Fireplace for My Dream Library

Welcome to the 93rd Metamorphosis Monday!

I need your help today…tell me what cha think! On a previous Met Monday, I took you into my living room that I am hoping to turn into a “library” some day. (You can read that post HERE .) I have plans to put floor-to-ceiling, built-in bookshelves all down the wall on the right side of the room.

A few months ago, I found one of the main components for this metamorphosis, these 85 year old cabinet/niches you see below, I called up my contractor and he came by to take a look.

He had concerns about having enough space to build a wall in which to sink the two cabinets since space is limited due to how close the window is to the cabinet on the right side. Also, he was concerned about it being deep enough for a fireplace between the cabinets. (Ignore the mantel you see there now…it’s too wide and too big, so I won’t be using that one.) I suggested having the fireplace jutting out a bit into the room with the niches set back a bit. He wasn’t sure that was such a great idea.

Fast forward to a few months ago when I attended the monthly board meeting of my garden club. We meet each month in this wonderful historic home pictured below.

We always have our meetings in the dining room of this beautiful home. Each month I like to treat myself to a peek into the adjacent rooms. I love to just soak up the beautiful furnishings and architecture. I had forgotten how the library looked…it’s just what I had tried to describe to my contractor. Note how the fireplace sticks out a bit into the room.

And notice how tight the space is between the cabinet over by the window. Yep, this is just what I needed to show my contractor.

Yesterday, I may have found another component to building my library. I was shopping in A Classy Flea and came across this old fireplace mantel. I measured it and I think it’s just the width I need to fit between the cabinet niches and to allow for shelving on the right side of the room. Also, it is pretty much the exact same height as the cabinet niches…how cool is that?!

Those two columns you see leaning against the wall to the left of it go on the front, on either side. Since it’s pine, I wouldn’t feel too bad painting it to work with the cabinet niches and the built in bookshelves. I plan to strip the paint from the cabinet niches that will be on either side and repaint them before they are installed, too. The mirror is really old…very chippy and looks terrible…which is one of the things I think I like. (LOL) I asked how old it was and they didn’t know. Anyone have any idea? It’s pretty plain, but it does have the columns up top and on the bottom. The price tag said it was antique with its original mirror and columns.

So what do you think? It’s priced at $395 but they would most likely take 10% off, maybe a little more if I’m lucky. πŸ™‚ I’ve been looking for one similar to this with a mirror built in…and I think this one is the right size. Should I go for it? Or, should I just have my contractor build a fireplace mantel to fit the space and hang my own mirror above…don’t think it would cost much more…might even be less than trying to build this one in. What do ya think?


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  1. tales from an oc cottage says

    Oh! Is that ever going to look amazing! I can't wait to see!! HURRY! HURRY!

    m ^..^

  2. Confessions of a Plate Addict says

    Good eye, Susan! Good eye! Can you tell I just spent weeks going to Little League games? lol It looks like your patience and perseverance have paid off! I can't wait t see the final result! And yes, I LOVE that mantel! Go for it! Happy week!…hugs…Debbie

  3. Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions says

    I'm glad to see that project is moving along, Susan. I know I commented on that issue when you posted it because we have homes here on Long Island that have recessed alcoves on either side of fireplaces and they are perfect for built in shelving. I did a builder's house once with just console tables in them, but I would love to have something like that myself and have cabinetry built right in the recesses. I love the look at the house where you had your meeting.

  4. I'm not sure I like the mirror over — I like the mantle itself and I like the mirror — but I'm not sure the mirror goes with your idea of the niches (refer to your inspiration pictures). The price is certainly reasonable IMO. If you're going to paint it anyway, I think I would have one made to your specifications.

    I keep hoping that soon we'll see the library finished!

    I know I can't wait!

  5. I wonder if it is Victorian? It is beautiful, anything you put in there will be gorgeous. Love the idea of a library!

  6. Absolutely, Susan. Are you going to put a gas, electric or wood fireplace in? Does it match up with your existing chimney? That is a very nice piece for the price, I have looked at similiar oak for 3 times that price..I SO wished I lived out where you do the antique opportunities are unbelieveable. So show us where the cabinents will fit…want to see it all! Details, girl, you are so talented.

