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DECOR INSPIRATION: FRENCH FIREPLACE MANTEL

Ever since we moved into our little one-bedroom condo, I’ve been stuck on getting a fireplace mantel. My decorating style is highly influenced by Parisian apartments – I love the herringbone wood floors, wrought-iron balconies, long flowy curtains, and, of course, ornate fireplaces. The only problem is that the beautiful French-inspired mantels I was hoping for cost a pretty penny. Rather than give up on my Parisian mantel dreams, I began searching for fireplace mantels for sale on Facebook Marketplace, Offer Up, Craigslist… pretty much anywhere I stumbled upon where people could potentially sell a mantel.

After doing some digging, I came across a beautiful marble fireplace mantel for sale a short drive away. The seller shared that the mantel was left behind by their home’s previous owners years ago. It was not their style, so it’s been sitting collecting dust. Their trash is now my treasure.

Now that the mantel was mine, I had one more design element that I needed to tie it all together – a vintage gold framed mirror. Gold mirrors have become very trendy and popular in recent years – retailers like Anthropologie and Arhaus are known for their beautiful, french-inspired mirrors. The only problem? They are not cheap. I’m not saying they are not worth the investment – because I do think there are certain decor items worth splurging on. But if you’re like me and want to have your cake and eat it too (or have your gold mirror and not be broke), consider buying a mirror secondhand. Not only will you save money, but you may stumble across something vintage, unique, and worth way more than you’ll pay for it.

I ended up snagging the perfect mirror for my mantel. Is it perfect? No – the mirror itself is showing some signs of aging, but it gives it character and a vintage feel. Plus, mirrors are pretty inexpensive. I reached out to a local frame shop in my neighborhood and materials and labor to replace the mirror will cost under $100 if I decide it needs a refresh.

I’m really happy with how it all came together. I may alter how I style the inside of the mantel, but love how it looks with books or art displayed inside. I hope this inspires you to find a way to make your decor dreams come true!

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