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the big black box

It all started with a black Friday sale.  We had been thinking about getting a flat screen TV for a while and we found the one we wanted on an Internet sale for $1000 off.  We decided it was time and pulled the trigger.  The TV we owned at the time fit in an armoire in the corner, but that wasn’t going to work for the new flat screen.  Despite the sacred DIY rule to never remove a fireplace, we decided to remove our fireplace, which didn’t work and we weren’t very fond of anyway.   As soon as we got home from visiting family, the project began.  (Guys don’t procrastinate on a project when a flat screen TV is involved.)

 

It was messy, but the demolition only took a few hours.

 

 

I patched and painted the wall and found a perfect vintage buffet to use as a console.   For a while, though, I struggled with how to handle the large expanse of wall around the TV.  I was hoping to use some chunky antique corbels to support a shelf to hang over the TV, but that idea didn’t pan out.  One thing I did have on hand was lots of plates, plate hangers, nails and a hammer.  Light bulb!

 

My husband is like a human level, so he helped me eyeball the arrangement, so it was symmetrical.  It was a very cheap and easy way to deal with the open space.

 

 

The TV is definitely still a big black box hanging on the wall, but it looks a lot better with some pretty friends.

 

 

 







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Comments

  1. Fabulous!!! Looks awesome!!!

  2. Denise says:

    Beautiful ! Have a wonderful time at Haven

  3. The pretty plates in their symmetrical arrangement take your eye upward, above the TV…..unless you’re guy, then the opposite would be true!

  4. I love it. I can’t imagine taking a fireplace and replacing it like you did! Wonderful. Love the plates.

  5. Looks fab, Marion. The plates are a great addition.
    Smiles, Alice

  6. It’s a great way to fill up that wall!!

  7. It’s a beautiful replacement for a non-functioning fireplace. Robyn

  8. Michelle says:

    Awesome! I have been staring at my big black box for a year now and fretting over how to decorate “around” it. Going to break out the plates tomorrow! :)

  9. Very Nice!

  10. Marilyn C. says:

    NICE!!!! I so hate my builder grade corner fireplace that we NEVER EVER USE! I don’t know if I have the courage enough to remove it though. Fortunately the flat screen has to go somewhere else in the room. But I hate the fireplace.

  11. love….we build a unit to house the flat screen and build shelves all around…for all the stuff,that has been inherited,gifted and handmade..not one thing on those shelves was bought by me or my honey….We struggle with if we hang above the fireplace,where do we put everything else in our LITTLE house…I love what you did…love the plates,they do draw your eye up. Have fun at haven…looks like lot of fun. Will thier be a furniture Friday

  12. It looks so pretty! I’ve been contemplating the black box with the wall expanse for awhile now and I definitely love a symmetrical look. Thanks for sharing your solution ~ it fits perfectly!

  13. I love your room. The blue and green and white all plays so well together. I wish you lived next door and could come help me. Oh, the plates over the TV is a brilliant idea.

  14. And what beautiful little friends they are :) That looks great – best way to decorate with a tv I’ve seen yet! Great job as always!

  15. I love the plate wall – plates are on my list for thrift shopping!

  16. The plates look so pretty! I love hanging plates. I collect blue and white ones too.

  17. Angeline says:

    So pretty! Great work!

  18. Vickie Buenger says:

    The 1 green plate is just enough contrast to make the other ones pop. I am a lover of blue and green anyway, so awesome job once again!!

  19. That buffet/ tv stand is just what I’ve been looking for- for about 2 years!!! I love the plate arrangement around the tv- may be stealing that idea if I ever find my very own lovely buffet turned tv stand. :)

  20. I was just gonna comment on the symmetry of it all. I really like it!

  21. Dixie says:

    I love it but I would be scared to remove the fp. I love fireplaces.

  22. Pamela says:

    I love the way it turned out. but I’d have to say,,I would of redone that fireplace in a grander fashion and placed that tv above it..future decorating options..i love to decorate the fireplace mantle for holidays..I just see a very ornate white sculpted fireplace in that room..but I also love what you did too..hard decisions..at least you make one..most can’t get that far.

  23. the plates really make this area so nice – pretty impressive if you guys eyeballed that design. it totally draws the eye away from the tv!

  24. Anne Boykin says:

    Dear MMS, The plates look fabulous! I love the drapes too. It’s come together beautifully. Hugs, Anne Boykin

  25. I love it…the plates make all the difference in the world.

  26. Awesome! It looks so great. My husband is a human level too. Isn’t it nice and yet annoying sometimes?

    It looks like you changed the wall color, too. I love the end result!

