While I love DIY-ing nearly anything, I do get apprehensive about tile and woodworking type stuff because they're very exact type of projects. You can't fudge the numbers on something like this, and while I am a perfectionist, I also realize that 1/16th's are freakin' tiny.
Keeping all that in mind...I said yes and committed to this huge project. So, I got the go ahead to begin working on the mantel on March 17 and my "after" photos and tutorial were due March 30. (OH MY GOSH)
Words cannot describe the sheer panic I felt, but I did it! Well, Daniel and I tag teamed this project, and we did have my expert DIY brother-in-law on retainer, and I love the outcome.
Here's the before.
MOMENT OF TRUTH: I've been photoshopping and/or cleverly covering those bare wood chunks you see below the mantelshelf since the tiny fireplace facelift we did in 2014 with The Home Depot. (Bad blogger, sorry!!) I had planned on covering them with corbels, but this all worked out anyway. And for the record, we got nearly 99% of the supplies for this project at The Home Depot, so you can accomplish this look, too. No special order anything for this DIY makeover.
If you want a FULL tutorial (I'm talking 3000+ words), you can check it out on the Angie's List website. It is detailed and if you have questions, shoot me an email or drop a comment below.
Here's the after:
I'm up against 8 other bloggers for bragging rights and a prize, so I'd be so grateful if you took 2 seconds to vote for my mantel (it's under Monica Benavidez). You can vote daily if you'd like, but just once would be swell.
It honestly was the absolute hardest thing I've ever done, and I am sure Daniel would agree. However, it was totally worth it. I do feel like the mantel is massive, but given how large our living room is and the tall ceilings...it works. I am looking forward to decking it out with a beautiful garland for the holidays.
Overall, this project cost quite a bit since we had to buy a tile saw and some other big ticket items, and we splurged on $16/sq. foot marble tile and do not regret it. I feel like our living room lacked a focal point and now it has a beautiful one.
Tiling wasn't as bad as I thought it'd be, and I was also surprised at how fabulous lattice looks once it's painted and caulked (this is how we made the "recessed" boxes).
I hope that sometime in 2016 we'll rip up the 20+ year old beige carpet in the living room and put in the same flooring we have in the dining room and master bedroom. But for now, I'm totes enjoying our mantel masterpiece.
What do you think? It's pretty, right? (Please say it's pretty!)