Updating a dated fireplace with a new fireplace mantel.

updating a dated brick fireplace with a new mantel
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When we moved into our home, we did little more than paint, but the ideas we had for it were endless. I thought after we painted the bookcases that flanked our fireplace, it would make the fireplace itself feel up-to-date. Maybe it was just hope, but it never resonated with me.

how to update a dated brick fireplace with a new mantel

We added brick floors to the mudroom which can be seen from our living room and tied the fireplace in, but still, it felt like the floor to ceiling brick fireplace overpowered the small living room and felt a bit dated.

A few years passed and I found new motivated after I heard about this tv. I kept thinking about some of the fireplace mantel ideas I’ve seen – all offering just a glimpse of brick or stone. Understated elegance like this stone fireplace from Patrick Ahearn.

patrick ahearn stone fireplace mantel
Patrick Ahearn

Or this wood fireplace mantel from Melanie Davis Design.

melanie davis design wood mantel for gentleman's house
Melanie Davis Design

And my original inspiration that I couldn’t locate a source for, but the one I’ve been eyeing since the moment we made an offer on this house.

I love wood fireplace mantels, but ours again felt too significant for the space, short and clunky, so I had the mantel shelf created using the same crown moulding we having in our living room, adding a flat piece {which matches the area below} above for decor and garlands. At just 4″ wide, it’s understated, but functional. It also serves as a heat barrier for the tv should we decide to have gas logs installed.

fireplace mantel to update a dated brick fireplace

We enlisted the help of some really talented guys to execute my vision – the week before Christmas. They were saints with a smile. Here’s what they did…

traditional fireplace with brick and wood mantel flanked with bookcases

They adhered a solid 1″ thick piece of plywood to the top of the fireplace and a second piece below that cut out to the shape / width I wanted.

Then they created a wood mantel using a piece of crown and a 3/4″ thick wood board, that extends to the bookcases.

how to update a dated brick fireplace with a new wood mantel shelf

Another 3/4″ thick piece of wood was cut to go just below the mantel {5″}. Each edge was trimmed out with cove trim.

a traditional wood fireplace mantel to update a dated brick fireplace
wood mantel trim

The new fireplace mantel frames the brick beautifully, offering a timeless, traditional look that fits both in our living room and with our style. Now, we just need to update the cabinet doors on the bookcases.

a traditional fireplace mantel

There’s nothing like a good before and after to provide perspective:

tv over fireplace christmas

What do you think? Would you cover or paint brick? Read more about Pine Garland and Cedar Garland you see on the mantel here!

PS you can get our tv here and the frame bevel here {affiliate links}! I’m soooo in love!

More Inspiration for Home Decor

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  1. I would really like to see the whole room! We have a family room almost the exact same layout. So hard to arrange the furniture.

    1. PS I will look around at your other posts, I’m sure you have more pics. 🙂 Our brick is about the same color, I happen to love it and don’t want to change it.

  2. I do like white painted brick but in this case I’d leave it as is as it adds warmth now everything else is white. Looks great though!

    1. Thank you! I liked the balance with just a hint of brick. We painted our fireplace white at our previous home which worked for that space.