A Cozy Painted Mantel and Village

Welcome to the February installment of our Cozy Living Series! In case you’re new, let me tell you that the first Saturday of each month a few of my friends and I share something that creates comfort and coziness in our lives. Think of it as the American version of Danish Hygge. I’ve been trying to add a bit of depth and layers to rooms in our house and recently decided to create a cozy painted mantel in a beautiful shade of gray.

Cozy Painted Mantel


In addition to painting the mantel which was previously white, we added a little more bulk to it. Hubby took the mantel off the wall and added new side panels with the same type of grooved trim (found at Lowe’s) shown on the front of the mantel. Notice how the bottom of the new mantel trim had to be cut to fit against the existing baseboard. We didn’t want to remove the baseboard to re-install the mantel. It was much easier to cut the new trim on the mantel itself.

Reconstructing a Vintage Mantel


The mantel has more depth now that the new trim was added, and you can see where hubby had to add a piece of new trim to the top of the mantel. He added a thin board to the top of the mantel to give it a smoother link. The top of the mantel was a little rough. I had just started giving the white mantel its first coat of gray chalk paint in this picture.

Reconstructing a Vintage Mantel

My inspiration for a darker mantel came from fellow Cozy Living blogger Amanda at Sincerely, Marie Designs. I fell in love with her gray mantel decorated for fall. The paint color I chose is Atelier by Amy Howard.

Gray Painted Mantel - Farmhouse Decor


You might recognize the ceramic village on my cozy painted mantel. I had them on display for my Christmas home tour but wasn’t ready to pack them up and put them away.

Ceramic Village Vignette


I went on the hunt for miniature houseplants to use as trees and bushes to create a new village scene.

Ceramic Village Vignette


In the process, I stumbled across this darling little clay pot. Since the house looks bare after the holidays, I like to cozy up my home with lots of houseplants. Hubby is starting to complain that the plants are taking over the house.

Miniature Plants in Decorative Clay Pots


The bark wreath is staying up for a while too. I love it’s texture and and organic, earthy vibe. New gray baskets from HomeGoods add a bit more texture to this space in my sitting room (aka living room). Not to mention, the baskets create more storage space which is sorely needed in our century-old house.

Cozy Painted Mantel for Hygge Living


My painted mantel takes on more cozy appeal at night because the ceramic houses have a spot to add tealights inside.

Cozy Ceramic Tealight Village


Our sitting room feels warm and magical to me in the early evening as the sun begins to set.

Cozy Ceramic Tealight Village


I’m so so happy that the mantel is painted a soft gray. Thanks to those of you who encouraged me to do this. The detail of the mantel shows up much better now.

Cozy Ceramic Tealight Village on Painted Mantel


Cozy Living – February

I do hope you’ll stop over to the other Cozy Living bloggers today! You’ll love what they’ve created for you to enjoy. A few of them are missing this month but they’ll be back soon.

Cozy Living Series - February

Finding Silver Pennies  :  Making It In The Mountains  :  Thoughts from Alice  :  Town and Country Living


Cozy Living Series - February

VinYet Etc.  :  AKA Design  :  Duke Manor Farm


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  1. I love it, Jennifer! I have a confession to make. I still have a small village from Christmas on my bedroom dresser. I love the glow after dark and it makes the perfect night light! Spring is around the corner and I’m not sure I can take it down even though my rational self says I should. (I don’t always listen to her though;)

    1. Jennifer, suggest you paint the small section of wall behind the baskets matte black, then top your baskets with a full display of candles, using various sizes and heights. Battery operated candles are a safe option and they’ll come on and go off automatically every evening. It will add so much coziness to your room. I think you’ll love the effect. .

  2. Excellent choice on the colour for your mantel, it really shows the beautiful details! I adore those houses too, especially charming when the candles are glowing. I think adding more plants is always the perfect way to fill our homes with a cozy alive feeling – your grey pottery is so so beautiful… i feel inspired to paint a concrete lamp I have just like it! As always, inspired by you my friend! xo

  3. Love the ceramic village. I would find a place for those houses somewhere all year long – and the painted (and beefed up) mantle looks amazing. Good job…..

    1. Thanks, Pat. I do love the village and think it looks neutral enough to use year-round! I was thinking of a word to describe the addition of wood to the mantel. I like your term … “beefed up”!

  4. I think the mantel is great. The wreath brings out the darker colors in the buildings and blends with the wood of your chairs.
    The wreath also has highlights that blend with the walls and every thing else in that area. The black in the windows are enough darkness to blend. With your wall color, when spring & summer comes you can use any color. If you want depth in the fireplace, use poster board, paint them for the seasons. Or use your own art work to claim the season. Great Job thanks for sharing.

  5. Super transformation of the mantel. The houses look great and the small plants really adds the feeling of trees. The wreath is a beauty


  6. Jennifer, I LOVE the mantel. I love that you made it chunkier and more substanial and that gray is perfect on it. Really, really love it. It makes your room so cozy. I love all the layers your adding 😉 Those houses are adorable and I also love the plants. That pot is so pretty. I can’t believe your husband thinks your plants breed, my husband says the same about the pillows here.

  7. love how you continued with the ceramic village. was it always that color? PS- tell hubby you can never have too much green inside especially when everything outside is so bleak and brown.

  8. The mantel turned our just beautifully Jennifer! The color is so calming and cozy. I can’t get over those little houses, too cute my friend!

  9. I have a soft spot for houses so am in love with this sweet mantel……all kinds of ideas swirling in my head now. Thanks!