  7. Susan
    I love the way you have been able to find all the pieces to make your room just the way you like! I can't wait to see the finished project!
    Dee Dee

  8. Decorchick! says

    It looks very nice to me! I think either way would look great. But yea, like your other reader said if you are going to paint the antique anyway, I'd probably just have the contractor build me one I wanted exactly too. Whatever you do will be great and can't wait to see! Thanks for hosting another Met Monday. πŸ™‚

  9. Cindy (Applestone Cottage) says

    I say go for it! It's perfect and beautiful and will look amazing!

  10. Jess @ Frugal with a Flourish says

    I think it is beautiful! I mean – $395 for that much detailed wood work and a mirror? That isn't too bad! I think you should go for it! Let us know what you decide! (Oh and thanks for hosting!)

  11. The mantel you are thinking of buying is victorian and thats as far as my knowledge goes and I am sure you already knew that too! I think these are called victorian book shelf mantels-but google to make sure I am telling you the truth! LOL

    I like it but am having a hard time picturing it all together. I think your inspiration picture with the plain wall above the mantel gives a nice break to the eye between to the shelves and cabinets. Maybe I don't have the vision you do so listen to you not me! I know you will have it looking lovely in no time!

    From Virginia

  12. I'm pretty sure I would have one built to your specifications. The arched cabinets bring to mind an entirely different time period than the mantle and mirror. Also, the mantle and mirror just look too heavy for the space and for the cabinets. If you have a regular contractor that you work with frequently, I would imagine between the two of you, you'd end up with exactly the beautiful mantle and surround you want. Besides, it will fit the space exactly! (Always a plus!) Another thing, with the arched cabinets I think an oval mirror would tie it all together better than a rectangular mirror.

    That's my two cents (and it's not worth a penny more!!)

  13. I think the fireplace is gorgeous and I'd be tempted to take it….but, if you like to move and redecorate things like I do, would it limit what you would put above the mantel? Would you tire of the mirror being attached?
    Something to ponder….good luck!


  14. Handy Man, Crafty Woman says

    Love that mantel!

    thanks for hosting this blog party.

  15. I've checked your site regularly just to watch you transform this room! Definitely, jut out the fireplace and recess the niches. If you love the mantle, go for it. Its style lends itself to "jutting out". A flat back fluted piece of moulding on each lower side of the mantle and a couple of decorative wooden "rosettes" or caps and all bathed in white paint, it will be spectacular! Can't wait to see the end results!!!

  16. Linda (More Fun Less Laundry) says

    Hi Susan, I am so excited to see this project move forward! I would suggest trying to take straight-on pictures of the cabinets and the fireplace, then put the pictures together as they would look in your room, maybe even on graph paper to scale. That way, you can see how well they coordinate and how much trim space will be needed. Also, I have a cabinet door in my house which opens flush to the end of the cabinet, like yours do, and because it is so close to the wall it doesn't open all the way and it dries me CRAZY!!! So, I would also suggest you make sure there is enough clearance on both sides of the cabinets to open the doors all the way. That mantle is beautiful. Will you miss being able to choose your own mirror (maybe a venetian glass one:) ?) Linda

  17. Susan as I told you before this is somewhat like what I have planned for my living room wall someday. I think the mantel will look great with the niches, it has a nice clean line to it and I love it, I say go for it. The price is unbelieveable. I think if you don't do it you will regret it. It is going to be so beautiful. The only thing I would mention is I would not jut the center wall out too much or it will not look as if it belongs to the niches. just a little jut not as much as in the picture. Good luck!! It will be fun to see the final result, Kathysue

  18. Glenda/MidSouth says

    I am looking forward to seeing what you decide to do – you have a very pretty room and some great pieces to work with. I want a room like that! πŸ˜€
    Thanks for hosting again this week.

