Back in 2006, when we purchased our current house, the living room liked this (small boy not included):
After some wood floors, paint, and a bit of furniture were added to the scene, it looked like this:
We have loved the transformation, but have lacked a mantel over the fireplace. This year, I began to get very nostalgic for a place to hang our stockings. So today I dragged, er accompanied Jay down to a salvage store in town. If you’ve never heard of a salvage store before, it’s a place that buys up items from homes which are about to be demo’d, and then sells them to folks who can use them in their current homes. Great model for re-using perfectly good things all the way from light fixtures to mantels to hardwood floors to doors.
It was great fun poking around the salvage store, and because a sweet friend watched all four of our kiddos while we shopped (thank you, Jennifer!) we were able to focus in on what we were looking for. We brought home a very simple mantel shelf which cost very little, whose width perfectly fits our brick fireplace. My job is to sand and restain the wood till it is the color we’d like, and then my hunk of a home improvement guy will mount it to the brick fireplace surround.
Here is what the living room looks like now, with the mantel shelf leaning against the brick, patiently awaiting its new look.