January 6, 2017

Mantle decorating

Happy New Year everyone and Welcome 2017!

I am excited to reveal the latest update in my home. It may not seem like much to some people, but I have been wanting a fireplace mantle ever since we moved in to this house almost 5 years ago.

After perusing Pinterest and Etsy for inspiration for some time, I asked my Dad if he could build one. I gave him a few photos for ideas.

With the help of these photos, my Dad came up with a beautiful design, made of oak and poplar. It looked stunning, even unstained!

As I wanted it to match my floor, I decided to stain it dark walnut. But, fearing that I would ruin it, I asked my father-in-law to stain it for me!

A few coats later, and a coat a clear semi-gloss varnish, it was hung on my fireplace.

Here is what my fireplace looked like when we bought the house:

After our renovation:

After a little face-lift:

And here it is today:

I couldn't wait for it to be hung so that I could play around with different decor groupings and setups! There are a few "rules" when it comes to decorating a mantle. You can decorate it symmetrically with the same items on either side:

Or asymmetrically with different objects at either end, all while achieving a certain balance:

Here is a nice little guide from Pinterest:
It is actually quite helpful and fool-proof if you follow the numbered steps!

So I got to work, gathering decorative items from all over the house to try different groupings.

First and foremost, my biggest item was my robin's egg blue clock. I had hung it in November, but had to move it up a little in order to accommodate my new mantle.

Then, I attempted a few different groupings on either side of the clock. My groupings were limited to odd numbers for a look that is more pleasing to the eye.

Here is a balanced look, closer to the clock:

Here is a triangle look {I liked this a little less than the other options}:

And then here is the look I ended up keeping for now:

I still would like taller pieces like lanterns and candlesticks for below the mantle on the hearth. Eventually, I will add an insert, either natural gas or electric. But for now, I am absolutely in love with this fireplace!