Barbara Crigler recently purchased this 1958 house. She lives here alone but has frequent visits from her four grandchildren, three active boys and one girl.
The family room is in good condition, with nice hardwood floors and a big window that lets in tons of natural light, but it’s missing character and a true focal point.
One of the biggest problems is a blank, boring wall that Barbara just doesn’t know what to do with. But she does know what she wants there: a TV and a fake fireplace.
Just adjacent is a dining table with another blank wall — but it won’t stay that way for much longer!
To break up Barbara’s long, boring family room wall, we’ll build a small bump-out to add dimension and architectural interest.
We’ll also build a mantel to frame an electric LED fireplace and hang the TV above it.
Next, we’ll add crown molding to the room, along with a grid-work of applied molding to the accent wall.
Finally, we’ll conceal the window treatments with matching cornices for both windows.
Build Bump-Out Wall for Fireplace
The bump-out we’re building is only 6 inches in depth but we still have to build it like a legitimate wall.
Because we’ll have a bump-out, that means we’ll also have crown molding that juts out, which always looks nice, and creates a nice focal point.
When the framing is complete, our electrician, Jeremy, wires an outlet for the TV and a pair of sconces on the fireplace wall.
Once he’s finished, we can install the drywall, which is a material called Hi-Impact XP from National Gypsum. It’s called Hi-Impact because the gypsum core includes a built-in fiberglass mesh to protect the surface from dents, dings and penetrations.
Build, Paint and Install Fireplace Mantel
We frame the mantel with 2-by-4s and install it on the bump-out with Titebond Construction Adhesive and our trusty nail gun.
For the mantel top, we’ll use a 2-by-8 instead of a 2-by-4, and we’ll stain it to match the floor.
Watch and Learn: How to Build a Fireplace Mantel
Bonus Feature: FREE Printable Fireplace Mantel Plans