This has got to be one of my favorite makeovers so far in our house. It really improved the look of the living room, and allowed the mantel to become the star of the room!
We started by tearing out the paneling above the built-in bookcases and the fireplace. Behind that paneling was plywood, and beneath that plywood was avocado green wallpaper. Under the wallpaper was the original plaster, but unfortunately we could only fix up the plaster on the side walls. The plaster on the front wall was too far gone. We also removed the “header” that housed the three fluorescent light fixtures, and all of the old wiring that ran to those lights. Ugh.
Then, we ran new wiring, installed the two ceiling fixtures on the sides and a halogen spot in the middle, and put up drywall to cover the sad, sad ceiling and back wall. After a few hours (days) of spackling and sanding, we were ready to prime and paint.
Here is the ghastly before:
And the much improved after:
Of course, there is still a bit of decorative moulding to install, and a couple of other minor things, but overall I’d say the mantel is now stellar!