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Tag: How to decorate a mantel

Autumn Mantel

I’ve been loving the cool temps over the past few days, have you?  For me, there’s no transition time once September hits.  A switch goes off in my head that says “Fall, Fall, Fall”.  Thankfully I haven’t dug out the sweaters yet, BUT I did gather some decor for my newest mantel for the coming season.

Autumn is almost here and after sharing a fun roundup of Fall Fireplace Mantels earlier this week, I’m ready to reveal mine.  But before we begin, I have a confession to make… I never showed you my summer mantel.  I had great intentions to, but it never happened.  No worries, because for Fall I didn’t change much and basically the reasoning is that I just love it. This years Autumn Mantel isn’t overly “themed” and actually isn’t really “fallish”.  Basically I kept it simple and added a few festive elements.  Take a look…

The change from my Summer mantel to now wasn’t that different or difficult.  Since you didn’t see the Summer mantel, this is what it looked like.  With the addition of the starfish for the warm months and the simple switchout to pumpkins and ghords for Fall, the mantel was updated in minutes.

I have to say, I’m really happy with the simplicity and monochromatic look of this year’s Fall Mantel.  For this mantel, I shopped my home for everything, except one piece – the tall white jar.  I had been on the search for something like it and when I saw this beautiful pierced ginger jar at TJ Maxx a few months, I snagged it up – it was attractive and for under $20 it was a must-have!  It’s height and detail bring so much character to the mantel.  Don’t ya think?!

All the other elements in this Fall decor were seen in last years mantel or were someplace else around the house.  The white pumkpins were a great score last year and weren’t always white.  If you recall, this is what I did…

It’s amazing what a little white craft paint can do!

In continuing my simple white aesthetic, I spray painted the candle stick white as well.  In my other mantels, it was brass, but not anymore.  Continuing, my estate sale found mason jars are still filled with lentils and beautiful, bumpy, bright orange ghords were added throughout.  I had to add some color.  right?!

Those tall glass jars are killer – loved them since the day I bought them which was a gazzillion years ago (more like 10+) from Crate and Barrel.  Ya gotta love the Crate!

The birds are another recent find that I purchased at a local home store.  They are dark brown, similar to the mantel color and almost blend right in, but they are so cute and add a whimsical touch to the mantel decor.

I think it’s so important to add varying heights and layers when creating a mantel.  Think of your mantel composition as a wave – it should go up and down as it moves across.  Need more tips on mantel decor? Check out my post on How-To Decorate a Mantel.  Looking at others mantels will also help inspire and give ideas.  That’s where my roundup comes in handy!

Here’s the overall Fall Mantel.

You might have noticed in some of the pictures that there’s somethin’ different on the wall?  Yup, that’s new.  There used to be a mirror there, but that got revamped and moved to the dining area. In it’s place is a new distressed stained sign, which was easy to create and is an awesome backdrop. Want to create something similar?  Here’s how…

Create a Distressed Stained Sign

1. Measure and cut lumber to the size desired (I used (3) 2″ x 12″ x 48″ pieces of pine)
2. Use (2) horizontonal pieces of lumber to secure the vertical pieces (I used (2) 2 x 4, but any size lumber would really work)
3. Distress the sign using a chain, hammer, nails, etc. to add as much or as little distressing as desired
4. Stain your sign.  I used the stain that I had leftover from my staircase which was Ebony, but you can use a lighter stain depending on the depth of color you want to achieve.

Pretty simple, right?!  I love how it brings height and depth to the space, yet still creates a great backdrop to the mantel decor.  And against the burnt orange wall, it really makes a statement.

Simple and Chic Autumn Mantel. Yes, I’m happy 😉

Have you started your decorating for Fall yet?  I’ve got my mums and ghords, and this weekend we’re headed to the apple orchard.  O, do I LOVE Fall!

I link my projects to some of these parties: Skip to My Lou, Dittle Dattle, Between Naps on the Porch, Today’s Creative Blog, Stories of A to Z, All Things Heart & Home, Savvy Southern Style, House of Hepworths, Finding Fabulous, Creation Corner, The Shabby Nest, Serenity Now, Tatertots and Jello, Thrifty Decor Chick, Tip Junkie

How to Decorate a Mantel

Many of you know that I’m a Pinterest junkie.  From recipes to photography to gardening, anything and everything you could want to know about is on this amazing site.  Of course, for me, my #1 search is usually home decor and DIY.  The other day I stumbled upon this great pictorial on how to decorate a Mantel.  I’m sure you know the expression, a picture means a thousand words, and this image certainly says it all.  Through the words in my blog, I’m forever looking for ways to inspire you to create a haven of your own, well this is it!

original image via and via

When starting to decorate your mantel, it’s best to remove everything and begin with a fresh palette.  It allows you to see it free and clear so your creative juices start to flow.

Simple tricks to start your mantel decor

1. Center 1 big piece: Begin in the center and choose something that is of a substantial size, maybe a mirror or artwork that you love.  This will be the main focal point of the mantel and will “ground” the other accessories in front.
2. Movement: Choose items that “move” the eye.  Whether it be candles which move from the flickering flame or items of varying heights which make the eye move up and down, include accessories that are intriguing and add vision interest.
3. Visual Weight: A secondary focal point that isn’t as big, but still gives a punch, is a great addition to a mantel ensemble.  When pulling together a mantel, it’s best to layer one piece in front of another.  Choosing a vase with flowers or branches that will sit in front of your “big piece” starts the layering effect.
4. Layering: Whether it be art, photos, candles, or accessories, layering and staggering different sized items in front of each other is a must to create a cohesive composition.
5. Vary Heights: Along with layering, adding accessories of varying heights is more visually engaging.  It helps the eye move up and down and across.  Between layering and varying heights, you want to create a wave effect with your mantel.  It starts out low, then goes up, comes back down, then up again, and finishes low.

As  Steven and Chris say, these 5 tricks create a Visual Triangle.  Starting at the top most point, you have your 1 big center piece, and then each side angles down with the addition of interesting accessories, resulting in a finished triangle = a beautiful decorated mantel.

Looking at some real-life examples always help, so let’s take a peak at two of my recent mantels.

Fall Mantel – This is my most recent mantel decorated for Fall.  Similarly to the pictoral above, I “marked up” the 5 tricks to create a cohesive mantel.  Starting with the big piece in the center, a rectangular mirror, and layering different accessories at varying heights, the Visual Triangle was created.  And do you see the “mantel wave”?  There are lots of lows and highs, lows and highs.

 Summer Mantel – This second mantel design was from the summer and even though it’s simpler and less accessorized, it still uses the 5 basic principles for decorating a mantel.

What do you like to showcase on your mantel?