Mantel+TV+DVD = Faux fireplace

Here's how we created our great room's media wall featuring a "faux fireplace," as featured in HGTV Ideas magazine.

Hanging a 50" TV above a fireplace was not an option - we'd have to crane our necks to see it from the sofa only 9 feet away. So we made the TV look like a fireplace in a mantel instead of hiding it in a cabinet. My inspiration was a very realistic fireplace DVD online ($14.95) from
Our builder built the arched niches from my drawing above. Jim and I did the rest in about 3 weeks using economical paint-grade poplar, pine and MDF from Home Depot.
We installed the Fairfield mantel in poplar from Premier Mantles, custom sized for the 24" deep niche. Then we built the removeable frame above that fits inside the mantel and around the TV. That was the hardest part of the entire project.
This was our first-ever woodworking project (winter 2006). I did the miter cutting, trim and finish work. Jim handled the table saw and router. We now have a garage full of power tools. Our favorite is the Paslode nail gun. Everyone should have one.
Jim built the cabinet boxes out of sandeply plywood. Shelves are MDF. TV is a 50" Samsung DLP HDTV. The arched plantation shutters were custom made to fit the back of the niches by Blinds4Less, St Augustine.
The mitered doors with euro hinges were not quite so easy. I applied the trim and stapled on the speaker fabric from Acoustical Solutions, Inc.. after Jim assembled them. Hanging them was frustrating, but we had patience and got it right.


bigmouthmom said...

that is such a cool idea! I honestly couldn't tell from loking at the photo that that was a tv in there!

Penny said...

Maybe I can do this in our next home. It's the best idea I've ever seen. It deserves and award of some kind.

Cote de Texas said...

Gawd - that looks sooo real! really fabulous!!! I love this.

you be talented girl.

Karen said...

Mary Kay, I remember your original post on RMS. I bookmarked it as my favorate. When I saw your blog, (I'm new to blogging.) I went to look and lost your post, so I'm glad I have you again here in your blog. I think your whole home is perfection!. We don't have a large TV yet, not till the old one dies. Karen

Beatrice Edwards said...

Why can't we purchase a faux fireplace mantle and put our TV in it? I think manufacturers should offer this option. I could buy a new wooden mantle, but we are not handy with finish work.