanted a DEEP mantel and enough space around the fire box to install tile. So in order to make that work, the sides were a bit thinner, but the molding and mantel were chunkaaaay.
There was a bit of a gap between the firebox and the drywall around it when they pulled off the trim. You can see here that they ended up installing some luan that covers that gap and gave me a good surface for the tile. Forgive me for these pics – it was pitch black at 5 p.m. and I was busting booty to get this finished today…but the pictures didn’t start till about 7. :)
What you don’t see here is the nice little large spot where I put painter’s tape on the wall too soon and had a nice loooong patch where the drywall was exposed. I put accessories up there for it’s first photo shoot and I was SO excited at how easy it was to make it look decent and how BIG the mantel is and HOW MUCH I LOVE IT!!!
The guys used one (really, really thick) piece of molding to beef up the mantel and I love it – its exactly what I was hoping for!
We all stood in front of it last week commenting on how much we liked that it’s inset – it makes it look like it’s been their forever, like something you’d see in an old house: The one thing Mike (handyguy #2) mentioned later was that he wished he had thought about adding lights underneath that I could dim – what a great idea! I was willing to give up some square footage in the family room – I actually wanted to go out a little further.
But the guys didn’t want to take it too far out and now I know that was a good call. We don’t even notice it in the least though – it feel like it “fits” in the room SO much better!
But I’m really digging the simple, clean look right now – I don’t know if I’ll even add anything:
The guys even moved the outlet (behind the candlesticks) so I can still have my twinkling lights up there. It took a little help from the professionals (building a wall isn’t in my repertoire, but I’m working on it!