Our Mantel Makeover

January 31, 2018

Our Mantel Makeover

This post has been a long time in coming. I started our mantel makeover in August and it was one of those projects that had to temporarily take the back burner while other facets of life took priority. Our fireplace area gets so much beautiful sunlight, it’s one of my favorite parts of the house—it’s actually in the room I shoot most of our Drifter Organics pictures. I wish we had proper “before” pictures, but we don’t, so I can only describe to you how the mantel used to look. To start, the brick was brown. The mantelpiece was much more ornate and looked like this. Above the mantelpiece, we had an analog wall clock that looked like this. Everything was a lot darker and traditional. Maybe it’s from living in California for 10 years, but our style has definitely evolved to a modern West Coast casual.

Our Mantel Makeover

The first thing we did was paint the brick white. We also painted the walls white (they used to be yellow) and it opened up the space sooo much. We swapped out the mantelpiece for a railroad tie my mom found at Urban Ore for $3 (!!!). We sanded and stained the railroad tie et voilá a rustic, modern looking mantelpiece for less than $20 counting the stain we bought.

Our Mantel Makeover

To replace the wall clock, I enlarged one of my favorite pictures I took from my trip to the Dixon sunflower fields last summer I wrote about here. The size I needed my photo enlarged was 48″x36″ which costs quite a pretty penny that I didn’t care to spend. To circumvent that, I got a Color Engineer Print from Parabo Press. They only cost $25 and fit 36″ or 48″ wood poster rails. They are perfect if you have a large wall you need to decorate. The paper weight is a bit thin, so if you use the wood poster rails, you just have to be careful not to rip or crease the paper. Since the brick we were hanging the print on is uneven and textured, I bought this SnapeZo poster frame from Amazon to avoid any ripping that might occur from hanging the print without protection. I also got a custom mat cut by Blick. I think adding a mat is a great hack for elevating the look of the engineer prints.

Our Mantle Makeover

Me next to the print to show scale. It’s huge!

Our Mantel Makeover

We have this odd platform around our mantel, it’s always been a dead space we didn’t know what to do with. I saw this picture from Justina Blakeney’s collaboration with Loloi Rugs and thought plants! Indoor plants are a great way to fill out a space and naturally purify the air by absorbing harmful pollutants through their leaves. We already had most of the plants, they just needed to be transferred to some prettier plant homes. I’m a huge ceramics freak and collected the planters (some of the pots the smaller cacti and succulents are in are actually tumblers) and plant stands over the past few months. A great planter can give plants so much personality. Although I love white, the whiteness of the mantel + planters + plant stands got to be a bit much, so I found a table runner from @noihsaf_home on Instagram to break up the monotone. I have to credit my mom for finding the brand new Pottery Barn 8’x10′ jute rug on Craigslist for $80. (There seems to be a pattern here with my mom always finding the good deals.) She drove 60 miles one-way to pick it up and I think she would have willingly driven twice as long to snag a brand new Pottery Barn 8’x10′ jute rug for $80. It’s tightly woven (good for pets!) and looks great in the space.

Our Mantel Makeover

Our Mantel Makeover

Our Mantel Makeover

Our Mantel Makeover

Our Mantle Makeover

Our Mantel Makeover

Our Mantel Makeover

Many months later, I’m so happy with the way the mantel makeover came together. The highlight of the mantel is definitely the Color Engineer Print. Seeing the sunflowers at sunrise was an incredible experience and the full moon was a happy accident. It brings me endless joy to see it in print so big.

If you want to get an Engineer Print for yourself, Parabo Press is offering 50% off Engineer Prints using promo code DRIFT—good now through 2/28/18.

Shop the space: Color Engineer Print c/o Parabo Press, custom mat by Blick, Poster Frame in Cream by SnapeZo via Amazon, mantelpiece from Urban Ore, Blue Speckled Planter c/o btw ceramics (no longer available, but larger version here), Dodecahedron Concrete Vessel by Concrete Geometric, White Planter + Golden Stripe by The Object Enthusiast, Small Adam Pot by Group Partner, Grain Jar in Thistle by Totem, Shapes Tumbler c/o The Granite (no longer available, but similar here), Pink Tumbler from Forest Ceramic Co., Peruvian Pouf via Craigslist, 10″ Straight Sided Cylinder Terra Cotta Pot from Crimson Horticultural Rarities, Naramata Plant Stand in Black c/o Blue Caribou, Wavy Tumbler in Yellow c/o One Eye Ceramics, Vintage Peacock Chair Plant Stand from Pot Pot Plant Co. on Etsy, Light Cutouts Top Pot by Group Partner, Flower Shadow Print by Painted Mary, Blue Stain on Beech Wood Picture Frame by ArtToFrames via Amazon, Medium Tabletop Planter c/o Convivial Production, Brown Medium Planter c/o Convivial Production (no longer available), Tulameen Plant Stand in White with Black Pot c/o Blue Caribou, Rose Gold Copper Planter in Medium c/o Hudson + Oak on Etsy, 8″ Sided Cylinder Terra Cotta Pot from Crimson Horticultural Rarities, Mid-century Modern Plant Stand by East Pine on Etsy, Red Vintage French Cotton Table Runner from @shopsummerofgeorge via @noihsaf_home on Instagram, Gadsen Natural Fiber Rug by Pottery Barn via Craigslist (no longer available, but similar here), pillow Aubrey is sitting on by Arro Home (no longer available, but lots more patterned pillows here)

Leave a Comment

  • 1
    Lorene Cavigielli

    Very creative. Looking at Blick for where to order custom-cut mat and can’t find?? Isn’t it fun to enjoy your own photos enlarged on the wall!

    • Thank you! I went to the Blick store on Market St in San Francisco to get it custom cut at their design center at that location. I had all the measurements figured out—they just had the mat board and cut it to the window opening I specified. You can give them a call to ask which location you can get the mat custom cut at a Blick nearest you or if you can order on the phone/online and have it shipped if you don’t live near a Blick. Let me know if you have any more questions!

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