Hallelujah! The Living Room Fireplace Makeover is complete! You may remember some of the work we’ve been up to in recent weeks. I’m so pleased to add that we couldn’t be happier with the results. It’s surprising what you can accomplish with a little imagination, and a lot of good old fashioned DIY handy-work.

Here is a reminder of the “before”:

DIY fireplace surround

The last bit of building involved those beautiful tiles… ahhh… who doesn’t want a little sparkle in their living room? We also built our own moulding up top. Framed it out with plywood, added it the moulding on top for some added texture and interest.

Here she is ALMOST complete:

DIY fireplace surround tile and wainscotting

How about some stain for that mantle? We chose a Varathane Natural Oil finish in Clear 66. It was a surprisingly important decision… so glad we saved an extra chunk of the mantle to do some test swatches on! Saved the day!

DIY fireplace mantel


And the official “after” shot:



Did I mention how inconspicuous that speaker system is? Hello there little guy hiding on the mantle!

DIY fireplace mantel and surround

I love having this new space to play around with decorating and family photos!


Here’s a close-up of those tiles. The mosaic tiles are a glass tile from Bellavita with a Bamboo background finish.

DIY fireplace mantel and surround

A great place to relax at the end of the day. What do you think? Have a project you’d like to share? Don’t forget to email those low-res photos in!!

18 Responses

    1. Thanks Erica! The artwork actually came from a friend (she worked for a company that supplies artwork on a large scale to places like hotels etc.)… they were moving a bunch of product out — and I scored that little number at no cost. Good deal right??!

  1. Saw your room on design sponge- looks beautiful!
    I have been doing some DIY projects myself but have been stumped on how to install floating shelves that are substantial… and yours definitely looks substantial. How did you do it and do you think it is strong enough to be a bookshelf?

  2. Bravo! Really nice job guys.

    I’m a bit overly practical but, er, um… where’s the HD recorder? DVD player? Amplifier (for the speakers)? Where/how did you manage to hide all these? (And the electrical plug for the telly?)

    1. Ahhh yes, the necessary but ugly stuff. It is fantastically hiding in the laundry room! The LR and Laundry share a wall, so we did some drywall removal and some careful fishing of wires (this took some time and finesse)… and mounted the components on shelving. Check out pic #6 on this entry. You’ll see our DVD and PVR & receiver hiding up there. Our sub is hiding behind a chair in our living room. Thanks so much!!

    2. Oh yeah… the power outlet for the TV is right behind the TV. We rewired off an existing outlet to move a power box right behind it, so it’s all nice and hidden! ;)

      1. Ahhh…a radio frequency remote… never knew this existed. How very clever of you!

        Not sure it would get through my walls- they’re concrete – but I live in an apartment so it’s a lot quieter to have them.

        Still totally AMAZED by your tv/mantle surround. Again, being the pragmatist that I am, I would have liked to have seen pics of how you secured that heavy mantle to the wall. I know you said it was via some welding and then reinforcing the mantle… but any pics?

        1. Hi Lou. Sorry it took so long to get back to you. Here is a link to an ikea shelf, which closely resembles the process we used for attaching our mantle to the wall. We had ours welded by a friend, so they are of course, more heavy-duty than the ikea ones pictured in the pdf. But its the same principle. The brackets are mounted to studs in the wall, and the mantle has holes drilled at the back to match the position of the brackets. And, we slid the mantle onto the bracket. It took 3 of us, 2 to lift, and 1 to guide the mantle up on to the brackets. Hope that helps!

  3. Found your blog from YHL- love what you did with the fireplace. I just redid my kitchen using those same tiles but in the “pencil” shape. Love the subtle texture of the “bamboo” look. Keep up the great blogging!

    1. Hey Melissa, yeah the long tiles are great aren’t they?? I have thoughts of a new backsplash in my kitchen, are those ones are definitely contenders! I’d LOVE to see your kitchen! If you want to share, email some pics!! ;)

  4. Looks great. Where did you get your Varathane Natural Oil Finish, # 66 Clear? I understand the manufacturer closed that product out a year or two ago. I’d love to get hold of a gallon or two.

  5. Opps, I guess that comment missing some content, lol. Glass can look a bit off before it is grouted (not sure if that was the case here or not), but once grouted I always love the look of it. I have installed a good bit myself over the years.

  6. WOW, very nice job! Great choice on Tile too! I always love the way glass looks grouted, I bet when you where laying the tile you were starting to wonder if you chose a good tile or not.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.