  19. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    Lisa, I don't have a fireplace on that wall but they make some really realisic looking ones these days. Plus, the gas line and meter is just on the other side of that wall, so I think that will be helpful. πŸ™‚

  20. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    Linda, thanks for warning about the door…I hadn't even thought about that. Wish that window wasn't so close…hope we can make it work.

  21. My, very humble, and ,take it with a grain of salt, opinion is that this Victorian mantle would really fight with the niches for attention. My feeling is that either the mantle, or the niches should take centre stage, but not both. Anyway, I cannot wait to see what you choose to do. I am sure it will be beautiful.

  22. Hi Susan:
    That is a beautiful mantle, but having renovated and built houses, we have found that sometimes it is easier to build your own to the exact specifications, especially when you are trying to tie it into other pieces.
    Another point, you say your room is not large and I think that fireplace lends itself to a larger room as it is so grand.
    It is indeed a lovely piece and I know you would be drawn to it and it's history.
    I would be thinking, "who sat in front of this fireplace many years ago?" so maybe you can create your own memories with a custom piece.
    Saying that, it is easy for me as my husband is a great carpenter.
    Which ever you choose, I know you will make it all come together.
    Good luck!!
    P.S. We just went away for a weekend and I bought more dishes!! πŸ™‚

  23. sharonavinger says

    We just finished a major remodel with a large sunroom with built-in bookcases. I love them because they were built exactly as I wished. My suggestion is to go with the built-in mantel, built exactly as you want it. I think you'll be much happier.

  24. Thanks for the party!!

  25. Penny @ The Comforts of Home/Lavender Hill Studio says

    That is an amazing inspiration photo! I think the mantel and your cabinets are going to look great in your library!

    p.s. I am having a giveaway for an expresso and coffee machine….come enter!

  26. Oh I like that Susan. I love the columns and it has so much character, It will look awesome. Go for it!..Christine

  27. Sarah @ says

    Oh my goodness! I love those cabinets.. SWOON!! I love your house!! Please keep going!

  28. Beautiful tassels!! The mantel is great.

  29. Heaven's Walk - says

    No question about it, Susan! That vintage fireplace will look fantastic in your room! All of that beautiful architecture will add so much history and character in there – especially once it's painted white. lol! And you certainly can't beat the price!!! πŸ™‚

    xoxo laurie

  30. Oh, Susan…I LOVE that olden mantel with the mirror…It has so much more character. And in a library…oh, yes…I do love it.
    HOWEVER, whatever you chose, I know it will be beautiful..I can just see this one painted white..maybe have the mirror resilvered…ummmm…so pretty.

  31. Susan, I can totally visualize that fireplace in your library and it would be gorgeous! That is actually a really great deal I think and would add so much character!

  32. I'm going to echo what others have said. I would label the mantel Victorian. I think it's lovely but I don't think it is the traditional match for 2 shelf units. That isn't to say it could not be attractive, just not "authentic" The door opening issue also happened to a friend of mine who had built ins made. Your carpenter just has to be mindful of that. I'm a big fan of Victoriana- I made my house into a Victorian – but I think the mantel would be pretty elsewhere, even on your gorgeous porch with candles in it.
    Why are other people's decorating problems so much easier than your own? Good luck! I can't wait to see your progress, whatever you decide.

  33. Etcetorize says

    Wow, those bookcases are so beautiful! Can't wait to see how it all ends up looking together~

  34. Go for the old mantle, so much more character. I know your room will be truly breathtaking! Thanks for hosting today!

  35. Linda (Nina's Nest) says

    Susan, that is going to be a gorgeous room when you get finished with it. I always like old things, so if the contractor thinks the mantel will work, then it would certainly be a beauty in the room. Will look forward to seeing it completed. Linda

  36. Stephanie Lynn @Under the Table and Dreaming says

    What an amazing find. I love the character and history {known or unknown} that an antiqued piece holds. It really is gorgeous. Great eye on having something to show your contractor – that is actually pretty funny. I can not wait to see the progress in this room. I love the elements you already have! Thanks for hosting – Hope you have a wonderful week! Stephanie Lynn

  37. The Quintessential Magpie says

    Susan, that mirror and mantle appear to be from a house built probably at the end of the 1800's or the beginning of the 1900's. Late Victorian. I have a similar mantle that came out of Mr. Magpie's great aunt's home when they tore it down. The mantle is currently in storage.

