The Most Swoon Worthy Antique Mantel

This weekend we picked up the most swoon worthy antique mantel I’ve ever seen! Talk about an awesome Valentine’s Day, because I fell in love all over again!! I found this antique mantel on Facebook Marketplace last week, and I was lucky enough to scoop it up before it got gone. I knew immediately upon seeing the listing that this mantel would be the perfect addition to the farmhouse… And I can’t wait to share my plan with y’all today here on the blog!

chippy painted antique mantel
chippy cottage chic 1800's mantelpiece

Ok, so here’s a little background on the mantel and why I fell in love with it. The mantel came from an 1853 home in Fuquay Varina, NC. The home originally had 4 fireplaces, and we got the last one!! Just like our Old House, the Fuquay house was built with the kitchen in a separate structure, in case a fire broke out. And this mantel was the original kitchen hearth in the Fuquay house! Y’all I am a sucker for chippy paint and knowing the story behind antique pieces, so this was pretty much a dream find for me!

authentic chippy painted antique mantel
blue and white chippy paint flaking

When I saw the listing on Marketplace, I immediately thought about the mantel we salvaged from upstairs in “The Old House”! I’ve included side by side shots of them both so you can see just how similar these two are in terms of style. “The Old House” was built in the same general time period as the Fuquay Varina house where this mantel came from… So it makes sense that they are so similar in style.

The new / old mantel is much larger than the two mantels we already have in the farmhouse. It measures 81″ wide by 71″ tall. That’s nearly 7 feet wide by nearly 6 feet tall… It’s massive! It’s covered in chippy paint and the kind of charm you can’t recreate on your own. Where is it going you ask? In our living room! And I’m drooling over it already…

1800's era fireplace

I haven’t really shared much of our living room on the blog as of yet. We have a large, 16 foot long feature wall of reclaimed wood from “The Old House”, and two of the boards actually have writing on them. Ever since construction was complete, this space has been challenging for me to design. I haven’t been able to settle on a furniture arrangement in here that I feel 100% sure about.

reclaimed wood feature wall in open concept living area, with large tv on white dresser

Our living area is open concept, which I love and I would choose again in a heart beat! However, because it’s open concept, this feature wall is THE wall our TV needs to go on. Technically, this wall is partially in the “dining room” area, and it’s also fully visible from the kitchen. So at one point, we had our TV and entertainment stand over to the left side of the wall. But that left this weird chunk of wall open on the right side without much purpose. Then we tried centering the TV on the wall. And that also looked weird because it was so close to the dining room. It was like no matter where the TV went, it just seemed like it wasn’t in the right place.

chippy fireplace
flaky chippy paint

So until now, we’ve just left the space mostly unchanged from when we moved into the farmhouse. But my mind has always been thinking of what to do to make this open concept living space make more sense. I have been searching for ideas on how to connect the living / dining / kitchen area design wise, without having the TV as the focal point on this feature wall. Even though this feature wall is the only spot for the TV to go. You see my dilemma?

swoon worthy antique mantel from an 1800's farmhouse
swoon worthy antique mantel

Cue this swoon worthy antique mantel… I truly believe this mantel is the missing piece I’ve been waiting for. I think it’s going to tie these three areas together, in a way that only an antique mantelpiece can! It’ll add character and history back into the farmhouse, which is one of my favorite parts about designing our home. And it will take this space one step closet to the room I imagined it could be when we first started construction!

shabby chic fireplace
cottage farmhouse fireplace mantel

We originally wanted a fireplace in this room centered on the wood wall, but we cut that from the budget during construction. You can read more about all the things we cut, and all the things we prioritized during the re-build in this post. I have always liked the idea of having a fireplace in the living room. Real or faux, I knew I wanted one in this room, but wasn’t sure about the TV situation until now… And I’m so glad I finally have a plan for this space!

antique mantel from a historic NC home
details of chippy fireplace
foot of chippy mantel

This antique mantelpiece is step 1! I’ll definitely be sharing more details as we make make progress here at the farmhouse. Since writing this post, we have made a ton of progress creating a DIY fireplace in the living room all centered around this beautiful 1800’s mantel! Want to see this project unfold from start to finish? Take a look back at where we started… (Today’s post would be part 1 in this series of posts!)

I just want to say thank you so much for visiting the blog today! It truly means the world, and I’m so glad to share our progress with you here! As always, thank you so much for following along…

Love, Brittany
swoon worthy antique mantel

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