I was stumped for the longest time as to what to put on our fireplace mantle. For reference, our living room has cathedral ceilings and our brick fireplace goes from floor to ceiling, so our fireplace is roughly 20 feet tall. It definitely makes a statement when you walk into our house as you see the fireplace immediately when you walk in our front door.
Here is a before picture of our living room from our entryway, with a view of the fireplace.
This was before we painted the paneling and replaced our carpet with hardwoods, which you can catch up on here.
After we painted the paneling and had hardwoods installed I simply stuck a large mirror over the mantle and that is how it sat for a few months.
The mirror was the only thing we had around the house that had the correct scale (or at least didn’t disappear when it was on the mantle).
Earlier this summer we sold our couch and chair to purchase a new sectional from West Elm. We went with the Shelter 2-Piece Terminal Chaise Section in Dove Gray Performance Velvet. which we selected because we wanted a sectional with cleaner lines and that felt less “bulky” than our previous couch and chair, while still offering more seating. Well… we love the sectional! It has sparked a bit of a living room refresh and finally gave me the kick in the pants I needed to really style the mantle.
We love to travel and take pictures while traveling. In the past we have printed out bigger prints (8x10s) from our travels and framed them as art around our home. Our favorite art to use is art that is meaningful to us and that brings back good memories. Nathan had the idea to print off one of our many travel landscape pictures on a much larger scale and find a big frame for it. I loved this idea so much and new it was the solution I had been searching for! Trust me, I looked all over for large scale art (it had to be under $50 because that was the budget we had) and it had to feel like “us”. Well our DIY custom large scale art that we created definitely feels like us and is just the addition or fireplace mantle needed.
Below I have detailed how we did this DIY custom large scale art. We have already gotten so many compliments on it from guests and they can’t get over that it’s a picture we took ourselves! I would say mission accomplished.
How to Edit, Order, & Frame Your Custom Large Scale Art:
Select a picture you want to print. It can be one you took yourself or you can even find stock photos online. We went the more personal route and selected to print a picture we had taken. We agreed on one of our favorite pictures (a shot misty/foggy shot from Ruby Beach on the Washington coast) from our trip to the Pacific Northwest 2 summers ago. The Pacific Northwest is a place we both hold dear to our hearts so it was the perfect picture for us.
I edited the picture with the Snapseed photo editor on my phone using the “memory” filter, which makes the picture mostly black and white, but less stark than a true black and white picture.
I uploaded the picture to Costco Photo and ordered the largest print they offer, which was 20″x30″. You could use any place that will print larger prints, but we go to Costco a lot, so it was easiest for me. The print was $10.
I then found frames from Ikea that were 24″x34.5″ including a mat, almost a perfect fit for the 20″x30″ I had ordered. The frame is the largest Ribba frame that Ikea has and costs $20. I picked the frame in the black finish.
Once my print was ready for pick up (Costco is super quick and it was ready in a few hours) I eagerly took it home to make sure it fit in the frame I had purchased. I was very excited to find it was a near perfect fit. The print was slightly larger than the mat opening of the frame, but that was fine with me.
So there you have it! For $30 total we now have a custom large scale piece of art for our fireplace mantle that doesn’t get swallowed in all of the brick and puts a smile on my face every time I look at it.
I’d love to hear if you have created your own large scale art or if you try this idea!