    While I think that the mirror and the mantle are styled to the Victorian period, I see the flavor of your house as nodding to an ealier period in terms of your camel back sofa and the type of niches you have there. In truth, I'm not sure if I would buy the piece, and it's not because I don't like it. If you love it, by all means buy it, but it is going to set a very Victorian tone in your house due the architectural style of the piece. When I see it, I think Queen Ann house immediately.


    Sheila πŸ™‚

  38. The Quintessential Magpie says

    P.S. Susan, if I'm not mistaken, that mirrored piece above the mantle is called an over-mantle. The stylized flourish on the mantle piece itself looks very Vitorian to me, even though the mantle itself is simple. Is the piece oak or heart pine?

  39. Terry @ La Bella Vie says

    OK girlfriend, here's my 2 cents worth. My husband built our fireplace with gas insert for our living room and was able to put together exactly what I wanted to spec and still make it look like an old antique. Because of all the elements we chose to use; appliques, moldings finger moldings etc it looks as if it always been there yet its a perfectly beautiful fit. He also used an oil base paint to hand paint it so it has the "authentic" brush stokes through the satin-y paint and it looks wonderful.
    I love the antique mantle you found but it may over take the focal point completely instead of blend in with the side book cases.
    Hope this helps but whatever you decide I know you; it will be wonderful!

  40. Terry @ La Bella Vie says

    OK girlfriend, here's my 2 cents worth. My husband built our fireplace with gas insert for our living room and was able to put together exactly what I wanted to spec and still make it look like an old antique. Because of all the elements we chose to use; appliques, moldings finger moldings etc it looks as if it always been there yet its a perfectly beautiful fit. He also used an oil base paint to hand paint it so it has the "authentic" brush stokes through the satin-y paint and it looks wonderful.
    I love the antique mantle you found but it may over take the focal point completely instead of blend in with the side book cases.
    Hope this helps but whatever you decide I know you; it will be wonderful!

  41. Andi's English Attic says

    The fireplace is beautiful and obviously has a history. A purpose-built one won't. Personally, I'd snap it up immediately.
    It looks very much like a dresser I have in my study. It's in the way and I've thought about passing it on to someone, but now having seen your pic of that fireplace I'm looking at the dresser in a different light. What if I removed the top and used it above a fireplace…? Hmmmmmmm.

  42. gnee @ Singing With Birds says

    Hi Susan,

    I'm hoping you can work all of your choices out. That old mantel along with the other side pieces would be smashing! I'm excited to see it finished up. Thanks for having all of us over!

  43. I swear, what is up with contractors. Why could he not see your vision and run with it. I am doing our ceilings over, because I couldn't find a contractor willing to be creative. That is going to look great!

  44. As I was reading this post I was going to suggest a pot bellied wood burning stove as they are narrow and would allow for the room you need. The fireplace mantle that you found is remarkable though! Whatever you choose I'm sure it will be stunning!

  45. Wow. That mantel is GREAT.(Google Victorian Mantel Mirror-images!) The old mirror would add so much charm and mystery to your "library". I would definitely go for the old one, esp. with the old niches on either side!
    It will be really beautiful once everything is painted out and in place. I do like the fireplace "out" into the room a bit.

    Keep us posted!
    Oh, and a note from experience: we had a new mantel built for our home-it is an exact replica of a picture I had pulled–I still think that if I had found an OLD one, I would be happier with it. The new just lacks something. . . IMO.
    Happy day to you! I am sure whatever you decide, it will be wonderful.

  46. The fireplace is beautiful and normally I would say "go for it if its an antique" but in this regard I feel you might be best to design and customize your own for the space. In addition, you would still have one of a kind and a unique treasure. (i.e: Like Terry has done.) -Brenda-

  47. cassandra @ says

    Hi, I am your newest follower! Thanks so much for hosting!

