We haven’t had a playroom update in some time, but we’ve made some real progress down there recently. We tore up all the carpet, painted the walls two different colors (I’ll share that soon, but there’s a peek on Instagram!), bought all the material for our built-ins and over the holiday, we revamped the fireplace. I didn’t take a proper before photo with the old mantle on it, but you can kind of see it in this photo.
The black trim around the gold part of the fireplace was just wood trim painted black to match the mantle. It was really uninspiring for a long time. I’m not a fan of corner fireplaces really, but this one was inverted and outdated on top of being in a corner. Three strikes? Almost. We thought about nixing it from the room altogether, or replacing the insert but both of those were more expensive and time-consuming than making it work. And, well, I do love a good challenge.
Here’s the before (you can see where the black trim and mantle were removed):
And here’s how it looks now!:
We added a series of stacked moldings that feels traditional and modern–right where we like to be. But what made the biggest difference right away was just spray painting the insert.
I taped off the glass, and gave the surround a good scrub before spraying several light coats of this Rust-Oleum High Heat Spray Paint in matte black we picked up at Lowe’s.
While I focused on making sure the brass was covered especially well, I didn’t neglect the black parts as they were looking tired, too. Everything got a fresh coat of paint and it looked like new when I was done. I opened the window that’s right next to the fireplace all day, which helped with the fumes.
Then we started trimming it out. We started with our largest board first. This is a 1″x11″ primed MDF we picked up from Lowe’s that we cut down to be around 9 3/4″ wide so it left just a little bit of wall around the trim.
From there, we used a finish nailer to secure this .69″ cove molding in the inside lip. It gave it a nice, gradual inset look.
Next came this chair rail. We left 5/8″ space between the edge of the large board and the chair rail for added dimension. Hint: the negative space is just as important as the trim added so map out your spacing before you commit.
Here’s where we added a lot of depth. We didn’t want this mantle to fall flat (har har) so we stacked two primed 1×4 MDF on top of the 1×9.75 base.
We have no plans of setting anything a top this mantle, it’s not that thick, but the gradual addition of depth does give it some grandeur.
And just like in the first set of trim work, we added another cove molding leading up to it. This time we used this larger 1.75″ Cove Molding.
Lastly, we attached this wider, 2.75″ chair rail that lined up with the edge of the stacked boards.
Once all the trim was attached, I spackled, caulked and sanded until it looked like one solid chunk of mantle and gave it a few coats of the same paint we used on the walls (Benjamin Moore’s Simply White) for a modern look.
We’re so glad we decided to work with what we had. All in all, this project cost about $100 but looks like so much more.
This particular fireplace doesn’t need a hearth, so we’ve opted to run the new carpet all the way up to it (which is why we left 1/2″ space under the new moldings). But besides the rough concrete slab floors, we’re thrilled with the improvement.
Tomorrow let’s talk sectionals! We finally nailed down the perfect one for this room.
We designed the Charly line of sofas, chairs, and ottomans with perfect proportions for comfort — with wide arms, a loungey depth, and stylish and practical lumbar pillows. Available in 70 kid-friendly, pet-friendly fabrics, this line was created with families in mind.
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We have teamed up with Loloi to create a line of rugs that are as affordable as they are beautiful. This collection houses a great mix of traditional and modern rugs, in cottage-y colorways, as well as vintage-inspired beauties that you’ll want to roll out in every room.
We partnered with Stuga on a line of hardwood floors — The Ingrid is really livable, and the color is very neutral. It doesn’t lean warm or cool, it’s that just right in-between. We have really loved putting it everywhere in our house. It’s the best jumping-off point for design, no matter your interior style. In addition to being beautiful, Ingrid is really durable — we have three kids, and we always have a home construction project going on. Ingrid stands up to it all.
Looking for our favorite things? A place to shop our home room by room, or just catch up on what Julia's wearing / loving right now? Browse the CLJ shop.
Befores, afters, mood boards, plans, failures, wins. We’ve done a lot of projects, and they’re all here.
We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen.
Even when you don’t want to rip down a wall, you can make that space in your home better. Right now.
One of our biggest projects this year is building out an upstairs laundry room using borrowed space from the playroom. Chris and I have been drawing up and re-drawing floor plans and elevations that I can’t wait to share. The biggest hurdle we’re designing around is this great, big window which is a blessing and […]
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