Beach House DIY Fireplace & Halloween Mantle

If you are new to the blog, we’ve been working on a small 1970s Jersey shore home, renovating room by room as time and money permit.  If you’d like to see older posts on this reno check out these:


Family Room


Master Bedroom


Most recently we gave the living room a little TLC with a faux fireplace.  This room is basically a 14 x 14 foot square box with no architectural details other than one large picture window.




During one of my thrifting expeditions, I stumbled upon this old pine fireplace surround and thought it might work to give the living room a focal point and add some interest.


Other than a good cleaning, I left the wood as is, although I did consider doing a whitewash.  For now, it is staying natural.  Tom built a plywood box about 4 inches in depth to fit inside the opening.  We sprayed it with some flat black paint.  He then cut up some birch logs I had been hoarding, alternating the lengths from 2.75 to 3.25 inches.

We positioned the log stubs inside the plywood box and secured each one from the back side using a screw.  Tom then secured the entire box of log stubs to the backside of the fireplace and then secured the entire fireplace to the wall.


I love how it looks in the living room!  Even though it is nonfunctional, it adds character and warmth and a much needed focal point.


I decorated the mantle with a subtle beach vibe.  We’ve restrained ourselves with the decorating throughout the house, giving small nods to the beach setting without being overtly beachy … no “this way to the beach” signs, no seashells or other typical beachy accessories.  Rather, we’ve used shades of blue, seascapes, vintage sailing novels and lots of white and rattan to achieve an overall feel of a beach home.


On the mantle are all thrifted items – the brass planter, the cross stitch picture of an old fisherman and a small oil seascape.


With Halloween just around the corner, I thought it would be fun to add a little spookiness.  I kept everything as it was and layered on a few black elements.  I like this approach to holiday decorating, rather than removing everything and starting from scratch!


The garlands and black pumpkin are from the dollar spot at Target.  The black vase and vintage high seas novels are from my Etsy store.


Candlelight adds a little Halloween vibe and gives the old fisherman a ghostly feel I think.  I also added a short string of white lights, tucking them in among the logs.  I really like the addition of the lights so I plan to keep them even after Halloween.


The small table repeats the black element and ties the space together.


 The decor is not over the top Halloween, but rather just a nod to a fun holiday.  And now  for a chess match with hubby!  Happy weekend!


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