Face. Yo. Fears.

28 Nov

Sometime ago I found this post on Apartment Thereapy.In it Kelly Giesen shows how she used this antique mantle in order to disguise her televison set. Minutes later readers filled the post with so, so many comments. Mostly about how impractical they think it must be. Specifically about the height at which the television is mounted at and how difficult it must be to view such a thing. Here is a picture from Apartment Therapy showing her mantle.


Now yes, I can see how people might think this is low. But I’d just like to point out a couple of things.

1- I have vivid memories of counsole style television sets that literally sat on the floor. I also know that there were a lot of people who had these things and nobody ever complained about them.

2-I also know a lot of people who mount their television sets over the mantle. Personally, this is not my taste. but I can understand why people might do it. However, I’d like to point out how stinkin’ high that makes TVs all across America. I mean, I’d totally rather look down towards the floor than look up at the ceiling.

Last week Daniel over at Manhattan Nest blogged about facing his sewing fears. Inspired by his gusto I took this project. I knew that I really wanted to do it but was afraid that I lacked the skill set in order to be successful so between that and the cost of a flat screen  television I held off for a while.

Over Thanksgiving break I had a lot of time to shop around for a good deal and was able to purchase a small 32 inch tv set for a reasonable price. I tried to stay small in an effort to make my living room look less like an altar to the TV God.

Then I ventured out to a couple of architectural salvage shops to scout out an old mantle. I found lots of nice ones but none in the Arts & Crafts style of my house, well that were affordable that is. So I decided it was time to Face. Yo. Fears. and I built my mantle with the help of Anna White’s blog. on DIY furniture, which I am highly recommending. I didn’t create the mantle exactly as the plans suggested but they did give me lots of guidance.

So here is the finished product. You’ll notice the TV is mounted higher than Kelly’s and that it is mounted outside the box so the TV can breathe better. This house was originally built with a fireplace and it was taken out in the 60’s. As a result there were scars on the wall and floor from where it was so this replacement was built pretty close to those marks. On the top there are sconces that were here but I am still figuring out what  I want to put there. You can also see that I tiled the box to make it a little more authentic looking and created a space for my cable box and DVD player. At the end I stained the mantle to match the woodwork in the house.

I put some things I had lying around the house on the mantle until I can find things I really like. I also need to find something to hang above it. But for now I am happy with it.

Oh yes.. that is our Christmas Tree beside it. More on that later.

7 Responses to “Face. Yo. Fears.”

  1. Karen Anne November 28, 2011 at 10:48 AM #

    My recollection of console televisions is that they had the television part sitting at a comfortable viewing height, although looking at google images some do seem quite low. But also kids used to sit on the floor and watch them, so a low height was workable.

    I solved my television problem by getting rid of the television. Anything I want to see, and there’s less and less of it, is on the net.

  2. Gloria E. Jacobs November 28, 2011 at 10:57 AM #

    You. are. friggen, amazing. That looks fantastic. We don’t own a tv (haven’t for years) but are kicking around the idea of getting a flat screen in order to watch movies. Right now there’s a pellet stove in our fireplace and I hate it. I want it out because it’s ugly and noisy. We had been talking about replacing it with a gas insert, but that’s pricy proposition. Maybe, instead, we’ll put the flat screen in it. It’s a raised hearth, so we wouldn’t have the height issue. I do remember having a console tv, and it didn’t seem to bother us. But I think the screen was a foot off the floor. The old consoles had a different aspect ratio than the new flat screens; I wonder if that is what makes the lower height more acceptable. Later we got a non-console type and set it up fairly high. Also, now people want more of the theater experience which I think the higher height gives. Anyway, I think your mantel looks abfab.

  3. Stephanie November 28, 2011 at 5:36 PM #

    Such a great idea! I agee with you about tv angles. Watching grandmas console tv was much more comfortable than watching one so high up. Your mantle looks awesome, too! Love Ana White.

  4. BiGTOE December 2, 2011 at 1:53 PM #

    Pretty crafty! Nice work!

  5. Keep Smiling December 20, 2011 at 3:35 AM #

    Wow! Nice job. A lot of people I know have mounted their sets above the fireplace and I personally don’t care for it (too high up) but this looks amazing and like it could have always been there! Great job!

  6. Laura Gilbreath December 21, 2011 at 11:58 AM #

    This is fabulous.


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