I have wonderful memories from growing up in an old home in New Hampshire. It had a beautiful stone fireplace, and my family would sit next to it keeping warm and enjoying conversation.
My parents (the real Santa) hung our stockings on the mantel each Christmas Eve. On Christmas morning it was so exciting to open my stocking before my parents woke up.
About 8 years ago I walked into my neighborhood thrift store. I saw something across the room that looked like antique wood. Then I realized it was an old fireplace mantel from the 1920’s or 1930’s. I HAD TO HAVE IT! I remember thinking it would be a great place for me to hang my children’s stockings as my parents did for me.
The only problem at the time was my home had no fireplace. Being determined (as usual) I didn’t let that small detail stop me from loading it into the minivan and lugging it home…..lol.
I had a very small budget at the time so I knew building a wood or gas fireplace would be out of the question. So I went to Lowes and inquired about electric fireplaces. As I learned more about them I found they can be used either with or without heat, which is perfect for Florida – they can be used to warm the space on cooler winter days or simulate a real fire other times. They come in various quality levels, from inexpensive to moderately costly. The one I purchased was a higher quality one, which cost between $300 and $400.
Now, I had to find a place for my new fireplace and mantel. One wall of my living room was also the wall for my master bedroom closet (on the other side). This was perfect for the installation, centering it in the living room with the back of it in the closet. I hired a handyman teenager to cut a hole in the wall so I could install the fireplace. (It stuck out in my closet about 5” but that did not significantly compromise the use of the space.) I attached the new mantel to the wall with two screws and ta da……I had my fireplace! It looked like it was always supposed to be there.
I decorated it for the holidays and hung the stockings on the mantel. After I posted a photo on social media I received comments and concerns about the stockings and decor potentially catching fire. It was obvious at this point no one could tell it was electric.
Look around your home and see if you can incorporate a mantel and electric fireplace on a bedroom or living room wall. They add ambiance and are great for decorating during holidays like Christmas. Look for antique mantels for sale at thrift or antique stores. If you can’t find one, you can have one custom made.