The Fireplace Mantel: Part 1

 The Fireplace Mantel
we all seem to love them...
we decorate them 
we stare at them
we dream in front of them 

I was lucky enough to have a beautiful one in the home I recently sold....
but here is a was sort of a fake!
You turned it on with an electrical switch 
and what looks like stone... 
was really some sort of precast, made to look like real stone stuff....
one great looking
botoxed,  lifted and air-brushed trophy fireplace

But damn...I really loved that mantel!

So now here is what I have to work with....ahhh so lovely
but all real and just waiting for an up date
And yet another fireplace gem in the master bedroom...
notice the stuffed animal (chicken)  on the bed
dreaming of how the fireplace will soon look.
A stuffed chicken can dream...can't he?
 Never one to shy away from a challenge...
I took my cues for my fireplace  renovation 
from the wonderful barn owned by Ina Garten
Now let me just say....this may seem like a stretch
and well
you're absolutely right is
a huge impossible stretch 
but here goes
I have just a few things going against me:
1.  I do not have soaring gorgeous ceilings nor do I live in the Hampton's
2.  I have a smallish budget, which I may stretch a bit, to get it right
3.  Renovations are messy and expensive and you never know what you're getting into until you are knee deep in the crud
4.  The closest I may ever get to Ina Garten is to run into her at the airport...maybe...probably not... OK never
 We started ripping things open when we decided to put in hardwood floors.
It's always nice to have a wheel barrow in the living room right?
And at first I thought I might try to save some of the fireplace mantle
 (notice the blue taped off area)
but guess what?
all gone

except the fire place

Oh and I got a big hole in the floor for my efforts

Here are the elements that I will use for this project
Reclaimed Trestle Timbers
Reclaimed Barn Wood
Hard Troweled Stucco
a bit of Ina inspiration

Wish me luck!

  1. I can't wait to see how it turns out!! xo Rachel

  2. I know what ever you do will turn out beautiful ... You are very talented! Can't wait to see! Francine

  3. oh I can't wait to see what you do.. I KNOW it will be AB FAB!

  4. Ohhh, I am so excited to see what you do! I also love your true-life before pictures. Makes you human some how. (:

  5. The fireplace in your master is so romantic. I dream about fireplaces like that. andrea@townandprairie

  6. well like everyone above me i just know what ever you do is going to be fabulous. you know kelley, your decorating just stands out and has such an amazing flair to it. i've studied it and i'm not sure if it's the color combos and textures you use or what but it is just beautiful.

    oh and what is the name of the branch you used in the first photo with the lemons? it is gorgeous!

  7. Can you please tell me what painting is hanging in the 1st 2 pics? I am racking my brain trying to figure out where I have seen that before! Good luck with the renovation... I am sure it will turn out FABULOUS!

  8. Ooh... this is exciting!! Can't wait to see what you do!

  9. Get on it girl! Can't wait to see the end result!

  10. okay the paintings are by Jean Jack I am a fan have been for years since the spread in either Country Living or Country Home.
    Now for my question are you going to vault the ceiling Kelly? Seeing Ina's and knowing you have the timbers looks like a possibility. Of course it will be

  11. I'm betting when this is all said and done that Ina will be calling you looking for advice! ;-)

    Kat :)

  12. I know it's going to be fabulous...but i have to say what you are starting with is pretty close to what i achieved after a complete remodel. I love white painted brick....anyway, is that a glass of wine i see sitting on the table? That's how I make decisions too!! Wine helps everything.

  13. Kelly, Can not wait to see what you do. I know with your taste, no matter the budget, it will look great. With your creativity it will make up for the budget. I noticed the glass of wine on the table! I can imagine after finding the whole in the floor, that must of been a really good glass of wine!

  14. Kelly, If anyone can make it can! I know it will be stunning when completed.

  15. Hej Kelley

    Already I can see it is going to be beautiful!
    You have great style!
    LOVE PEACE enJOY those renovations

  16. Can't wait to see the finished product, I hate mine too!

  17. I can not wait to see the after! I actually really like the before- a lot of potential . I wish we had a fireplace in our home. I'm trying to find a gas one and make it look like a built....still searching.

  18. Kelley.....we all will make it swoon worthy and ...none of us can wait to see the finished fireplace!

  19. I live in Indianapolis and am doing a whole house renovation inspired by the homes in the Ojai area - like your's! My fireplace looks like your's at the moment and I was planning on using the same materials you selected. I can wait to see what you come up with - I may be a copy cat!

  20. I'm looking forward to seeing what you do with this project. Looks like you've had lots of surprises already!

  21. wow wow wow - that looks like a lotta work - but so beautiful when it is done - CAN'T WAIT!
    I am with the suggestion above - using timbers to add beams to the ceiling?? hmmm. A rustic mantel is in the works I bet? hmmmm

  22. Thank you! I'm almost finished with this project.....really sick of the mess!

    xoxo kelley

  23. I can only imagine how wonderful it will be when its finished. Meanwhile, are your floors protected from the stuff coming off the existing fireplace?
    I love Ina's barn...such a great look.


  24. I do wish you luck. You have quite an interesting project ahead of you, but I have confidence you are up to the challenge. Ina's barn is a great choice for your inspiration. Just remember to have fun with it.

  25. It will be great! (I'm glad you took the cupboard at the side out)

  26. Kelley, I can't wait to see it. The old one, fake and all was so pretty. I see your vision and know you'll work wonders. Ours is nothing special and we redid it a few months ago, but I've yet to get the sconces back up and when I do think about photographing's raining and I have no light!

  27. But of course you took on this challenge...and it's going to be wonderful! I can't wait to see how you use the timbers, we have some ready to go for our fireplace that were reclaimed from an old flour mill but we still haven't figured out how we're going to actually use them, they're for the mantel but it's tricky... isn't it always though?!
    Best with the project...especially the hole!
    xo J~

  28. Hey, I really like the painting above the first mantle of the barns with mustard ground and violet sky, who is the artist?


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