I really loved having a mantel to decorate that year but was really missing all the space that it took. I had originally hoped to find just the face and mantel piece to use...then it hit me. I could dis-mantel (ha ha) the fireplace. I unscrewed all the insides, removed the faux brick and then cut the back part of the mantel, flush with the back of the face.
Then I ran to Menards (one of my favorite stores in the world) and bought two pieces of lumber. I think one plank was six inches wide and the other eight. I measured and cut them to add to the existing mantel so that I had a larger ledge space. I gave it all a quick brush of paint and then screwed it flush to wall. It was one of the best things I've ever installed into my living room. Here are some pics.