Sunday, February 27, 2011

Tip 6: Make some mantle magic

 {This is part of the series "Top Ten Tips for Decorating on a Budget"}

A fireplace offers a welcoming focal point in your home. In cool weather, a dazzling fire invites you to share its warmth; in warm weather, candles or flowers in front of the firebox bring a flavor of brightness to the room. But whatever the season, the mantle offers a perfect canvas for your creativity. (If you don’t have a mantle, some of these tips may work well on your piano, sofa table, or console.)

First, choose one to three items that can transition well between seasons. Hurricanes are perfect; they are blank slate pieces that can take on the theme and palette of your choosing. In the first photo, rock salt and twigs set the tone for winter. Tall candleholders frame the setting, and candlelight always adds both welcome and romance. A large, colorful piece of art anchors everything and provides a central focal point. (See personal note below for more information on this mantle.)

Transitioning for spring is easy as can be! A mirror could be used in place of the art, adding light without color. Swap the white candles for a spring color which blends with your room décor, and add fresh (or faux) flowers to the hurricanes.

Have you noticed the trend toward living more in the great outdoors without sacrificing comfort? It’s increasingly popular to have a fireplace on the patio or in the Florida room. Our next mantle combines the organic elements of iron, fire, and greenery that work well outdoors and complement the stone setting. Large wall art provides an earthy focal point without being overbearing, while candles (again) add mystery and romance.

Many builders now install connections for a flatscreen television just above the mantle. This is a mixed blessing, in that it makes furniture arrangement easier, but decorating the mantle more of a challenge. Sconces can be the answer; the Looking Glass Sconce shown mounts almost flush to the wall, provides a light touch with its mirrored surface and can add color with the addition of a taper. Other elements can be added on either end of the mantle to add seasonal color.

Now you know the secret of making mantle magic – and there’s nothing magic about it, as long as you keep it simple!

(Personal note: This mantle was created by Carolyn Mahaney, who – along with her daughters – is one of my favorite bloggers on all things pertaining to biblical womanhood. Stop by girltalk and browse around!)

Note: Would you like to share a fun evening with your friends, staging a mantle makeover of your own? Willow House Makeover Design Workshops are a fun way to make a change in your home, especially when you can earn free and discounted products for hosting! If you’d like to know more, contact me.

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