Wednesday, May 18, 2011


This is, again, something I want to do as soon as we can start doing stuff on the inside of the house.  We've always wanted to have a fireplace.  I know, we live in Houston, what do we need a fireplace for?  Trust me, this Winter we really could have used one, but for me it's just as much about aesthetics as it is warmth.  I just love a mantel and having a fireplace as the focal point of a room. So a few years ago, I started looking for some ideas for putting in a faux fireplace.  It can be as elaborate as you want, or as simple, as the following pictures show.  You just need to find the right spot and it will look like it's always been there.  Here are some examples I've collected from around the net to use for our own inspiration:

This one was made by actually cutting out sheetrock to create an actual opening and then bricking it in.  Can't have a fire in it, but it sure looks like you could!  Pretty nice!

This is a really nice shabby chic look, put into one end of a small space.  Looks so nice with the colors and the mirror and candles, like it's always been there!

This one had a full tile treatment around it, and it's a very small scale mantel.  Love how they even put a stack of wood in front of it. 

I think this is genius.  They put a black board to the wall first to create the illusion of an opening, then put 12"x12" floor tiles around that, and finally, they attached the mantel over everything. It adds depth and dimension without actually cutting into your wall.  And with the great use of the floor tiles, you could literally put ANY kind of decor / pattern you wanted as your "tile surround".
This is a simple way of doing things. It's attached to the wall, and the wall color stays the same "inside" the fireplace.  You get something like a wall shelf, but it looks great, and I love the shabby chic look of the mantel.

This, I believe, is a one piece mantel just placed up against a brick wall.   Not something we'd do but it certainly shows another option for those with brick walls instead of sheetrock. 

And lastly, again, this is a simple design but has an ingenious the back side of the dimensional mantel, they attached a piece of wood and painted it with chalkboard paint.  They can write on it, put words of inspiration, or, as seen in the picture here, draw "flames" on it.  Very fun idea.

So there you have it, just a few ideas on what a fake fireplace or faux mantel is.  As you can see in all of them, they become what their real life counterparts do, a focal point in a room...a painting or mirror above it, pictures or candles on the mantel, stockings at Christmas, whatever you would put on or around a real fireplace, you can do the same with a fake one. You might not get the heat, but you can get the style.

I'm currently keeping my eyes out for an old mantel.  I'd love to find one that I could either paint or if it's shabby enough, I'd leave it as is.  I lean toward doing something like the one above that has the floor tiles around the black panel opening.  I think we'd use black and white ceramic tiles so that it matches the entry flooring and the linoleum around the rest of the house.

Again, we're still a ways off from doing this, but if I can find the perfect mantel somewhere, I'll get it and put it aside until we're ready.  Of course I will have detailed instructions as I do it and step by step photos of the process.  That's what I've always wanted this blog to be, the kind of place where you can come to get some ideas, and then you can follow along with us as we learn, and probably even make mistakes.
After all, trying is half the fun, right?


  1. If the interior was constructed with fireproof materials (cement board), then painted black, several large candles in pretty candle holders could be placed in the opening for a real fire.

  2. I love fireplaces. It's probably colder in Houston than it is in Denver!
    Love the inspiration!

    1. Thank you for stopping by. I LOVE your blog by the way and am honored that you stopped by here. Probably not as cold here as there in the middle of Winter, ha. Thanks again. We still haven't figured out where to put one yet but it's on my list for "someday".


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