I’m in love with mantles because they are so fun and easy to decorate. A friend let me take a weathered electric fireplace that had been leaning against a shed in her yard and I gave it some love in my living room.
It was pretty weathered but for its purpose it was perfect. The electrical was all shot but thats ok because I had a different idea right from the start anyway.
First thing I did was get to measuring and planning. I decided I wanted to build a corner wall with room to mount the t.v. and store the media consoles in this corner:
Instead of doing a full wall I built the frame so that the fireplace could be tucked beneath the wall, leaving room for configuring cords and such behind it with easier access. I measured the center and made sure to add a stud there for the tv mount to screw into.
You can see in the above photo that I removed the center panel from the face of the fireplace. I cut a new panel and put it on hinges so that I could add a shelf to store the media console inside.
I literally had all this stuff on hand. The scrap piece of wallboard, the remnant of crown molding. I’m telling ya; hoarding pays off sometimes! Once I had the wall up I filled the edge seams and holes in the wallboard.
I cut a hole for the tv cables to hide in. Then I attached the new hinged face to the fireplace and got it all Painted White while the joint putty dried on the wall.
There were some casualties as stubborn residents refused to evacuate prior to painting.
By the end of day 2 the t.v. was mounted ( crooked in photo; thank goodness for the levelling adjuster on the mounting hardware!)
I’m no carpenter but I got the job done best I could, cracked joint compound and all.
The finished product! All I am missing now is some pillar candles to fill the fireplace.
Here’s how the console cabinet turned out:
Theres a gap for ventilation beneath the wooden shelf but above the metal inset in case I ever burn real candles in the fireplace. The little screw in the back of the hinged door snaps into the little vintage spring-loaded clip you see in the bottom left corner of the shelf. More stuff I had in my stash that I didn’t have to buy! I could have painted the inside but I’m a corner-cutter.
-joint compound $14
-two brass hinges $4
Thats it! $18 for a new built-in fireplace/media console!