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I am now under the impression that there is nothing that some planked wood and white paint can’t fix.

Actually – I think I already knew that.  😉

Today I want to show you the before and after remodel of our fireplace – which just happens to be all decked out for our Cottage Christmas.  It has been especially enjoyable to decorate our Christmas mantel this year because of the updates.

Cottage Christmas Mantel by TIDBITS

First, lets take a look at what the fireplace looked like before all the white.


I’ve always loved our living room.  It is the largest space we have ever had and it is over flowing with natural light.  The kids spend the majority of time in this room.  The couches are jumped on, slept on, and snuggled on.  The floor takes some good beatings with grace, and it is usually covered in toys.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.

However, the orange stone on the fireplace has bothered both my husband and I for years.

Cottage Christmas Mantel by TIDBITS

One evening, he decided to see how hard it would be to chisel it off.  By nightfall, I had a room covered in dust – but no orange stone!  We decided to keep the mantel piece how it was for now, but to add some white planks and old wood for the hearth – plus a little detailing to the bottom section.

Cottage Christmas Mantel by TIDBITS

It took awhile to adjust our eyes to all the white (took him longer than myself) – but once I started adding things for our Christmas mantel – the room fell into place.

Cottage Christmas Mantel by TIDBITS

If you saw my last post on this pom pom wreath, than you’ve already seen the vintage blue and white baby crib headboard I added up there.

I first was hoping to add an old window, but couldn’t settle with the prices at the antique stores.  Then I remembered the old crib (as in the one I used to sleep in), my mom gave to us.  It does not meet safety requirements now-a-days, but was perfect for some re-purposing.

Pom Pom Wreath-17

It started out yellow, and too long for the mantel.  My husband cut it, and I added the blue and white chalk paint and scuffed her up a bit.

Cottage Christmas Mantel by TIDBITS

I also added some evergreen clippings I found from a tree up the canyon.

Cottage Christmas Mantel by TIDBITS

And we stuck with our tree stump stocking holders my husband made, which I have loved for years.

Cottage Christmas Mantel by TIDBITS

I made all new stockings this year for our family of 6.  The bottom fabric is bleached drop cloth and the top fold is white linen.

Cottage Christmas Mantel by TIDBITS

The preserved boxwood is from our yard and the ribbon bow adds a special touch.

Cottage Christmas Mantel by TIDBITS

And yes, the Christmas tree is already up and has been for a few weeks now.  The crazy things bloggers do – I know.  My daughters preschool teacher asked me today if I ever just wanted to feel normal.  Ha!  Truth is, I really enjoy all this and it is a creative outlet that I really need in my life.  Also, the goal is to have the house all ready before December, so I can focus on family and more important things.  

Our countdown ladder and bags are all ready for the kiddos (tutorial HERE), and just a few more things before the living room is complete.  Then on to the Christmas kitchen! – (which will be much less involved).

Cottage Christmas Mantel by TIDBITS

I’d love to hear what you think of the fireplace mantel!  What would you have done in place of all that stone?  Just don’t tell me it is too much white – because I won’t listen 😉

*Linking up to these parties, HERE.

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  1. This cottage Christmas mantel and fireplace transformation is absolutely stunning! The before and after pictures are so striking, and it’s amazing what a little bit of planked wood and white paint can do to completely transform a space. The natural light in the living room is such a beautiful feature, and the updated fireplace now perfectly complements that brightness with its airy, cozy feel. The addition of old wood for the hearth and the lovely detailing at the bottom section are such charming touches that give the fireplace even more character. I can imagine spending many happy moments snuggled up on those couches with loved ones, enjoying the warmth and beauty of this inviting space. Thank you for sharing this inspiring holiday decor idea!

  2. Cami ~ I just came across your blog this evening. I found your Christmas tree you flocked last year. That was very innovative of you! But your photos of your family dragging the tree to your house with the girls playing was great! The snow, the pure joy you could see in your children’s eyes was so touching. You captured the euphoria only felt by children in this season we all love. That was abundantly clear! Thanks for sharing!

