Creating a Cozy Living Room with a Fireplace and Accent Wall

Split screen of Barbara Crigler's completed dining room with green accent wall and her living room with a whitewashed fireplace and stained mantel.
A green accent wall and a whitewashed fireplace add character to once-blank spaces.

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!

The Plan

Barbara Crigler's blank living room wall, with just a TV on top of a chest of drawers
This living room is nice enough for family get-togethers, but we have to do something about these blank walls!

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.

The Projects

Danny Lipford frames Barbara Crigler's bump-out wall
Building a bump-out wall for the fireplace will add architectural interest.

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


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