  27. Looks so nice! Those plates just add the perfect pop of color.

  28. I have a fireplace mantle that covers an old hole in the wall (for a stove pipe) in my living room that I want to remove so that I can box it out enough to contain the DVD player etc..and make the mantle shelf deeper. Right now our big TV balances on the mantle! No kidding! I would prefer it on the wall as well. I hope mine looks as nice as yours when i finally get around to doing it.

  29. Andrea says:

    Very pretty…..my eyes were immediately drawn to the plates…..genius!

  30. Makes sense, but a lot of people wouldn’t think of removing a fireplace. You can always buy a new one, like the ones on Candice Olsen’s show, and hang it some place else. Ann

  31. Love this! I have a plate hanging project on my to-do list so your post is super inspiring!! BTW- just checked in at Haven! So excited to see you soon!!! ~ Jennifer

  32. Looks fantastic! I love the console and the wall looks as though it’s always been just that way. :-)

    Pat

  33. Annie says:

    I sooooooooooo love that sideboard. I found one just like it with a price tag of $350…. still humming and hawing about it. But, I wouldn’t have to do a thing to it…just like you. And… I LOVE the little hit of green on the wall. Perfect placement! Creates a triangle with the topiaries. I still don’t know what Haven is, but I too hope you have a grand time. TaRa

  34. Katlyn says:

    That looks so good! What a brave move to take out a fireplace. Just a thought, if you still hate the look of the “big black box” you could always make a cover for it. Either out of fabric or something fabulous like these: http://www.gusandlula.com/search/label/tv or http://kristendukephotography.com/?p=7533. That way its adding to your space when your not using it. Cant wait to see what you think up next!

    Katlyn

  35. I love it!! I also love that touch of green in those chairs!! Beautiful!! ~ Lori

  36. Jennifer says:

    I Love It! The plates are beautiful and you have given me a great idea of what to do with my little blackbox in our bedroom!!! Thank You :)

  37. Pamela says:

    Shocked that anyone would replace a fireplace with a gigantic black hole of a tv – I would never have an exposed tv screen in my home, but your furniture sure is pretty!

  38. How large is the TV? We just invested in a 42inch.

  39. Unless I am completely insane (which is a definite possibility) I have also seen people “frame” their big screen TVs using crown molding. I liked how that made it look “finished.” Having said that, I like what you came up with too! =)

  40. Very pretty, Marian! Love your green chairs, too. I solved my own big black box problem by taking it down from above my huge fireplace and putting it in a cabinet with doors that shut. Much happier now! Wishing you all the best at Haven!!!

  41. WendyW says:

    I really LOVE this!!!!!!!!! What an amazing transformation … well done!!! Iove the arrangement of plates and the little green on at the centre. Just fantastic!!!!!!!!!!!

  42. WendyW says:

    I really LOVE this!!!!!!!!! What an amazing transformation … well done!!! Love the arrangement of plates and the little green on at the centre. Just fantastic!!!!!!!!!!!

  43. You know what Mariann? I didn’t even NOTICE the TV in the after pic! I was too busy checking out all the other amazing things in this room. The old bufftet now used as entertainment console, to die for. Want this in my home. The beautiful Coffee Table with the baskets and one full of colored pencils! The beautiful chairs flanking the buffet, the Green Velvet Side chairs. What Big Black Box?????

    PS It looks far better without the 1970’s style fireplace there too. Good for you for having the courage to just remove it.

  44. It looks awesome.

  45. You must have been thrilled to be free of the fireplace!!! That wall is sooo YOU, now! I’ve just got to say….you’ve got style, girl!!

  46. Erika says:

    It looks great…did you husband do the labor work for hiding the tv wires inside the walls? I know everyone who has a blog or reads blogs is very much into wanting decor ideas and there are so many ways to “sin” when it comes to decorating and having a huge tv is top on the list. BUT puleeease…we are humans first and so having a tv is part of real life….I gotta hand it to you…you live real life in STYLE (I know, I know many of the pics are staged but still…)!! love it!

  47. I love what you did. The furniture and all the plates are perfect.

  48. You can never have enough plates! (The green punch in the bunch is genius!) I’m now considering putting plates all over my husband’s work area and the garage in hopes that these “problem areas” will look as stunning as yours. It’s worth a shot.

  49. We have a large “black box” too and I don’t care so much when it’s just us. But I’ve made a few DVD’s of pretty landscape photos and music to put on when we have company. I can’t always just mute the sound if I just want the pictures, so it looks like less of a big black box. Turn it into a large digital picture frame of sorts.

    The plates are gorgeous, and I love the color you used on the walls.

  50. Oh Miss Mustard,
    it looks beautiful!
    You are so quick and clever!
    thank you for sharing!
    Leticia

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