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Our living room is open, airy and connected to the dining room and the kitchen. It's a space that's anchored by two walls of windows and the original limestone fireplace.
It's also a planning nightmare.
Way back when we first toured the place, we couldn't figure out where to put a TV. Our house was built in 1958, when TV's were small, black & white and shoved into a corner somewhere.
As you can see from the picture above of how our home could have looked in the 50s, our space lends itself better to a conversation room than a modern-day living room. And while we can definitely appreciate that, it's just not realistic for our lifestyle.
But we decided to roll with it, bought the place and planned to figure it out later.
We've had our TV in all sorts of positions since we moved in. But wherever we put it, it was in opposition of what should be the focal point of the room: the fireplace.
Long story short, we decided to combine the two.
We built a custom, floating mantel out of the redwood we repurposed from the walls of one of our bedrooms and from old window sills.
The mantel is Jan Michael's own little invention that he had the idea for almost a year ago. We knew it was meant to be when his sketches survived what we lovingly call our biblical flood.
We built in compartments for each of our electronics and a panel in the middle that hides all the wires.
Then, after a lot of sanding and staining, the mantel was ready.
We attached a TV mount to the fireplace just to be safe.
Then we hung the TV and plugged everything in. All the electronics are plugged into a power strip, which is also inside the mantel, so that only two cords (power and cable) come out of the mantel, along the fireplace and down to the wall socket.
In the end, it's a seamless look that allows us to enjoy a fire and a movie (or a fire on TV) at the same time.