  48. That is a beautiful mantel !! I'm sure it would look gorgeous in your library, too. I look forward to seeing what you decide. Thanks for hosting such a fun get together … I'm off to get inspired by all of the great projects !! Take care, *Becca*

  49. Hoosier at Heart says

    Run, don't walk to the shop. Get this immediately. If you don't you'll kick yourself and that's how you break a hip!

  50. Life in Rehab says

    Oh, Susan, get the antique mantle! It's just stunning, and you'll have bragging rights to boot.

  51. Liz @ Infuse With Liz says

    Hi Susan- I am sorry to say I don't like the new mantle that you are currently looking at. It's very victorian. The first one you have in the room is spot on for your home and it will work beautifully with the built in niches you already found. They already look great together. I would have the niches installed on bases to make them higher than they are. The proportion to the height of the mantle will be better then. I'm sure your installer can do it, it's just going to require a bit of fussing!

  52. Hi Susan,
    I absolutely love the fireplace that you found. The pillars are exquisite. I have a girlfriend that lives in a century home and she has a fireplace that looks just like yours. Her fireplace is angled in a corner because of the shape of the room. She has her favourite teapot set sitting on the very top above the mirror. The house she lives in is a 3 story yellow brick 6 bedroom home. It has beautiful stained glass windows. It was a wedding gift to the original owner and her new husband. I just love it.

  53. Susan,
    I LOVE the look you are going for. It's going to be amazing. I personally would go for the antique mantle. I'll give the room more of a "it's been this way forever" kinda look. I think it'll make it look like an authentic "old" library. It's a beautiful piece that would complement all your other ideas beautifully. I can't wait to see the finished room!

  54. Well, I really like the mantel you are looking at, but I'm not sure it would match with the style and period look of the bookcase inserts. The rounded top of the bookcases look Federal to me and the mantel is more victorian. Whenever I see those type of mantels in a house they are normally the focal point on that wall, I'm afraid that and the bookcases would be competing too much. But then again I like everything about your house, so if you think it will match well, then I bet it will.

  55. I have to agree with Mellodee and Anon and Liz @ IWL: while a nice mantle, I don't think it works with your niches…which are beautiful with the FIRST fire place surround you have in there. Good luck with your decision..glad it isn't me. Now: if you want to SELL that first mantle/surround, please let me know…..would love to drive there to pick it up and make it MY OWN!!

  56. $395? That's it?? For an antique mantle of that size? I'm shocked! How can you not for that price? If it doesn't work you could always resell it (and probably get more money) on Craig's List. I wouldn't wait too long – you'll kick yourself if it's gone. Run, Run Forrest, Run!

  57. Cass @ That Old House says

    Hi Susan!
    Wow — you got my attention with that old mantel. In our New York City railroad flat, we had 3 of those — they date from the very late 19th century, and that style continued to be used up until about 1920. It's categorized as Victorian, but really more rightly Edwardian. They were mass produced for the middle class market.

    The price is surely fair — but I'm not sure about using it with those niches. They are very classically Georgian and gorgeous! I side with others who have said a custom mantel may be your best bet — it can be quite simple, (perhaps add an Adams web applique or something similar) and then it can abut the niches more closely — no overhang.

    Don't worry about painting that old mantel … it probably was painted originally as it's not a "good" wood. Why not get it anyway and use it elsewhere? See how easily I spend your money?

    It's a great example of an overmantel piece. wow — brings back memories for me! We had two painted, and one in very dark, heavily varnished oak. Ah, I loved that big old apartment!

    Can't wait to see what you decide!

