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About Me

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New York, New York
I enjoy simple things: solitude, cheap sheet cake, and sunlight. I also believe that white is, in fact, a color. Bring me fresh flowers and we can be friends.

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November 4, 2011

In Progress: Fireplace Mantle Media Storage

I absolutely love fireplaces; the coziness they exude is a feeling you can't get anywhere else.  For the past year, I've been living with a pile of cable boxes, routers, dvd players, and wires sitting on the floor under my wall mounted TV.  It's a pretty drab sight.

This summer, after months of searching, I finally found this fireplace on Craigslist. It was the perfect size and I was able to get it for $250 (delivery included!!).  I had originally planned on completely stripping and sanding the piece, and finishing it with some high gloss white spraypaint. 

Like many times before, I did not thoroughly think this plan through. First of all, I have no outdoor space to do such a large scale project.  Second, I just got my floors done and doing the project inside my little studio was not very feasible.  I spent a couple months trying to figure something out.  I emailed random people on craigslist asking to pay them to do the job; I considered bringing the mantle home to New Jersey on the roof of my parents car - nothing really came about.

A couple weekends ago, I just went for it.  I tried to cover up my floors the best way I could and used a heat gun to start hacking at the layers of old paint.  Once I got tired of that (and set my fire alarm off multiple times), I began sanding. 

Finally the paint was relatively smooth, and I decided the imperfections on the surface would give it some character.  I began the process of painting the entire mantle with semi gloss white paint, until I had an even, thick color. It took about 4 coats.

I'm so happy with the result.  The mantle looks fresh and clean but still has its old charm.  When searching for a fireplace, one requirement I had was that the mantle be hollow in back, so that I could use the space as storage for all my wires and cables.  The next step of the project (with plenty of help from my engineer father) is to screw in brackets in the back of the mantle to make shelving for all of my boxes and wires.

It's an unconventional media solution, but perfect for the small size of my apartment.  I didn't want a huge cabinet that took up too much space or massive shelving that took over the room.  Once the cable boxes are in place, I will have to start brainstorming ideas for the space inside. I can't wait to show you the finished project!

Happy Friday!