2.09.2015

How to Build a "Fauxplace"

Hip hip hooray it pays to know people in this world, doesn't it?! I've been saying for months…maybe years… that the only thing my apartment lacks is a larger yard and a fireplace. (In case you've forgotten, I've improvised a yard as best I could. Pics here and here) Well, I was sitting at work a few weeks ago, whining loudly about my apartment woes and searching for mantels on craigslist when one of my bar regulars told me he could solve my problem. He has been remodeling his older house and didn't want to have a fireplace in one of the rooms anymore (I think that's the craziest thing I've ever heard, buuuut I wanted the mantel. Am I evil?) So he told me he would trade me the mantel in exchange for me to sew up a few pairs of his work pants that had taken a beating. Whatta bargain! 

Isn't she a beauty? I originally wanted her in my bedroom but my roommate propped it up against this wall and we agreed it just fit there perfectly. I haven't figured out how exactly to attach it to the wall permanently… I may not need to. I have one end being held up by a stack of heavy ass books and the other end being propped up by a chair that no one is ever allowed to sit in. Yes, I know, I would raise an eyebrow at how this is rigged up, too. But for now, it works. 

When it comes to mantels, I've seen them done a number of beautiful ways: nearly naked with just one or two pieces sitting on top, or decorated with hundreds of little knick knacks. I love all the ways! I guess my decor sense rests somewhere in the middle but maybe leaning toward the cluster-y side. I started with my biggest piece first: My haunted Ohio map, front and center. I built off of that with thrifted copper bowls, fresh flowers and other random "eye candy". Jon made that clay head back in high school and I think it looks sweet there. A friend of mine gave me that little rodent skull that kind of blends in secretly which I love. The cactus is an Ikea staple that most of us have in our homes because you can't beat $2.99 plants that require no maintenance. 

I hit the jackpot when I discovered a 3 foot tall stack of those terra-cotta tiles laying in my apartment building's laundry room. They have been just sitting there for 3 years and I feel no guilt putting them to good, gorgeous use. Dear landlord, I will return them if you don't love my fireplace set up. But I think you will! I laid them out 3 deep and about 12 wide down the wall before propping the mantel up on them and they made a huuuge difference in the overall look. If you plan on creating a faux fireplace at home, be thinking of this part. Will you use a slab of wood as your base? plastic? cloth? or be a bad mamajama like myself and use stolen terra-cotta tiles? 

I knew I wanted to fill the bottom with white candles because … pinterest told me to. But holy sh*t those things aren't cheap. I got all of the ones pictures from Ikea but it will be a long time before the space is full and perfect. It still looks pretty, though, when they're all lit at night. I love it. Moving on. I wanted something to fill in all of that white space so I hung my nuns there for the time begin. They may stay, they may go. I think they look kind of fun? or creepy? Who knows. By this point I was losing my momentum and vision. 

So there ya have it! I now have a "Fauxplace" for practically no money and I think she's pretty adorable. I love adding things to my home that look like they have been there for years and I think it fits in perfectly. yay! and here's a few photos, too, because this is a blog. Enjoy! 


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1 comment

  1. So great!! My real fireplace has basically become a fake one thanks to babyproofing, so I should take some cues from this for how to make it more stylish. Alas, a gorgeous stack of books is just not going to be safe from inquiring little hands.

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