Mondays are the worst so I thought we’d brighten things up with part 2 of our brick fireplace makeover and a fun giveaway. You can read about part 1, where we gave the mantel a makeover, here.

Before we get to the fun part, the giveaway (at the bottom of this post), let’s talk about the makeover we did on our brick fireplace. 

With just a little bit of paint and a few hours you can freshen up a builder basic fireplace by doing this easy DIY brick fireplace makeover | Chatfield Court

I was excited to have a fireplace in the living room but that excitement quickly faded when we realized it was in the only space that could hold our tv. After a lot of discussion, and I mean a lot, we decided that the only place for the tv was over the fireplace. Not my first choice but, when you live in a small space, you do what you gotta do. 

Quick and easy fireplace makeover www.chatfieldcourt.comThe mantel was very shallow, and not wide enough to hold our tv, so we did what any good DIYer would do…

We slapped a piece of plywood up on the mantel, hooked the tv up and called it done. 

Quick and easy fireplace makeover www.chatfieldcourt.comIt stayed this way for 6 months until I couldn’t stand to look at it one any longer. 

Quick and easy fireplace makeover

I won’t go into all of the details again but after a bit of sleuthing for a solution and then for the perfect piece of wood, the mantel was looking 100% better, the tv fit and we were able to ditch the plywood.

Quick and easy fireplace makeover, new mantel | Chatfield Court

Now that the mantel was done, it was time to give the brick a makeover.

When we moved into the house the brick surround was painted black and there were propane logs hooked up (with about 20 years of dog hair and dust). It was dirty, dusty and completely gross. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do but I knew it needed to be cleaned up so I took away the screen, removed the gas logs and gave the firebox a much needed cleaning. 

Quick and easy fireplace makeover, before

I lived with the surround painted black for months, trying to figure out what I wanted to do, but inspiration never hit. Once the mantel was done, though, I knew I wanted to freshen up the surround, if only temporarily until a better idea popped up, so I decided to give it a fresh coat of paint.

Before any paint went up on the brick, I donned my snazzy yellow rubber gloves and gave the surround a thorough cleaning with hot water and TSP. 

Quick and easy fireplace makeover, cleaning

The rest was easy. A few of hours and a couple of coats of the same paint that was used on the mantel, SW Alabaster, and the brick fireplace makeover was done.

Quick and easy fireplace makeover, surround

It only took 6 months and a little bit of paint but it’s looking so much better and brighter. 

A super easy DIY brick fireplace makeover that can be done in a few hours with just a little bit of paint | Chatfield CourtThe walls are on the list for paint (eventually) so that will change things too. 

I still want to do something fun to the surround but I can live with this…for now. 

An easy DIY brick fireplace makeover that can be done in a few hours with just a bit of paint | Chatfield CourtDIY brick fireplace makeover that can be done in a few hours with just a bit of paint | Chatfield Court

Ok, enough with the projects, let’s have some fun with a giveaway for a $50 HomeGoods gift card. Yay!!!

This isn’t a sponsored post, it’s just a little something from me as a way to say thank you for your support. Thank you for coming back every time I post and thank you for sharing yourselves with me through your emails and comments. I treasure this little community we have created together. 

Because this is from me, there are no hoops to jump through to enter. To earn 2 entries, simply leave a comment telling me what you would buy at HomeGoods if you won the giveaway and click on the “Leave a blog post comment” in the giveaway box that you commented. The giveaway runs for 1 week and I’ll contact the winner by email. 

Good luck!!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out a couple of other projects we’ve been doing around the house

DIY floating shelves in the bathroom using reclaimed wood | Chatfield Court

DIY Faux Floating Shelves

An easy DIY makeover on a kitchen island using paint | Chatfield Court

Easy Kitchen Island Makeover



We are moving right along with our projects. I still have 500 going at once, and my house is currently a disaster zone, but we are making progress. It’s slow but it is progress. 

A DIY fireplace mantel makeover to accommodate a flat screen tv in a small living room. A simple and easy fix using a large piece of white pine wood and paint.

Today is all about our DIY fireplace mantel. I haven’t shown this side of the living room very much because we had to do a rough modification on the mantel when we moved in but, now that it’s finally done, I can share it more often.

DIY fireplace mantel

We had a very shallow mantel on the fireplace when we moved in but, once we figured out that our big flat screen tv would have to sit on that shallow ledge, we knew that it would need some work.

