Monday, January 10, 2011

Help My House: The Mantel

(before I post, can I just say, that I hate how as soon as you put a label on a post and hit return blogger posts your post?! So, now I will repost this in its finished form with pictures...)

If you've been to my house, you will see that I have all of 4 pictures hanging on my walls. Yup, just 4. In my ENTIRE HOUSE. And I have one that is leaning against the wall in the guest room in the basement. So that sort of counts, right?

A couple of months ago I hung a clock. It took me 3 years because I wasn't sure of the correct placement.

To say that I'm a timid decorator is an understatement. I know when I see a finished room if I like it or not and I can tell you what I DON'T like (cluttered and kitschy!), but I have no idea how to make a room feel put together and finished.

So I'm going to ask for help.

I need suggestions, and lots of them. So, even if you've never commented before, I need you to comment now. Actually my blank walls need you to comment.

But I'm not going to start there, that's too daunting. We're going to start with my mantel.

I had it all decorated for Christmas, and this is what it looked like:

It was simple and I liked it. But today (yes, only finally today, I'm TOTALLY behind thanks to a teething 6 month old) I took down the Christmas and now I'm left with a blank mantel:

I have no idea what to do with it. Should I go for seasonal themes (so I don't get tired of it and can keep the room fresh?), or do I find something really great and get it set up perfect and leave it that way all the time?

So I need suggestions of what to place, where to place it, how much to put on, etc., etc.

Some things to keep in mind:
-We have a sunken living room which means we have a huge vaulted ceiling. Things tend to look dwarfed on the mantel.
-I don't want to spend a lot of money on this project, so cheap ideas (or even better, suggestions of how to use things I probably already have) is better.
-There is not a lot of colour in my living room (ha, or my whole house!). I love brown. Maybe too much, and put a lot of it in there. I do have some light green in my kitchen (that looks into the living room). I could kind of go anywhere with colour as long is it's not totally out there. But I need colour and probably anything that will lighten/brighten it up.
-My husband likes to use the mantel to "store" things. It drives me nuts, hence why I want it decorated. It discourages the habit a bit more.

So bring it on (please!!!). Help me help my house.


  1. My idea ... you need height on that mantle. I saw something in a magazine a few years ago that I loved and when I showed it to my daughter she also thought it was wonderful (and used it for some of the decorating for her wedding). So what was this idea? We bought all kinds of vases from thrift stores and garage sales - the more ornate and gaudy, the better. They were all different sizes and shapes. We then spray painted them matte white. How they were used at the wedding doesn't really matter - they're now part of the decor in both of our homes. I have several grouped on each end of my piano with a lower candle holder between them ... under the picture that's hanging above my piano, you could almost look at it like a mantle. You could put seasonal fresh flowers in some of the vases but they look very cool just as they are. This didn't cost much money at all - and possibly you have a few vases already in your cupboard that you could use.

    For more ideas, check out this website ...

  2. I agree, it totally needs height. I'll check out your link. Thanks!


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