When I talk about mantels it’s like speaking my decorating love language. Mantels are the focal point of a room and what goes on the mantel is more than important for a beautifully decorated space. Mantels used to by my nemesis! I hated to decorate them. Until I realized that decorating a mantel was not much different than decorating any other flat surface, except that it is longer and sits higher up on a wall. So I looked for a decorating “formula or recipe” I could use over and over on my mantel changing out the elements here and there and still having it look amazing! I’ve not only been on a long decorating journey with my mantel… it’s been more of a quest. So today let’s see the evolution of my mantel. The good the bad and the very very ugly!
Today on our podcast DECORATING TIPS AND TRICKS you can listen to our latest episode…Decorating Mantels. Just click the little arrow on the left side of the box below.
You can find all DECORATING TIPS AND TRICKS podcasts by clicking on the word PODCAST under the StoneGable header. And get show notes there too! And you can listen to all the episodes on your iphone in itunes and on your android if you are on the go!
Now let’s go on a little decorating journey…
Here’s how my mantel looks today.
Let’s take a visual walk down memory lane…
This image was taken the first year of blogging in 2009! I was just learning about photography and lighting and less is more! I loved this mirror on my mantel because it was the best mirror in my home. But the mirror mostly reflected the ceiling. It finally dawned on me that there had to be something better to put on the wall of this focal point. I wanted something nicer to look at than my ceiling!
One smart thing we did when we built StoneGable was to have outlets installed on the mantel. Lighting the mantel with lamps and other lights is so easy!
By 2013 I had replaced the mirror with a big clock, painted the living room a dark tan and replaced the 90’s green marble fireplace surround with a lighter brick. I also painted the tall think lamps and added new lampshades to them. But looking back the colors were way to flat! And I still had lots to learn about photography!!!
By 2014 we repainted the family room Sonnet by Benjamin Moore, the color it remains today! We also found these cute chippy shutters that are a permanent part of my mantel. We had to retrofit them. They were very long but Bobby cut them down and put them back together so they would be just the right height. You can see a tutorial for resizing shutters HERE.
I also found the little black stool that remains a part of almost every mantel I decorate. 2014 was also the year I painted the brass on the fireplace with a fire retardant flat black paint.
In 2014 we also installed hardwood floors in our family room, got a sisal rug, had the leather chairs slipcovered in a white cotton duck and bought a new taupe and white houndstooth chair.
I found a wonderful chippy window and started using it in place of my clock in 2015. You can hear about it in today’s podcast! The lamps came off the mantel for the fall season. This was also the year I added numbered baskets to my bookshelf to organize my books!
Clock and lamps back on the mantel for winter 2015-16.
The clock was a great centerpiece for the mantel, but I had always thought the brown frame was a bit too heavy. So in March of 2016 I repainted it using Amy Howard paints. I’m so much happier with it now!
What a journey, right? The evolution of my mantel was slow and had a few detours along the way! But now I think I found my “just right” mantel look!
Let’s take a before and after look!
You can see how I’ve honed and changed my decorating style, photography, and lighting skills as well as the family room over time. What a difference!!!! I hope this inspires you to keep working on your home and decorating acumen too.