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Add Personality Above Your Mantel
I am an Interior Decorator in PA, stitching my urban roots into suburban spaces from NY to Philly. I am living my dream helping people achieve inspirational spaces. Visit me at www.loveyourroom.com and check out my blog for inspirational ideas.
I am an Interior Decorator in PA, stitching my urban roots into suburban... More
It is easy to hang a mirror or one piece of artwork above a mantel and call it a day. Or you can add interest, personality and style by adding a few more pieces! Create a focal point that when put together it doesn't feel structured or forced. A fireplace can be a glorious focal point when you layer on items that relate to each other; that tell a story. Tip-Make sure the items you add to the mantel are large enough to carry their own weight. Adding more decor items to the mantel can actually create a good balance above the mantel with the size of the fireplace below. There is some logic to how to place these items as seen below:
Start with hanging a mirror in the center. Then add personality to it by layering it with framed photos of different heights. This works using vases, candle holders, whatever you think of in varying finishes that relate well to each other.
This is a great example of creating a more meaningful focal point by adding related framed art pieces (related through color) to the large art piece in the center, lengthening it, so it creates a good balance with the fireplace below. The size of this grouping works. Two candle sticks off center connect the hanging pieces to the mantel below, bringing your eye back down to the fireplace.
Three is the golden number. On one side of the fireplace, place a large piece of artwork, then on the other add two shorter but substantial decor pieces that relate by color.
Three is the golden number. This time try using a very tall vase on one side, and two shorter pieces of art on the other. The animals are similar in scheme, walking the same way, and the vase finish, the color of an elephants tusk, doesn't take away from the thoughtful palette. The very small blue decor pieces added could have a wonderful story behind them so they add interest without cluttering up the mantel.
Three is the golden number. Maybe you have some artwork you would like to add to your mantel. Grab the tallest one, hanging it off center, then lean the other(s) on the opposite side of the mantel. Tie the floating piece of art back down to the mantel by placing an accent vase, etc. next to it.
Simple and interesting. Again using the golden number 3. Using natural elements with different heights, shape and widths blend together perfectly. The mirror doesn't even have to be centered!
This mantel gets personality by adding the three dogs, two to the right and one to the left (the golden number three). I look at the artwork above and can picture the dogs running in it. I just related it all together with my imagination!
A bold wall color brings out the intricate pieces of this mirror so they look like stars up in the sky. A few more pieces added to the edges of the mantel to balance out the heaviness of the fireplace below work well. Remember to use odd numbers - 1 or 2 tall pieces on one side and the 2 or 3 shorter pieces together on the other end.
Find a large three dimensional wall sculpture and flank it with collected pieces, like all this folk art and pottery. The biggest on one side, and the other smaller pieces on the other so it balances.
Think outside the box and use a beloved object. I can imagine how many people want to walk right up this gong and tap it. It brings in wonderful personality, along with the related objects sitting on the mantel.
Group a collection of monochromatic pieces. Using a hanging piece of monochromatic artwork as a back drop, add a collection of monochromatic pieces, again using the few tallest pieces together, and all the other pieces together on the other side of the fireplace.
For a casual look use a clock, and display, end to end on your mantel, a collection of shells, glassware, etc. Here is the order you add your mantel pieces. The largest point is the clock in the center, then the two tallest decor pieces go on either end, the next widest piece goes in the middle of the mantel, and you fill in from there in a pattern of tall, short, tall, short.
This is simple and lovely. A large piece of artwork fills up most of the space over the mantel, and a very interesting piece of glass picking up on the orange in the painting ties the art piece back to the mantel (this brings your eye down and around back to the lower part of the fireplace).
Display your collection in clear jars. Hang your mirror. Then display sea shells you have collected in apothecary jars of different heights and shapes. Place them on the mantel in the tall, short, tall, short pattern. You can place any small items in these jars to get a big effect when grouped together-from wine bottle corks, to marbles, to a collection of buttons! Here is a website to get these jars http://www.save-on-crafts.com/apothecary.html.
Display photos. For a clean modern look lean frames against the mantel in a pattern of tall, short, tall, short, tall.
The 'S' must stand for smile; this is a happy mantel of color. Create a canvas of juicy objects along your mantel. Bring in the color of the art work above through related pieces below.