“We’re all collectors by nature”
Does your mantle need a makeover?!
Mantles are so often the focal point of a room. They are a great place to showcase some of your favorite things. Like Albert Hadley says, we are all collectors of something. You don’t have to go out and buy a bunch of items to put on the mantel, most goods can be found in your own home. In fact, anything can turn into “art” when it is spotlighted in the right way.
If that long piece of wood, marble or granite is begging for good company, here are three easy ways to give you some direction
Mantle Design Idea #1:
BALANCE, BALANCE, BALANCE
In this holiday design, balance and variety work together. No two items are alike, yet the mantle doesn’t feel like a mish mash of random pieces. This is because the items are balanced through the use of color, placement and texture.
Color! Using similar colors or a monochromatic palette is one way to connect a variety of items to one another. I wanted to experiment with a holiday color scheme that was not red and green. The colors here, silver, bronze, and light brown blend well together. They do not compete for attention; rather sit together harmoniously.
And placement! Think of placing your items as if they were sitting on a pendulum. You want each side to “weigh” the same. If one side has more items on it, it might feel unbalanced. I distributed roughly the same number of items on either side of the mantle all different shapes and sizes keeping in mind that the heights were similar on both sides.
And finally texture! When using a monochromatic color palette, texture gives these like colors life. Here I used glass, pearl, mineral rock, Mercury glass and silver Hershey kisses foil. One texture I love here are the Selenite crystals. These minerals exude a pearly luster that almost appears to glow.
Mantle Design Idea #2:
Great things come in pairs! Do you have a pair of candlesticks or flowerpots? By simply placing them on either end of the mantle, you have the beginnings of a really quick mantle design. One of the easiest ways to achieve a beautiful mantle is through the use of symmetry.
Below, I had some old iron urns that I put on either end of the mantle. I wanted to continue the theme of pairs so I found some brilliant red lacquer candlesticks that were the perfect height to place next. I wanted to have the heights of each item go from tallest to shortest leading into the center of the mantle. Two bright yellow ginger jars from the kitchen were a great complement for my height requirements. Finally, I had 2 small decoupage plates that I put on either side. This brought in some pattern and a different shape to the vignette.
Symmetry has a calming effect on the eye. Mirroring the same small groupings on either side of your mantle will achieve a pleasing and uniform result.
Mantle Design Idea #3:
One of the most common ways people start in the decoration of their mantles is with a painting. Having a piece of art centered above the mantle gives the room a focal point. But Wall décor does not have to just be comprised of 1 dimensional paintings, illustrations or drawings.
A focal point can be accomplished with many creative items. Perhaps you have an antique textile or quilt that deserves a proper place, I was given this lovely feather headdress from Camaroon that was just begging to be front and center. Its multi-dimensional quality gives the wall a punch of color and attitude. I placed some decoupage plates, yellow jugs and plantings on the mantle to introduce color and repeat the shape. A focal point is important in any room. Take an inventory of your home, you never know what you might find that can become a lovely centerpiece for your mantle.
So have a go at it! Take a walk around your house and have a look at items you already own that could dress up you mantle. If you feel there are holes in your inventory, there are some great home accessories stores like Home Goods and Ikea that offer great design at reasonable prices.
Your mantle is valuable real estate in the design of your home because of its usually very prominent presence. Take into account what you want the mantle to say about you. Display items that mean something or evoke a memory. If you allow your taste and desires to lead the way and follow one of these concepts, balance, symmetry or focal point, you will really add a wonderful visual punch to your home.
“Be faithful to your own taste
because nothing you really like is ever out of style.”