    1. What sweet sweet words! Thank you! Getting the tree from the mountains is a favorite tradition of ours. Sometimes I think it sounds like too much work, but I remember the joy in their faces and you just buckle down and do it!

  3. Hi Cami, it’s funny my youngest son’s name is Kameron, when he was young I always called him Kami, even at his school when I was helping out in class! Yeah, it went over just like you’re thinking….NOT! What’s a Mother to do? Your mantel is perfect, I wouldn’t change a thing! Is there a thing as too much white? Parish the thought! I loved what you did with the crib, wow, superb! Have a blessed Christmas!

    Cathy 🙂

  4. Cami, your fireplace looks SO amazing now! You guys did such a great job, and I think it looks even more classic now! The white planks really complement the black metal and the wood base so well.

    I also wanted to say that I love your holiday decorating style. It’s so classy and I love how it focuses on natural elements. What a beautiful way to welcome the season!

    1. Thank you for sharing all that with me! I was worried about the stark contrast with the black surround, but it did seem to turn out ok. Glad you caught on to the natural elements theme – definitely what I am going for. Thank you!

  5. Cami, You and your husband did a wonderful job of changing your living room the way it is! Fantastic!! At first I wondered why you didn’t like the orange rock, but then as I went down and read — the new room is most definitely an improvement! Besides, you and your family love it! That’s all that matters! Keep up the creative changes! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!


    1. And happy Thanksgiving to you as well! I appreciate your kind words and we were definitely hoping for improvement 😉

  6. Awesome job. Never underestimate a man and his chisel. And using the crib is very creative. I’m impressed you’ve already decorated for Christmas before Thanksgiving.

    1. Haha! I agree! First year I’ve decorated this early, and I am surprised I am enjoying it so much. I appreciate your sweet comments!

  7. It looks very nice. I won’t tell you it is too much white because I didn’t listen back in the 60’s when I was told I had too much orange. Just be prepared to wonder what everyone was thinking in 30 or 40 years when you look back on all the ghostly white so popular today. : )

    1. Ha ha! I love it! Yes, I am sure that will be the case down the road – but we’ll embrace it while it is here! Isn’t that just how it goes. Thanks for coming by and making me smile!

  8. Love the repurposed crib! My parents had a pastel yellow crib when I was born, too. I guess it was just the thing back then! lol

    1. I guess so! I have a hard time doing yellow – but I loved the detail. Not sure how my mom feels about me chopping it and painting it 😉 Thanks for coming by!

    1. Yes I am! I couldn’t agree more. He takes my visions and brings them to reality time and time again. Glad you like it and I hope to have inspired and uplifted! Thanks for coming by!

  9. Cammie, I love the clean crisp look of the white and the base wood is lovely. I also love the simple stockings made of canvas. I am moving in to our new home next month and my kitchen cabinents are white as i had in my old home something refreshing about white. i paired the white with black and bits of blue/green and i enjoyed it so much i am recreating those colors but may add small pop’s of color.
    Blessings to you and your quiver full family!

    1. White just seems to be classic to me. My grandmothers house had white cabinets and still do and I always loved them. How exciting for you to move into a new home! I love doing that 😉 Busy month to do it in, and I hope you can hold on to your sanity!

  10. Cami, you and your husband did a fabulous job on the fireplace. I LOVE it. i wouldn’t change anything about it. Especially love how white and bright it is against the black firebox.. I like the crib headboard and think an old window would work equally well, up there. Good luck on your search for one. My husband and i were driving by a family owned glass and window company one day and they had 8 of them on the side of the road ready for the trash man to pick up…..luckily we were in the truck so we stopped and loaded them all up. Those companies are always replacing those old windows with new insulated units, so they just toss out the old ones. We’ve also found great old doors there.

    1. Wow! What a great score! I keep hoping I’ll come by some free beauty somewhere as well 😉 I so appreciate your kind words and thank you for taking the time to share them with me. Hugs!