Here's what I started with when we moved in almost 6 years ago ...
We've since painted the wainscotting and walls and replaced the carpet. The fireplace was a dark hole, but I saw potential and who doesn't love a fireplace? The fact that it had an insert was a bonus. Did you know that fireplaces actually lose tons of heat? Inserts and wood stoves are much more efficient. We lived with it like this for a LONG time. Earlier this year, I lightly brushed the bricks with white paint. They look like recycled bricks, but I still wanted to lighten them up without painting them out completely. (I've mentioned this before, but the faux bricks on the upper left hide the electrical panel. It is what it is for the time being. Our electrical panel needs a complete overhaul sometime soon. Also, the gate is to keep little people from launching themselves from the step and reaching the hot insert. Its now also going to have a bonus purpose as a barrier to keep them away from my decor! I really can't wait to get rid of it though.)
So, in August, I found this great mantle at the flea market that had just come out of an old house in PA a few days earlier. It was far from perfect, but just what I was looking for. It was pretty filthy and I'd hate to see the house it came from, but with a lot of cleaning, I sent it off with my dad who worked incredibly hard to strip and paint it. He then brought it back and with the help of my mom, we managed to cut the opening to the perfect size of the insert.
Because there is a step of bricks, there's very limited space to put anything on top of the mantle. Also, since this is a basement and light is much sought after, a mirror would be great, but I may never find a mirror that fits the height and width proportion, so for the time being, the simple wreath is filling the space.
The pillar candleholders were a rustic brown color as was the box that holds the fatwood and they got a coat of white paint. You can see them unfinished in one of the pictures above. The mosaic silver vase, and white pillar were items I had.
The chandelier ... The area where its hanging was so empty. I had no idea what to do there. I nearly purchased a decorative metal panel, but I wondered if it would still seem empty 3-dimensionally. Then, I just remembered the chandelier. I've probably mentioned it before, but my parents bought it years ago and it was black. They wanted to get rid of it, but I took it instead. Its been in more than one of my homes and finally got painted white. I put it in the nursery for a while but it desperately needs a rewired plug so I took it out of there. My girls can't reach the wire here. I'm not sure about it, but at least its going to be functional. These picture are a little deceiving, but its so dark here usually. Its going to be fantastic when I can turn it on because my sewing area is to the right of the picture.
Mercury glass candleholders from HomeGoods. The votive holder was a wedding gift. (I've always loved the symbolism of this votive holder.)
Faux pumpkins ...
More faux pumpkins. The little gourds in the cornucopia are real. However, the ones sitting on the moss came in a bag from the $1 store. The lantern was something I purchased in Restoration Hardware 10 years ago when I was in Miami.
Feathers and faux roses purchased on sale from Michaels ...
Here's a funny little detail ... The mantle isn't connected to the wall! We had a little issue finding the right brackets but its a snug fit against the insert and it isn't going anywhere. Its on Mr. T's to-do list but after 5 years looking at it, I couldn't wait a second more to decorate it!
More makeovers on A Soft Place To Land hosting DIY Day!