  58. - Brittany says

    I say buy it before someone else does and then you'd regret it. Seriously, if you were to build it yourself you might be able to save some cash, but since you are paying someone else's labor and materials cost, you probably won't save that much. I love the idea of your fireplace jutting out a little. Can't wait to see it finished! FWIW, our fireplace comes out slightly, but the brick hearth only extends about an inch beyond our cabinets, and the wall the mantle is on is recessed. You can see it here:


  59. Love the old fireplace mantle. We lived in a house built in 1901 in NC and we had 7 fireplaces….it looks very similar to several we had in the house. They all had the old mirrors in them. THat is what makes them look authentic. Love the idea of having the book cases recessed with the fireplace sticking out.

  60. I love the mantle but think it might be a bit heavy for the niches. That said, if you LOVE it and will kick yourself if the mantle is gone…go for it. If it doesn't work in the space you could resell it. Can't wait to see what you decide!

  61. I love the look of the fireplace sticking out. I think your shelves are going to look great! I like both ideas for a mantle. The antique one would look great. Can't wait to see what you decide to do.

  62. Cozy Home Scenes says

    I like the mantel and I also like the shelves. However, I probably would just stick with one idea or the other.

    To me, the shelves are going to be the height in the room so to have a tall mantel as well will compete too much with that.

    I think to give the eye a break, I'd probably go with a more tradtional mantel and then add my own smaller mirror or a painting overhead.

    I'm sure the room will look great once you get it all put together.

  63. Good Morning,
    Between Naps on the Porch is a wonderful site. Thank you and your readers for your ideas, creativity, and thoughts. With regard to your current quandry – isn't the design process fun. I agree with several of the preceeding comments that in essence less is more. The mantel is a great piece, however, it seems the mantel and the niches would fight for attention. I like your original idea of the built in mantel. What ever you decide it will be great.

  64. Serendipity Chic Decor says

    Thanks for hosting a fabulous party!


  65. I love that idea, and the mantel has to go home with you…as long as it fits:) Those bookshelves that you found are a treasure!

    Can't wait to see the end results!

  66. Kelly @ JAX does design says

    We had a similar mantel in our last house that was built in the early 1900s. So I'm going to guess the mantel you found is about the same age (around 110 years old).

    If you love it and think it'll work, then go for it. I'm sure it could always me modified if need be. Worst case scenario, it doesn't work out an you sell it.

    Good luck!


  67. Susan, we had a fireplace mantel like the one you found at the Classy Flea in a previous home. It may have been original to the house, which if I remember correctly, was built around the late 1800/early 1900. It was gorgeous, as is the one you found. It is going to look classy with those niche shelves in your future library.

    Those tassels are so pretty. I especially like the one with the rooster.


  68. Enchanted Rose Studio says

    That mantel is amazing, full of character and charm. Price is fabulous too! I say grab it and runnnnnn! ha!

    If it doesn't work in the room and since those new gas inserts fit just about any place, maybe on it would work on your beautiful bedroom. Or out on your fabulous porch, if you done't hook it up right away you could go faux and stack tall candles. I'm just saying. ha! πŸ˜‰



    p.s. I too am so very thrilled you made it out gf! Take some play time! You've more than earned it!

  69. Susan (My Place to Yours) says

    Since you asked… It's a beautiful mantel, but not a good complement to the niches. I'd keep looking — or start designing a custom mantel — if I were you. Can't wait to see the finished room!

  70. That mantel is to die for. Run, do not walk, to go get that beauty. I can tell you, as someone who built their own with mirror included, it will cost you double to build one like that. I can't wait to see it in your beautiful house.


  71. Susan whatever you decide will be beautiful, just like everything else in your home. I have a question also. I found you by googling porches when we were closing ours in. I fell in love with your master bedroom bedding. I found similar fabric and made the bedding and window treatments for our guest bedroom (Which also has furniture similar to yours). Even tho mine is not as beautiful as yours, I would like to show it on my new blog at some point and wanted to make sure you were ok with it since I got the idea from you. I would give credit where credit is due. I would love it if you could stop by and visit one day.I am just starting out and your the first blog I ever visited. Please let me know about showing the bedding. Teresa@ our southern country home and farm.

