Basically, because we don't have room for an entertainment center of any kind in our living room, the TV is on the mantle and everything else is on a shelf to the side - so all the cords ran back and forth to all the different electronics. And since the only outlet on that wall is to the OTHER side of the mantle, there were also power cords going from the TV to the outlet. It looked messy and frustrated me on a regular basis, and last week the wonderful hubs finally decided to humor me and do something about it.
After lots of shopping around and going back and forth about what we wanted to do, we decided that mounting the TV over the mantle and adding a soundbar underneath it (instead of a stereo with speakers like we had before) would be our best bet overall. Thankfully, Black Friday was just a few days away so we were able to take advantage of great sales! Of course, I can't find a link to what we bought, but we got a Sony soundbar with subwoofer (this one is very similar but costs more) for $100 at Costco, and a $20 TV mount at Home Depot.
I pulled out all of the Christmas decorations while Dan tackled the electronics, and within a couple of hours we had a pretty, clean, cordless mantle!
You'll see we also moved the cable box and dvd player over from the shelves to underneath the TV, so every single cord is essentially hidden behind those two pieces. There's still a couple of power cords that run over to the outlet, but we were able to run them behind the molding on the mantle so you only see them on the sides of the fireplace but not on top. I am a happy happy camper.
Other things to note are the new super soft faux fur stockings I snagged at World Market, and the new birchwood logs in the (fake) fireplace! Manda and I found them at Jewel of all places and $10 later we were lugging them home. I thought about filling the entire space but like that this keeps it a little more open looking while still getting the effect. We still have to put our tree up but are waiting on a call back from a doctor to confirm if Dan is allergic to pine or not before we bust out the fake tree again. My fingers and toes are crossed that we can get a real one!