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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Study In Mantle-ology!!

I love fireplace mantels and at Christmas time I think they always seem to look their best! I think a mantel decorated for Christmas, whether it is simple or over the top, is so charming and inviting, especially if the fireplace has a fire going and the candles are lit.

I went looking for some examples of mantels that I thought were done well and I would like to share with you what I have found………

1 (300x400)
I love everything about this mantle. Instead of just dressing the mantle they added depth by hanging glittery stars from the ceiling in front of the mantle.

The cranberries in the cylinders give a bright pop of color to the mix of white, silver and green!

Did you notice the cylinder vase on the left is in front of the garland? Yet, the one on the right is behind the garland.

This gives dimension and keeps the eye moving with a better flow. This is a much nicer effect than if they were lined up evenly like little soldiers. Remember to step back and make sure your display has some ins-and-outs.

5 (300x333)
This is a great example of a mantle that has a wonderful use of color and texture. This is done in a less formal look by having the items asymmetrical.

3 (400x400)
This is obviously a very traditional and formal looking mantle. This mantle is very elegant and it is done with beautiful symmetry.

4 (267x400)
More symmetry done in a simple and elegant manner with the perfect amount of texture and shine.

6 (302x400)
I really like the pops of color used  here.  The one element I would change here is the bows.
I think they need to be a more natural flowing bow, not so tight with short tails. The one bow on the wreath I would eliminate all together.

2 (500x391)

11 (320x400)

9 house beautiful (400x406)
House Beautiful
By using clear colored glass what could look ordinary becomes fun and festive.

8 (360x450)
Martha Stewart is the queen of doing simple elegance at its best.

7 (360x450)
Nothing fancy here and yet it is amazing. The abundance of the greenery flowing over the mantle makes this perfection. Martha does it again.

10 mstewart (360x450)
This is probably real vintage mercury glass, but you can buy reproduction mercury glass at very reasonable prices. Instead of a bow at the top of the wreath the ornaments are in a tighter cluster at the top and as they make their way to the bottom they become more scattered.

I think we often complicate our designs and you can tell by all of the above images it does not have to be complicated in order to be lovely, lively or elegant.

Keep in mind the spacing of your elements and make sure they go in and out to give dimension.

Vary your textures. If you are going to make a bow make sure that you use a good quality ribbon and make the tails long enough to drape gracefully.

"Enjoy the Process" Of

Decorating your mantle with some of your favorite pieces.