  72. Chari at Happy To Design says

    Hi Susan…

    Wow…decisions..decisions! First of all, I love the look and feel of the room in the home where you attend your garden meetings…it's gorgeous! And…I think you're home is just as lovely! I love the idea of making this room into a library! I also think that this gorgeous antique mantel that you found…looks like a mantel for a library! Does that make sence? Hehe! I think you could definitely make it work! The lines of the mantel are uncomplicated…I don't think it would compete with the arches of your beautiful shelf/niches. You know, I always take the time to draw things out on paper. Maybe that would help you to make your decision! I think you can get a pretty good feel for how the project would "lay out"! Anyway, I am most confident that whatever you decide…it will be fabulous! You are a very talented designer and decorator, my friend! Can't wait to see what you do!!!

    Thank you so much for hosting another MM! I always appreciate all the time and effort that you put into hosting this party for us! Have a great day, sweet lady!

    Warmest autumn wishes,
    Chari @Happy To Design

  73. lvroftiques says

    Susan I love that fireplace with over mirror! Looks victorian to me. Gloria would be the expert for sure on that *winks* The price is very good, but I'd make an offer for 20% less and see if the seller counters with better than 10. There's a very good chance, and it never hurts to ask.
    I also love the bookcases recessed and the fireplace jutting forward. It looks absolutely beautiful in the meeting house for your garden club. JMHO the old mantle has soul and integrity that a new one just doesn't posess….. But you know how I feel bout that!(Tique freak) Lol! The hazing in old mirrors just adds to their character in my book. I can't wait to see what you do. I know it'll be stunning! Vanna

  74. Hi Susan, I say have the contractor build a new fireplace (I'm so glad you found the perfect room to show him). I love the shelves and the fireplace, but it seems like they would compete too much with each other.

  75. Carol in Indian Springs Village says

    Oh Susan that mantel at that price is AMAZING! I bought one similar years ago and paid $600 but we didn't have to do a thing to it except attach it around the firebox and then put the tile on. If you price what it would cost to get the good stainable wood, you would find that it is quite expensive. Plus I always love things that appear to have a history to them.

  76. Hello Susan.
    I haven't read the other comments yet, just jumped to adding my own comment.

    I can't tell the exact size of your room…so I'm guessing. Just an idea.

    What if you moved your fireplace mantel and placed it along the left wall to where you presently have the china cabinet. Place the two book shelf units on both sides of the mantel. Perhaps a fake wall could be built to support the units and embrace the fireplace mantel.

    Move your sofa and position it where you presently have the mantel. As you enter the room your gorgeous sofa would be the focal point.

    Slide your wing chair over by the windows and have it angled inward toward the sofa.


    Have the sofa in front of the windows with the sofa facing the mantel and units that are across the room. Where the mantel is right now…have bookshelves constructed along the wall where presently the mantel is. The book shelves would be the focal point of what you saw as entering the room. Wing chair could be over in the far left corner angled and facing the center of the room.

    The piece of furniture that you have behind your sofa now could be placed to the side of the sofa and used as a end table with your pretties on it.

    Not sure where you'd go with the china cabinet that you presently have on the left side of your room. Can't tell how much room you have to the right side of your french doors. What's happening to the right of the french doors? Could your china cabinet go there?

    Having fun playing,
    d from home haven

  77. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    Teresa, sure go right ahead! I'm flattered you like it enough to recreate it! πŸ™‚
    I tried to find your blog but couldn't find it by googling. Send me the link if you find this message.

  78. Sorry about that Susan. I don't know if I have done something wrong or what because I have no followers? Also I am very computer illiterate but gonna keep trying! Thanks, Teresa@oursouthercountryhomeandfarm

  79. says

    Go for it! It's beautiful!


  80. Sue Murphy says

    I love it! I think you should go for it.

