Thursday, September 15, 2011

Techniques for creating a Fall mantel

With the crisp Fall weather upon us we all like to cozy up to a  fire in the fireplace.

With our fireplaces comes our mantels! The perfect place to change things out, and do something that is more appropriate for the season.

One of the first things I start doing  when it gets a bit more chilly outside is I start lighting candles. Each night it becomes almost like a ceremony. I find myself humming happily as I light all my little votives. The glow of candlelight is so appealing.

I have a mega-mantel!! (17ft. long) Because of its size and the fact that I like a well edited look it can be a bit difficult at times. 

I know I am not alone in this difficult situation because my clients use to have me do vignettes on their mantels and bookcases all the time.  They would have no idea on how to start the process.

Source: via Kathy Sue on Pinterest

Today I thought I would go through the process with you all in hopes of giving you some of the tools that will hopefully be  helpful to you when doing your own, “Fall Mantel!”

The very first thing I would have my clients do is to group their accessories by textures. By having elements in groups it makes it much easier to shop for just the right piece to add to your shelf or mantel.

  • Wood, baskets,books for a rough texture.

  • Porcelain pieces for shine.

  • Mirrors for reflection.

  • Pictures or paintings for interest.

  • Metal pieces for patina and shine.
  •  Plants for a touch of life.

The next step is too decide which pieces you would like to  use. I always start with my largest pieces that will ground the composition. I figure out what I want in the middle of my mantel and I work from that point. Such as a mirror, clock, painting etc.

If I am doing a book case I usually start from left to right, top to bottom. I will place the books first since they are usually the focal point in a book case. I will have some in the middle and some on the left and right side of the bookcase. 

You want to keep your eye flowing from side to side. I will also have books laying on their sides as lifts for items.  Once I have the books placed then I will fill in with the other elements varying my textures.

It is important to have your elements create an up and down wave, going from high to low to high.~~~

When doing the mantel once the center piece is placed then I add the other larger pieces to the left and right. I tend to like symmetry so my compositions on a mantel will feel more balanced. 

Source: via Kathy Sue on Pinterest

When adding the other elements remember to vary your textures. You want a good variety of rough, shine and living plants to make it interesting.  Not having variation in texture is usually what makes your composition feel off to your eye.

I hope this post has given you some techniques and ideas so you can create your own special fall mantel!!

“Enjoy the Process!” Of:

Creating a stunning Fall mantel!