Last Friday I drove up to Leesburg, VA and met my good friend Kristi at Old Lucketts Store.
The description from the Virginia Visitors website describes it this way:
The Old Lucketts Store, is a beautiful, 3-story landmark building that was originally built in 1910. This historic building was once the post office, general store, then the Lucketts family home. The building has since been restored and is the home to over 20 antique dealers and is overflowing with vintage furniture, lighting, collectibles, garden artifacts, linens, and accessories. The Old Lucketts Store motto is, "You never know what you might find."
It’s true - - you just don’t know what you will find. It was a quick slightly more than an hour drive there (of course, it took me 2 hours to get back home because it was Friday night DC traffic) but it was a pretty drive through Virginia country and through many Civil War battle fields. (my kids were staying with a friend for the day, but as I drove, I was actually considering taking a “field trip” in that direction for the kids to see the battle fields and then we could somehow magically end at Lucketts! - - think they would catch on?)
I went not needing anything but knowing that I would find something I couldn’t live without! Look what I found:
An old fireplace mantle! If you remember back at Christmas time, I had a big mantle fiasco, all stemming from the fact that in our rental home, we just have a big hole in the wall fireplace between two windows - - no mantle, just a big blank wall. So when I saw all the mantles at Luckett’s, I knew I NEEDED one!!
I know, it looks pretty rough here, but this is what it looked like when I brought it home. I literally had a 1/4” to spare when I put it in the back of the truck (good thing the kids weren’t along because I had to fold their seats down!) I was super impressed with the prices and selection. There were probably a good 10-12 mantles there and 3 or 4 that I was seriously considering. But this one stole my heart - - and didn’t break the pocketbook at the same time!! The best combination! I paid $65 for it. I thought that was a great deal!!
I brought it home, washed it down twice with degreaser and a mold and mildew remover. The mantle cleaned up pretty well, and I really loved the crackly paint. It looks like it had been painted about 10 times!! Once I got done washing it down and it dried, I brought it in to check out the size - - you would not believe it, but it fit PERFECTLY!!! Right between the two windows with just a 1/2” to spare and the opening was exactly the size it needed to be!!
Do you see that little spot between the window sill and the mantle frame?
But, I didn't’ like the finish on it once I brought it inside - - it still looked really dirty to me, so I gave it a couple of quick coats of white paint.
Then I hot glued white felt over the entire back so that it wouldn’t leave any rub marks or old soot marks on the walls.
Next, I needed to secure it to the wall. I didn’t want my Christmas fiasco to happen again!! I used two super heavy duty door magnets. I screwed the large part to the back of the mantle (there was a perfect little indentation that they fit right in. Then I screwed the metal piece to the wall. I had to put a 1” block of wood behind the metal plate to make up for the trim that was around the fireplace. Let me tell you, these baby’s are tight! This mantle is not moving!! It takes quite a bit of muscle to “disconnect” my mantle from the wall!!
Do you see the small board with the metal piece? The magnet is STUCK to that piece!! The gap between the wall and the mantle is about an inch, but my curtains butt up right next to the mantle so you can’t see it from the side. You can’t see it from the front because it is actually in the shadows and the fireplace surround is black. The only place you can really see it is on the top, but once I accessorize, no one will notice that either!!
If this were our house, I would have just secured it directly to the wall, but since we are just renting, I needed to do something with the least amount of damage to the walls. Plus, when we move, we can just pack up the mantle and put it in our next house, even if we don’t have a fireplace, we can still put it against a wall and have the architectural element there!
I love to sit and wonder about the history of this - - what house did it come from? How old is it really? Oh, if mantles could talk!!!
Just a few views of the living room with her new jewel!!