A Living Room Mantle Renovation


Most the original details in this 1925 Spanish home still reside but there are some recent interior additions that just don't really work
 The fireplace has been reimagined (I'm being nice) using stacked ledger stone with the TV 
front and center...ugh!
So off came the TV and we were able to see the old plaster work 
and the original outlets for sconces.  
The wiring was hot and actually buried behind the stone....

While starting this project, I actually came across this wonderful intact fireplace surround 
from the same time frame manufactured by Claycraft.  
Claycraft was one of the many companies producing scenic tile during California's Golden Age which included Batchelder, Cal Art and Alhambra Kilns to name a few.
  After taking a few more photos and all of the measurements back to the house
 it would have worked!  
I couldn't believe it.  
But after much thought we decided it would overwhelm the room so we went to plan B
We opted to completely re-plaster over the added stone and re-plaster the walls.  
All of the walls throughout out the house will need to be re-plastered so this gave us a glimpse as to how the finished walls will look
 After 3 coats the fireplace started looking like the original circa 1925 probably did
 Millie found this whole process boring and decided a little nap on the workers jacket was in order
 The fireplace looks a little pink here, but it has no pigment at all and will dry almost white 
 Before we could finish all of the walls (which were also a patched cobbled mess) 
the electrical needed moving and updating. 

 In order for the plaster to adhere the walls are sanded and then a layer of glue is applied
 The ceilings are quite high and the corners have a soft rounded curve which is really pretty
 Two coats of plaster was hand trowled on all of the walls 
and then burnished when almost dry
well not actually presto but pretty close 
The walls will dry much lighter and have a really natural patina and texture
Now for some sconce shopping....holy cow! 
 One of my favorite Antique stores in Pasadena is California Revival Antiques.  
They have an impressive collection of lighting (understatement ) 
as well as furniture, art and garden Antiques.  
The owner Marie is wonderful to work with and the staff was really a pleasure.  
 In addition to lighting I purchased this great rattan lounge chair and ottoman, as well as the two small bamboo end tables.
 Ironically these came from the Ford Estate in Ojai when the owners recently sold it.
 Marie helped them originally to furnish the home with period pieces, many of which she recently

 The fixtures and furniture in this store are incredible and most of their acquisitions come from homes and large Estates in
Los Angeles
 that are being demolished or remodeled.
The paneling along the very back wall is from Phyllis Dillers home in Beverly Hills.  
 I purchased some great little pots
 And a wonderful tiled side table, all
of which will go in the newly refreshed living room
The Television will be hidden in this cabinet from Restoration Hardware...if I ever get it!

I had some great pillows made from patched Japanese indigo and African Mali fabric
 And of course the fun chairs with patches 

The new/antique sconces are installed and the plaster has dried a nice creamy white.  
I hung my first piece of art over the mantle.   
Why is it so fun to hang your first picture in a new house?  Sigh ; )

I will share some more snap shots of the room as we get it finished....in the mean time....
you can find me in the garden ; )

Hope your summer is bringing wonderful things and happy memories


  1. Millie is adorable. Love all your purchases especially the sconces!

  2. Kelly, I can't wait to see the finished home. I know with your wonderful style it will be fabulous.

  3. Looking forward to all the amazement you create in your home, it's going to be fabulous.


  4. Oh I just LOVE all your new purchases and can't wait to see more!!

  5. Kelley you always choose the most perfect elements for your home and style. Love the plastered walls and the sconces, the bamboo pieces are wonderful. I am looking at a bamboo end table for my new home as well, have to wait to get in first to see if it will work. Love your design aesthetics and it is so fun following along with your new adventure,

    1. Hey Kathysue! I think you will love bamboo in you new space. I am closely following your new adventure.....what fun! xo Kelley

  6. Loving this new house more and more, especially now that we can see your wonderful essence coming alive within it! Of course always love sweet Millie.

    1. Thank you dear Donna...Millie is hanging in there xoxo K

  7. I love the simple mantle. ,and can't wait to see how you style it!, Always enjoy seeing Millie!,

    1. Hey Cindy, no styling needed. Millie is getting so old we are worried. Our vet is such a great guy we just listen and learn. She is doing ok for now. Hi to all xo Kelley

  8. love the colors in that room - will come back to see more later. Love your blog.

  9. Love the bones of this house...its going to look amazing!

  10. Looking great. Oh how I LOVE Jean Jack. That is a beauty.

  11. Hey, very nice site. I came across this on Google, and I am stoked that I did. I will definitely be coming back here more often. Wish I could add to the conversation and bring a bit more to the table, but am just taking in as much info as I can at the moment. Thanks for sharing.
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    Keep Posting:)

  12. Nicely done! Good call about the tile "taking over the room"! It would have! I am a big fan of Batchcelder tiles..I loved right near him on the Arroyo in Pasadena...and our house had some of his tiles..but those (treasures!!) would have overwhelmed the whole house! Good call!!

    1. Lived near him....and I spelled hi same right....you know what I mean!

  13. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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