The tv placement was a huge discussion between the hubs and me when we first moved in (although every project seems to be a huge discussion). ūüėČ  The previous owners had a tv on a small stand next to the fireplace but I knew that would’t work for me. We did discuss hanging it on the wall above the fireplace but the hubs didn’t want to do that and we still would have had to find a place for the cable box (why do they make them so big in this day and age?).

DIY fireplace mantel

Unable to come up with a solution, we used a rough cut piece of plywood that was wide enough for our tv to sit on the existing mantel. 

DIY fireplace mantel

Since this is the only spot in this room for a tv, we were going to have to make this work.

This is what it looked like for 6 months while we searched for an inexpensive solution. Not pretty.

DIY fireplace mantel

In the end we decided to try to add another level to the mantel with a wider and longer solid piece of reclaimed wood. The goal was to make it look like it was always there while giving our tv a place to live. No fancy moldings or corbels were in the plan, we just wanted to preserve the original look and keep it simple. 

We looked everywhere to find a piece of solid reclaimed wood that was thick enough, long enough and wide enough, while keeping the budget in mind. 

Everywhere we went, we looked. After a few months we knew that if we were going to get a thick solid piece, it would have to be new wood…from a lumber yard…and more money than we wanted to spend.  

DIY fireplace mantel

With a new plan I went searching our local lumber yard and found exactly what we needed, a beautiful piece of white pine. It seemed thick enough so it wouldn’t warp (fingers crossed) and wide enough for our tv. The cost was than I wanted to spend but the lumber yard planed and smoothed it out for me. In the end it, was well worth the $91 we shelled out.

Since it was already cut to size and sanded smooth, all we had to do was to attach it to the existing mantel using some well placed screws from underneath. No ugly screw holes to fill and it’s very secure. 

DIY fireplace mantel

I caulked and primed and painted, with leftover trim paint, and the new mantel looks like it’s always been here. Plus the tv fits perfectly. 

A DIY fireplace mantel makeover to accommodate a flat screen tv in a small living room. A simple and easy fix using a large piece of white pine and paint.

I’m still not thrilled with the tv sitting on the mantel, but this is a small house with limited space so we had to make do.

A DIY fireplace mantel makeover to accommodate a flat screen tv in a small living room. A simple and easy fix using a large piece of white pine wood.

Finn’s favorite pillow in his favorite spot. I think he loves the fireplace.

A DIY fireplace mantel makeover to accommodate a flat screen tv in a small living room. A simple and easy fix using a large piece of white pine wood, caulk and paint.

The fireplace is still a work in progress, it’s one of the 500 projects I’m currently working on, so I’ll do a full reveal when it’s done. Hopefully next week.

A DIY fireplace mantel makeover to accommodate a flat screen tv in a small living room. A simple and easy fix using a large piece of white pine wood and paint.

I think we accomplished our goal with our new DIY fireplace mantel.

How do you feel about putting a tv on a fireplace? 

Catch up on a few of my other recent projects

DIY open shelving in the kitchen using rustic reclaimed wood.

DIY Open Shelving in the Kitchen

Tips for getting a designer throw pillow look without paying designer prices. www.chatfieldcourt.comWho Doesn’t Love a Good Throw Pillow



Now that we discussed the issues I faced in the bedroom, umm…I’m talking about our mismatched lamps, I thought I’d move into the living room and share my new sofa and a few¬†shopping and buying tips I’ve learned after buying several sofas over the years.

The best tips and tricks for buying a new sofa for your living room that will last years.

We never had any intention of buying a new sofa when we moved to North Carolina but, once we moved into the¬†new house and placed¬†our furniture in our small, awkward living room, it became apparent that the sofa would have to go. It was just too big for the space and partially blocked the doorway into the guest bedroom, plus there was no room for any other furniture (like the hubs’ ugly recliner).

Helpful tips and tricks for buying a new sofa for your living room. chatfieldcourt.comAnyway…The sofa that we had,¬†a¬†sectional from Pottery Barn, was purchased¬†about 13 years ago after a ton¬†of research and comparison shopping. I knew that I wanted something that was built well and would stand the test of time and, although it was expensive, it held up very well. A worthy investment.

Tips and tricks for buying a new sofa for your living room.

