Tuesday, July 15, 2014

HOW TO USE LAMPS ON A MANTLE WHEN YOU DON'T HAVE AN OUTLET, & HOW TO HIDE THE CORDS


Hello Friends!  First of all, thank you SO much for your sweet response to Caleb's room!  You all are so kind, and I'm thankful to mark that room off of the list.  Secondly, I'm back from Haven and it was a ball!  You might have seen some of the fun on Instagram.  It was the perfect mix of new knowledge for the technical and aesthetic side of the blog, along with lots of time and opportunities for my "blog friends" to become "real" friends! Now that I've learned some new things, I have lots of work to do!

Last week I posted a quick photo on Instagram of my mantle as part of the photo a day challenge for Haven, and a sweet friend asked how I hid the lamp cords.  I'm so glad she did, because it reminded me of this post that I've been meaning to share!


I love to use lamps on the mantle, but I've never lived in a house with a mantle outlet, so I've figured out a few tricks.  Here's how I'm plugging in lamps on my mantle in this house.

The built-in beside the fireplace has just enough room between it and the brick mortar that I was able to squeeze an extension cord through it.


My husband cut off the prong end of the cord so we could thread it through the gap (on the far left of the above photo), then we drilled a large hole in the side of the cabinet.  Using a piece of wire hanger, we fished the cord through the hole.  FYI, if we're up above the cabinet, we can look down into the empty 6 inches of so of space between the edge of the brick and the inside edge of the cabinet.  It helped us see what we were doing to feed the cord through the hole.


Then, he re-attached the plug to the end of the cord so we could plug it into the outlet for the tv.  I can't explain how to do that, but for a good tutorial click here.

So, that gave us an extension cord with power to the mantle!  I painted the cord a color that is close to the mortar, and ran it along that mortar line so it is somewhat camoflauged.  Unless you're really looking hard, it's usually not noticeable.  Then, I plugged the lamp in and tied the cords up with a twist tie to make them more compact.


For the lamp on the opposite side, there just enough room between the mantle and the brick to press the cord down behind the mantle and bring the plug over to the side where the extension cord is.  So, both lamps are plugged in together there.


Now, this system isn't perfect if you're wanting a really clean look on your mantle.  I always have to have something next to the lamp on the left to disguise the bundle of cords, but that's something I'm willing to deal with!


I also wanted to show you how my Dad has done the same thing a bit differently at their house.  They don't have anything next to their fireplace to hide the cord behind, so he used a cord the same color as the stained trim and tacked tiny trim nails (that he bent the end around to make a hook)


down the edge of it to run the cord down the side of the brick and to the outlet.



You could do something similar with cup hooks or probably even small command hooks.  The cord is not even noticeable in the big picture.

A few more mantles with cords hidden:

Valentine's Mantle

2012 Fall Mantle

Log Filled Fireplace

Last year's Christmas wreath was lit from behind, and now you know why that collection is on the left (and you can spy the cord if you look really hard)!


So, now I've told you guys my mantle secret.  But, you have to promise to pretend not to notice the cord to the side from now on, ok?  Has no electricity been holding you back from using lamps on your mantle?  I hope one of these solutions works for you!



Linking up with:  Savvy Southern Style

 photo jennifersignaturetwo_zps56f3de87.png

33 comments:

  1. Awesome tip. You can't tell at all and they look so good on your mantel

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  2. Great job! Where there's a will there's a way!

    I do have a plug up there but it's still hard to hide the cords. For me the secret is to shorten the cords.

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  3. That opens up a whole new world! I never considered mantel lamps before because of the electrical issue. Great to spend some time with you at Haven too!

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  4. you are so smart! :) so wonderful meeting you in person!!!!!!!

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  5. You are a master of disguise. You can't even see the cords in these pictures!

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  6. Thank you so much for this tip! I always want to put lamps on my Christmas mantle and always run into this problem. This makes so much sense!

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  7. I do something similar too Jennifer!!! It's so hard to pick a fave among your beautiful designs on your mantle, but I must say that tray wreath rocks !!!!!!

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  8. I love all of your mantel displays and you really don't see the cord. Great idea.

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  9. Can you believe I actually had an outlet put in on our mantle when we remodeled and haven't put lamps up there forever! I'm inspired to give it a try again. :)

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  10. Such a smart idea! Can you tell me where you got your logs for your fall fireplace? I have an antique crock that I'd like to fill with birch logs but I'm having a hard time finding them! Love your blog and style! Thanks! Kathy@The Daily Nest

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    1. Thanks! They are actually mostly aspen logs that we picked up from fallen trees in the mountains on vacation. I've heard you can order them on ebay of all places (search birch log) and I've seen some DIY faux birch logs here- http://hisugarplum.blogspot.com/2013/01/diy-faux-birch-logs-winter-mantel.html

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  11. I have always wondered about the cords too!! Thanks for sharing your secret ;)

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  12. I've always wondered how you did that. Your mantles always look so pretty!

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  13. You are such a clever girl! Our mantel is too shallow for lamps but I will definitely file this one away for the future - love how your lamps look as part of your beautiful mantel styling!

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  14. This is very helpful! I promise I could barely see the cord. Had to squint in fact! I have actually used lamps on a mantel without electricity for this very solution. Thanks for the practical advice.
    Jennifer@decoratingdelirium.com

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  15. I'm a new reader. I asked you about the cords on Instagram. So glad you read your comments.

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    1. Hi Kassie, of course! I hope this was helpful for you, thanks for reading!

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  16. Hi Jennifer!

    I had pinned something that came from your blog last year! I decided to click the pin link today and it led me to your adorable blog. :) Oddly enough I live in Ada, OK! So neat to see other Oklahoma bloggers and looking forward to following along and connecting with you.

    -Kenzie
    www.theashcraftbunch.com

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  17. I love how your fireplace looks vintage! Some of the newer fireplaces & mantles can look almost too perfect! Yours is the perfect mix of vintage & eclectic with a classic brick! Love it!!

    Paige.Rose
    www.TheQuaintSanctuary.blogspot.com

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  18. What a great idea, Jennifer. It is a "why didn't I think of that" sorta thing. Thanks a bunch for sharing. Jane

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  19. Such a great idea. We have an outlet close on one side of our hearth. I use command hooks at Christmas time to plug in our lit garland with an extension cord. I would love to incorporate some lamps as our room needs more lighting.

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  20. Brilliant. My hubby is very clever too in figuring out how to do stuff like this. Thanks for sharing.

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  21. Just stopping by Kim's to say I love this idea and also, your son's room is fabulous!!!

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  22. I love all your beautiful and unique mantel ideas!

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  23. I found your blog via Wow us Wednesday. You've got some great ideas! I'm a new follower,
    Karee

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  24. I love your mantel decor? Where did you get your mirror? lamps? bust?

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  25. Thanks so much! The mirror was from Pier One several years ago, lamps were from Gordman's (I painted the base and added wide ribbon to the shades to make the stripes), and the bust was from Ross (I think, maybe TJ Maxx or Homegoods).

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  26. Thanks for the info! Did you order the Hey yall from etsy? What about your "1994 sign"?

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    1. Yes, Hey y'all is from Stephanie Creekmur (bought mine for 1/2 price last year on Black Friday) http://www.stephaniecreekmur.com/collections/prints/products/gold-foil-hey-y-all-print
      and I won the 1994 on a blog giveaway. It's from a company called Ramsign that makes custom enamel address signs. Love it, and just saw these all over Poland on our recent trip!
      http://www.ramsign.com/
      I can't track down your e-mail, I'd love to chat with you there!

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  27. Thanks again! Its nataliebuie@yahoo.com

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