Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My Dad Rocks! (aka 3-sided mantel)

Remember when I went from this:

to this? (Check it out here)

Ever since then I've wanted to have a mantle wrapping all the way around so that I would have one rectangular space above the mantle instead of that difficult upside down L shape wall space to fill.

Enter Dad.

First he removed the trim from the top side of the fireplace surround. Then he screwed strips of wood into the wall just above the tile to support everything. Then he added the little silver brackets to support the mantel shelf. Next the shelf boards were added on top- they are screwed into the wooden strips and the brackets. He even inserted little wooden pegs where the shelf boards meet at the corners to make sure they would stay even. Then he trimmed the face of the shelf boards in a narrow decorative molding.

Then it was time to add the decorative moldings. First he attached baseboard molding upside-down to the underside of the mantle shelf in order to give the crown molding something to attach to. The baseboard molding is screwed in from the top of the mantel shelf.

Next he trimmed it all out in crown molding.
Some action shots:

Can't you just hear him grunting?!

Wanna know something really funny? Whenever my dad works on a project he makes up his own expletives. When I was a kid I thought he was cursing in Italian because he's Italian and that's kinda what it sounds like. But, nope. Turns out it's just his own language. Now everyone in my family jokes that Dad speaks Swahili when he's working.

After spackle, caulk, sanding and two coats of paint, it now looks like this!

and it is super sturdy! I could seriously do chin-ups on it! Okay, someone who can do a chin-up could do chin-ups on it!

Now I just have to figure out what in the world to put up there! (Pay no attention to the vase of pinecones and candlesticks on the dining room side- I was just experimenting...)

Thanks so much, Dad! I absolutely love it! You rock!!

BTW- this dining room side is going to be a little difficult to accessorize because of the indentation above the fireplace. I prefer symmetry, but I may be forced into another arrangement on this side because of the indentation. I may start by trying to force some symmetry by leaning something (wreath, mirror...) against the center line, hopefully masking the indentation, but I'm not sure that will work. Oh, and I'll have to remove my script "F" in order to do that, but I believe it is repositionable and I can think of lots of other places in my house to use it, maybe over the mantel on the living room side in the center. What do you think? Suggestions?


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