I know I've been promising to share photos of our new to us house for a year now. So let's get to it already! I finally have some before and afters for you! Dare I say I'm getting my s#*t together? I won't go that far, but I do have to say looking back at the before pictures really reminds me how far we've come and how much better thangs are lookin' round here. And now I'm all excited to show off our other projects as well.
First up? Our mantle/fireplace situation. It is basically the focal point of the entire house. The living room, dining room, kitchen and front and rear entrances all center around/look directly at it. And it was UGLY. Lawd, it was ugly. The brick was dark, dirty and had these awful black bricks that made it impossible to live with. The mantle was too small for the huge scale of the fireplace. Then there was the matter of the orange wood focal feature that stretches up to the ceiling. It just kind of hulked there over you in a very uncomfortable way. The whole situation was just really sad looking and made the whole house look so dark. But I had plans for it the moment I saw it and now they've finally come to life!
Then we beefed up the mantle to match the scale of the fireplace. We made a simple pine box cut to look like a solid beam and play up the Spanish Hacienda vibes. I wanted a deeper shelf for styling it out with plants and pretty things and it's so much more useful now. $20 worth of wood and some stain and we had ourselves a modern and rustic mantle.
Which brings us to the prettiest part of this whole project. I honestly can't stop staring at it and thinking how freaking much I love it. After removing some of the decorative trim and painting the large focal point above the mantle, it was still too plain. I knew I wanted to do something really special with it that would add to the character of our house. It had to be "us" but it couldn't detract from resale value since we don't plan on staying here forever. After staring at it for a couple months, the idea hit me. Bleucoin removable tile decals. I used them in a previous project in our rental and LOVED working with them. I have been wishing I had a reason to use them in the new house somehow and when I saw they added tons of new patterns I was 100% sold on the idea.
this pattern because it had so much depth and the color scheme matched the fireplace and mantle so perfectly. And of course it has an old school hand tiled Spanish vibe. They are so well made that it's very difficult to tell that they aren't the real thing, especially if you space them with a faux "grout line" like I did. They look about 2 hours to put up but only because my husband had to do the top half since I'm terrified of heights. They are as easy as peel, stick, done. Boom. Instant character.
This was one our most satisfying projects in our house yet because it had so much impact and really made our house start to feel like us. It was a huge confidence booster to have my idea come to life and look as good as I imagined it would.
Yay! I'm so happy to have started sharing our place with the world. It's our first home and has truly been a labor of love for my husband and I. We've learned so much in our DIY journey and realized we can do more than we ever knew we could. So stay tuned for more!
The tile decals were provided by Bleucoin. To find these tile decals and many more gorgeous patterns click HERE.