I wanted to show off our mantel my husband built us, but also, to tell you why we need a new one, I guess I have to tell you about the time our previous one caught fire (yes, really).
I didn’t take photos of the fireplace before this happened, but here’s one I’ve dug up in the listing photos.
Let it be known, in Louisiana, I have never seen a wood-burning stove like this. Ever. (Seriously, I googled to make sure I had the name right). Before this, we had used it for a fire or once to even finish burning cinnamon rolls when the power went out in the middle of their baking in the oven.
But almost two years ago exactly, I was getting into the fall spirit. It was our first Fall season as homeowners, so I convinced Cameron that since the candles from Walmart were half the price of Bath & Body Works candles, we should get twice as many.
Candles were EVERYWHERE and our house felt so cozy and smelled so good while we were watching TV. I had a new job, we had just added our border collie, Fox, to the mix, and we were new homeowners!
Then, as both Cameron and I were sitting on our couch, we heard a glass shatter and the sound of a flame engulfing the mantel! We were going INSANE, and we both looked at each other exactly like the shocked emoji (😱) before jumping up and simultaneously screaming before scrambling around.
Everything’s really a blur, but I distinctly remember grabbing both of the dogs and running to the car shouting “CALL THE POLICE” (yes..the police. Not the fire department, not 911, the police).
And Cameron meanwhile goes to the bathroom and starts running the bath water. Which REALLY pissed me off even more since I thought his solution was to flood the bathtub to drown the fire.
So, yes, I grabbed the keys and left, with both dogs and screaming at Cameron about flooding the kitchen sink instead. Meanwhile, Cameron is putting the fire out using a towel he had wet in the bathtub I thought he was flooding.
Anyway, the fire trucks came anyway, and the dogs and I sat in the car while five fire trucks blocked our entire street and all of our neighbors filed out of their houses in their pajamas to watch (seriously…why). We were mortified.
The firemen were really very nice and set up fans to combat the smoke, while they told us to probably not put candles in glass jars so close to fire. Fair enough.
And then, when they had left, I called my mom.
“So, no one’s hurt, everything’s okay with the house, but we had a small fire.”
Then. A long pause.
“I told you to get a fire extinguisher”
So, yes, that’s how we almost burned the house down after two months of owning it. We no longer have candles and haven’t lit a fire since.
So, now that I’ve told the most embarrassing story to the internet, I’ll get into what we actually did for our project.
After the fire, we painted the wood gray and the bricks white. You couldn’t tell there was a chunk burned out of the mantle unless you looked closely.
The first time I saw this style of mantel was on my cousin’s IG when she was renovating her second fixer upper home (lewisandcompanydesigns). After searching Pinterest, these are EVERYWHERE. We loosely followed a post by and a post by to get the anchor right
This one is pretty straightforward, but it was a big project and obviously needed to be done well. Cam and his dad worked on this for a while & it turned out so good!
I also redecorated. Our ceiling was way too low for that big of a sign and the cacti were so out of place. I painted both signs (for the buffalo plaid sign, I followed this tutorial on YouTube). If all else failed, I was planning on gluing wrapping paper to the back of an old sign (fauxfarmhouse on IG said she did that and it looks flawless)!
So, yeah. That’s that. Follow the blog to keep up with more of our cringe stories and projects we’re working on as we are getting our home ready to sell!