Looking for DIY faux fireplace ideas? Here is how we created a faux fireplace mantel in our living room and used a Samsung Frame TV to display art. (Post includes my non-sponsored review on The Frame TV).
As you might know, we built our own home, which we did pole barn style. Building a real functioning fireplace wasn’t in the cards for this home, but I still wanted this cozy focal point for our living room.
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DIY Faux Fireplace Mantel with Wood Mantel and Herringbone Tile
My husband built out the wall for a standard size fireplace area, floor to ceiling. We actually put in the electrical inside the faux fireplace so if we ever want to add in an electric fireplace, we can still do that.
Then, Mr. TIDBITS lovingly tiled the inside of the faux fireplace with travertine tiles—in his least favorite pattern ever—herringbone.
I’ll admit, my request made the job much more difficult, but we both agree it looks fantastic. We found our tile from Floor & Decor.
The vintage wood mantel you see here was one my sweet friend Hollie found and had set up in her booth at Vintage Market Days. I loved it the moment I saw it and was so pleased it fit perfectly.
The wood is raw, weathered and I can’t wait to drape garland all over it this Christmas. The original owners must have read my mind, because there was already 6 little hooks for our 6 stockings to come.
Why We Chose a TV to Place Above Our DIY Faux Fireplace Mantel
Having worked so hard to make this area beautiful, I lamented the idea of hanging a big black TV on the wall.
However, there was just no other space or room for a TV. We had gone 9 months without furniture or a TV and I so craved our cozy weekend popcorn movie nights.
To appease the designer and mother in me, I worked and saved for a long time to be able to purchase the Samsung Frame TV, which was a beautiful compromise for this area.
I get a lot of questions on social media when I show the Frame TV, so I thought I would answer them here.
Samsung Frame TV FAQs
The Frame TV has the feature of displaying art when in art mode, or basically whenever you are not watching TV.
The other feature that helps it look like art is that the framed TV sits very flush with the wall, like a picture frame would.
The frame TV comes standard with a slim black outside frame. You can purchase different colors that easily mount on the TV.
I feel like the black frame still makes it look like a TV, so we plan on making our own wood frame to sit around it so that it looks more like framed art. If we can manage this successfully, I will definitely share how we did that.
When people come to our home, they act amazed that it is a TV. I think the art looks very beautiful. It’s detailed, crisp, and looks much better than a big black screen.
I’ll admit to feeling a little disappointed with the art mode. I had high expectations that it would look and feel just like art, but the reality is it still has a bit of a screen glow.
I feel like straight on, it is more convincing, but to the side, it looks more like a screen saver. You can play with the brightness and other modes to make it feel more natural to you. However, I think the reality is that it’s still a screen.
You have one “invisible cord” as some call it that hangs down and connects to the brain box. That needs to be plugged into power. I do struggle with having a spot to put this box right now. It just sits to the side of the faux mantel and collects dust.
We are brainstorming ways to hide this, but keep in mind that is something that you will need to find an inconspicuous spot for.
Putting my expectations aside for a more matte art mode screen, I really am happy with it. If you feel like placing a TV above your mantel is the only way you can make it work in your living space, then this really is the best option for displaying something more interesting to look at and more customizable than a big black hole.
I love that it sits nice and flush. I can’t wait to see what it looks like with a custom frame. It has many great features and apps as far as TV playing goes. I am very happy with it and don’t regret the purchase one bit!
Samsung does provide a collection of modern and classic art for free with the TV. But I assure you, you will tire of it and you’ll want something that fits your style better.
They have an art store with hundreds of pieces that you can easily buy right on the TV, but I haven’t done that. I have found it cheaper to just go online and search to find my own favorite digital art collections. This post goes into great detail of where I like to source affordable vintage art downloads.
You can also create your own art. You would just need to make it in a digital format. You can also use family photos or your own photography.
You can buy the The Frame TV many places, including direct from Samsung, Best Buy Online, and more. Personally, I bought it from Amazon because I find their return policies much easier to deal with if there was a problem. This is the exact TV I bought, for your reference. (affiliate link)
The area above our mantel fit the 55″ Frame TV perfectly. It allowed for the perfect amount of white space around the frame for a lovely balance. I also bought the 2019 model, as the 2020 version was significantly more expensive for few added improvements. At a little over $1000.00 for the purchase, I am very pleased with the quality.
How to Size Art for the Samsung Frame TV
Before you go and buy or create art, there are some important things to consider to make it work with the Frame TV.
The first thing to consider is photo orientation.
Because The Frame is a horizontal orientation, you need to buy or find horizontal art. You can display a vertical photo, but it won’t fill up the screen and looks a little funny.
The other thing that is VERY important is image size. If you are buying art and it says the digital download can only print up to an 8×10 or smaller, you are going to have pixel display problems.
You’ll need to find art that is at least 3840 pixels wide and saved as a high-resolution image. At that point, you can crop or resize it to fit the frame TV perfectly.
If you find a download that says it will print up to sizes 24 x 30 inches or something like 30 x 40, that would be a very reliable image to use for The Frame.
Cropping Images in Photoshop Elements
I bring my image into Photoshop Elements. I’ll create a new file for the size 3840×2160. That is the perfect ratio for The Frame TV. Then I bring my art or image into that file size and crop or size it to fill the area.
Then I save it to the Cloud and use my phone to bring that photo into the Smart Things app, where it can sync to the frame TV. It’s now uploaded to the TV and I can switch out the art easily while using the TV remote.
Choose Images with Plenty of Space for Cropping
Make sure you have plenty of space that can be cropped. It’s unlikely you’ll find art perfect to size, unless it’s already cropped for the frame.
Let me show you a bad example. I loved the tones in this art for Fall, so I decided to buy it.
When I went to crop it, it completely ruined the composition of the art. It cuts it off in odd places, making a piece I just don’t really love to look at anymore.
Compare that to this landscape where I still had to crop some area off, but it fills the screen nicely and the viewer wouldn’t necessarily know there were parts of the image removed. The composition still feels really nice and natural.
I hope you found this guide helpful and inspiring if you are exploring DIY faux fireplace ideas and researching the Frame TV.
If you would like more related inspiration, watch my friend Lisa from Farmhouse on Boone show off her amazing faux mantel where she also has The Frame on display with some beautiful art. I know you’ll love it!