Many years ago when I agreed to hanging our living room TV above the mantle, I didn’t immediately realize the challenge it would present in the decorating department. To say I have complained about it in recent years is an understatement. I decorate, and then I re-decorate. But decorating a mantle with a TV hanging above it is difficult to say the least! I get the fact that it made sense in terms of killing 2 birds with 1 stone as far as utilizing the fireplace and TV watching at the same time. But come holiday time, I am limited to how I style this space, let alone for everyday decor.
For a year, Glenn and I tossed around ideas. We explored re-arranging the living room, but ultimately I still wanted the space we gather in to be cozy, and that meant keeping the fireplace as the main focal point. I am pleased to say that both he and I worked together (he doing most of the “work”) in creating a beautiful enclosure for the TV that allows for decorating the mantle more than a little.
I am only able to provide the items we used and guidelines. A full tutorial would be impossible due to size of TV, individual wood of choice, and space available behind the wall.
Items WE Used:
- Patience 😉
- Reciprocating Saw
- Cordless Drill
- Cordless Screwdriver
- Drywall Knife
- Barn Wood
- Barn Door
- Vintage barn door hinges
- Various length drywall screws
The space behind our wall is deep to allow for the chimney to our original fireplace. Luckily tube TV’s are a thing of the past, so the space needed was more than enough.
He is not only handy, but an electronic geek so all TV wires are hidden 😉
He placed 1 x 6 plank boards to frame around the TV inside the cutout.
Next came cutting the boards we hand picked from my dad’s stash in order to make the outside frame. He used a 6″ circular saw when cutting the angles. This was a little more challenging because of the age of wood. There were flaws, which adds to the character, but can also make construction more difficult.
Truth be told, this entire idea came together when we were lucky enough to get our hands on this old barn door given to us by a neighbor <3 I originally thought I wanted a table made from it as pictured here ( I cheated in this photo and laid it on top of a square ottoman.)
I know… I know.. I need another barn door!!
But, sitting under the stars on that evening, we both had the same idea in using this as the TV enclosure.
So… next he cut the barn door in half. Yes, we were both a little nervous, but he did a perfect job.
An immediate problem presented itself when he tried to shut the doors. The inside planks were too thick. We knew we did not want to lose the original character to the door, so he removed all the nails, planed each piece, and fastened them back with the original nails.
Once again, thanks to my dad for finding the perfect rustic hinges. But.. they were red. I did a little research and found that boiling them in a pot on the stove with baking soda for about 20 minutes, and a LOT of elbow grease, you can remove the paint 😀
*I had to repeat this method a few times to remove ALL the paint.
The fastest step in this entire process was white washing the frame to match the door. Took me under 1o minutes, and it was an instant match! I just used white trim paint. If you want to know more about white washing, click here.
I LOVED IT immediately! Even having the doors open and exposing the TV is decorative in and of itself!
This past weekend we found the perfect handles at Hobby Lobby.
I finally found a wreath too 🙂 I love the endless possibilities.
Years ago before we hung the TV, a mirror took center stage above the mantle. I used that same mirror for years and years just changing what hung over it and the mantle decor surrounding it. This framed enclosure provides the same idea. No, I can’t have anything too tall for everyday use; but I do have options in the cases of throwing a party or for the sake of taking photos.
I am thrilled with the outcome, and the fact that Glenn and I teamed together to construct a unique piece means even more. I know many of you have been patiently waiting for this blog post, so thank you for hanging in there.
*Items used were for our specific space. Size and framing material of choice will then determine the out come of your unique project.
Author and photos – Martha Knake
Chief Editor – Emily Schunke