When it came time to look for a new sofa for this house, I went back to the lessons I learned the first go-round. I picked a great one last time so I was confident that I could do it again.

I’ll admit it, I usually love to go shopping when I’m buying things for the house, but shopping for a new sofa isn’t one of the things I get excited about. I think it’s because I know I’m spending a lot of money on something that I need to love for years and years, and it has to be done right the first time. Ugh…so much pressure! But I just took my time, carefully went down¬†each item on my list, one at a time, and came out with a winner.

There are literally thousands of sofas out there in all different styles and price ranges. My purchase was on the pricey side but I was going for quality and durability over the long haul. My focus is on buying the best quality for your price range, whatever it is. Know what you are buying, buy what you can afford and buy it because you love it .


So what’s on my list?

Before we get to that, there’s a few things you need to do first, before you go to the store.

You should have some kind of idea what you want before you go shopping. Look online at a lot of different styles and fabrics to see what appeals to you.

Tips for buying a new sofa for your living room.

Measure, measure, measure!!! Make sure you measure your room so you know exactly what size sofa you need and how it will work with your existing furniture. I even make a rough drawing of furniture placement so I know where everything will go and how much room I have. Also, make sure you measure doorways and stairways so you know how much clearance you have. You want to be able to get your new sofa into it’s new home, right?

Now you’re ready to shop!!!!

I’m lucky to live in North Carolina, where we have so many awesome furniture manufacturers, so I knew exactly where I was going to do my shopping…at the Hickory Furniture Market. Oh.My.Goodness…talk about overwhelming. There’s so much to look at and you could easily get distracted by all of the lovelies, but we were only looking for one thing…a new sofa.

Tips for buying a new sofa for your living room.

I usually walk around and do a quick inventory of¬†sofas. Feel fabrics, sit on sofas with shapes that appeal to me and narrow down my choices. When I find a few that I¬†like in my price range, and they¬†are comfortable to sit and lay on (I sit and lay every which way when I sofa shop), I start to look at the way it’s made…the construction.

What I look for…

  • The sofa¬†should be heavy, as in, it feels heavy when you lift it.
  • The frame should be made from a hard wood, like oak, birch or maple (that’s what makes it so heavy). Soft woods, like pine, can warp.
  • Eight-way hand tied springs are considered best. There are machine tied springs that are¬†considered good but I prefer eight-way hand tied.
  • Built-in legs tend to be stronger. Removable legs may be necessary if you need to get your sofa in a tight space but built-in legs are¬†best.
  • Lift the cushions, check the quality of the decking, push on the springs.
  • Speaking of cushions…pick them up. A heavy cushion usually means a quality foam was used, which is good. A lot of upper end sofas use down wraps around foam for comfort.
  • Consider your seat cushions. Should you have 1 long cushion? Two or three? I tend to go for three.

Tips and tricks for buying a new sofa for your living room.

  • Do you want a skirt on your new sofa or open legs? I have a small space so I like to have open legs.
  • Also consider the arms and the back. Do you want loose cushions or a tight back. I’ve had loose cushions before and they drove me crazy. The constant fluffing and fixing was a real pain. My PB sofa had a tight back, and I loved it, so I went with that again.

sofa-in-the-new-house-10 Once you’ve decided on shape, size and cushions, it’s time too pick fabrics and finishes.

Buying a new sofa? Here's some tips to help you make the best choice for your money.

I’ve had a colorful, striped sofa before¬†(does anyone remember when¬†jewel tones were all the rage?) so I¬†knew that I needed to stay in the neutral family so that it would be in style for years to come. I like to bring my color in with throw pillows…lots of throw pillows..which¬†can easily change the look of your sofa, and your room.

Buying a new sofa? Here's a few tips to help you make the best choice for your money. chatfieldcourt.comBuying a new sofa? Here's a few tips to help you make the best choice for your money.

I think that picking out your fabric is the hardest part of this process. Everyone has their own wants and needs but I tend to go for something durable, with a tighter weave. Something that can easily be cleaned when the inevitable spill happens. My PB sofa was supposed to have a durable fabric and it was great, for the most part, but if something spilled on it and I wiped it up, you could see where I wiped it. It didn’t matter if I scrubbed, brushed or blotted, you could see the spot, so I was really focused on getting a fabric that could withstand cleaning.

Buying a new sofa? Some tips and tricks to help you make the best choice for your money.