  81. OK. First of all, are you paying the contractor? Then it's his/her job to figure out how to do what YOU want. If it's the DH doing the work, then there might be a problem. IMHO, your house is much too clean & tidy (pretty, painted white-ish)– even on your outdoor porch, to move an old/antique oak mantle into the library. I understand the concept of contrast, but sleep on it. You are starting out @ $400 for the mantle, plus the contractor, plus the builder, the plumber to add the gas line for the starter. Is the chimney already there? It boggles the mind of a DIYer!! As I prefaced my comments, "IMHO". Love the challenge. MD

  82. that old mantel is so pretty, I think you couldn't recreate all the details on something new, so if that is in your price range then go for it!

  83. sweet violets says

    What a great find…..the mantle and mirror are wonderful, and I like the old mirror with the flaws…..yes, for sure it will work with the two cabinets, bring the mantle out like you want and maybe the contractor will be able to trim the molding on the window frame to fit the cabinet…..that's how they did it in the old days, they made it work!!! The mantle is late 1800's, Victorian style, just beautiful….watch some old movies, like Father KNows Best, or It's a Wonderful World…..they had the same woodwork……I have a wonderful contractor, tell him what I want, show him the sketches and he does it…….what fun!!!! ….cleo

  84. Gail @ Victorian at Heart says

    There is no question. You need to definitely use the antique fireplace. It is so unique and beautiful. Nothing takes the place of the charm an old piece has even when it is redone. My vote is you better run back to Classy Flea before someone else sees this

  85. I have an oak antique mantle almost identical to this one and have LOVED having it to decorate. Question: are you going to have a REAL fireplace or faux fireplace. I think the mirror with the wall space above the mantle the your contractor would build would be a very traditional look which fits the rest of your home. But I love the idea of the authentic fireplace mantle which would add (to me) a more unique warmth to a library. Just my opinion though….whatever you do will be beautiful because you have such wonderful taste and know your own style so well. Can't wait to see the end result!

  86. Farah Muzaffar says

    Its great Susan, the nache I love, your turn them into a piece of Fab.. great, waiting eagerly for the end result.
    I would love if you peek on to my new little post..Love

  87. Jules Fleur says

    Fabulous, looking forward to seeing the end result! Jules x

  88. Michelle Jamieson says

    Susan: I love the antique mantel! I think that painted up it will look fabulous in your about to be newly transformed room! Also, I'm so excited that I finally figured out how to link up on your Metamorphosis Monday gig! I can't tell you how excited I am, I don't know why I couldn't figure it out before, it was quite easy actually! My Best, Michelle

  89. I love the bookcases. I love the paint color in your inspiration room. I love both the mantle you have and the mantle you saw. I love it all!!

  90. Entertaining Women says

    Is your fireplace centered on the wall? It appears that there is a bit more wall space on the left side (as I look at the fireplace) than on the right side (next to the window). How would you make that work for symmetry purposes. Also, how much wall space is there between the window and the corner? I was wondering if these wonderful niches could be adapted/retrofitted as corner niches?…since you're going to have to be doing wallboard work any way? Just a thought. The mantle that you found is delightful, if it goes with the style that you want to achieve and is appropriate with the wonderful niches.

  91. I have loved the niches since you first posted them, and I think pulling the fireplace out slightly could work beautifully. However, as historic as the Classy Flea mantel might be, it just doesn't seem to fit with the niches (just my humble opinion). Your home always looks classic, traditional to me. The mantel looks a tad too Victorian. I'd go with custom work, and have the contractor "wrap" some white painted panels around the "jut" to tie the front of the mantel to the niches. I could also see half-rounded columns on the front of the fireplace surround. I think the roundness would tie in nicely with the rounded top of the niches. I love the mirror you already have, and think it would work with "my" vision. But, then, I love everything you have done in your home, so your "vision" no matter what you do, will undoubtedly be spectacular. (no pressure…lol)

    I did just have custom bookcases built for our den…costly, yes !!! But, he created exactly what I thought I wanted…and then some. My best friend went with me to the planning meetings, and was still wowed by the results…yea !

  92. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    Anonymous…I would LOVE to see pics of your bookshelves. I'll be looking for some inspiration pics to show my contractor, too.
    Thanks for all the suggestions. I can't wait to get the work done…maybe this winter! πŸ™‚

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