After all was said and done, I ended up going with the Taylor King Holmes sofa¬†and it seems to be excellent quality. We also went ahead and purchased a warranty for spills on the fabric. I don’t usually do warranties but, when you’re spending a fair amount of money on a quality piece of furniture, I think it’s a good idea. I’ll be sure to give an update to share¬†how it’s holding up.

This room is still a work in progress and photos have proven difficult with the lighting, but it’s looking so much better than when we moved in, and there’s more room for my¬†other furniture (with the sectional out of the picture).

Buying a new sofa? Here are some tips and tricks to help you make the best choice for your money.

Like I said, it’s a big investment and you’ll have it for a long time, so you have to love it. Completely…no doubts…no reservations.

Any tips you’ve learned from buying a sofa?


You can find me at …Between Naps on the Porch | A Stroll Thru Life | Savvy Southern Style | French Country Cottage 


When the hubs and I got married and bought our first house, a million years ago, we were excited when the time came to buy new furniture (oh how things have changed). We needed new everything to furnish our home and that included a sofa. Neither one of us had ever purchased furniture before, and we were young and broke, so we went for cheap and as close to good looking as we could get for the money. We eventually learned that when you buy a cheap sofa it doesn’t last long, so, when it was time to buy the next sofa, we did a little research first and spent a little more. Long story short, we gradually worked our way up to a well-made sofa that would last many years.

How we fixed our sagging sofa cushions (in 75 seconds)…


Flash forward to the present day and our Pottery Barn sofa. We’ve had it for 13 years now and it’s moved with us, from Florida to Illinois and now to North Carolina, and has held up very well. Recently though, I’d noticed that my back was hurting when I sat on it.

It’s gotten a lot of use from our family and the result was sagging sofa cushions, 13 years of butts plopping down on it will do that. Once I figured out it was the cushions I knew it was time to get them replaced. Of course, being the cheapskate DIYer that I am, I wanted to try to figure out a way to do it myself and I’m glad I did because it turned out to be an easy fix.

 Use this genius idea to quickly and easily fix sagging sofa cushions with new foam.

This project was actually done a few months ago when we lived in Illinois but, because of the move, I wasn’t able to put the post together until recently. Little did I know when I did this that we would move into a house with a living room that was too small to accommodate my beloved sofa, so my loss will be someone else’s gain.

A genius idea to quickly and easily fix sagging sofa cushions with new foam.

Anyway…the old foam was wrapped in a down cover but I decided to go with batting wrapped foam. Upholstery foam is expensive but new down covers were outrageously expensive, and I was tired of pulling feathers from the old ones, so I went with a high quality batting wrapped foam.

Shopping for the foam took some time. I researched and looked at a lot of websites and once I settled on a shop that I liked, I made exact measurements from the sofa cushion covers and had the foam cut to size and wrapped in batting. They were delivered to me all ready to go. Like I said, it was expensive, at $173 for two cushions, but I got a really good quality foam that should last years.

How to quickly and easily fix sagging sofa cushions with new foam. Genius! chatfieldcourt.comSo, how did I get that big, cushy piece of foam in the cover, you ask? Painter’s plastic and a vacuum. Yup, that’s it. 20 seconds and the foam was in the cover. I figured that a video would show the process better than photos so, with the help of my trusty assistant, we made one.

If you’d rather have a blow by blow, here is how we did it.

Step by Step Instructions:

  1. Take the painter’s plastic and spread it out.
  2. Place the foam on on half of the plastic and pull the other half over to cover the cushion completely.
  3. With your hand, push all of the air out and tuck the plastic around the cushion.
  4. Next, take your vacuum and put the nozzle under the plastic against the cushion. The cushion will quickly compress.
  5. Remove the vacuum nozzle and quickly place your compressed cushion in the sofa cover.
  6. As the cushion inflates to its original size, work with the cushion to get it in the cover so there are no lumps or bumps.
  7. Pull the plastic out, it will rip and tear but it will all come out, and zip it up.

Voila…a new cushion that looks like it was professionally done.



Can you believe how quick that was? And super easy, too. The cushions look like new again and will last for years. Now it’s ready to go to a new home (sniff, sniff). Anyone in the market for a sofa with brand new cushions? ūüėČ

Genius! How to quickly and easily fix sagging sofa cushions with new foam.