Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Decorating a Mantel

Photo: Jean Allsopp Stylist: Lisa Powell
I got lots of questions about decorating mantels in the recent Q & A session. I don't claim to be a complete expert on decorating mantels, but I thought it would be fun to find some pics of different styles of mantels to share and talk about. The pic above is a traditional styled mantel with a mirror and sconces flanking either side. Very symetrical, right down to the things sitting on the mantel.
Southern Accents
I thought the above mantel was beautiful and simple for Christmas. Maybe this will give you some ideas for decorating for the Holidays with a twist. I love this one. Note the mix of the gold mirror and the silver chalices. See, you can mix metals.

Southern Accents

This one is more elaborate for Christmas, but a beautiful look too. Southern Accents Photo: Pieter Estersohn Designer: John Bobbitt

Here's an idea for those of us who love seashells and plates. You can see the pretty arrangement of plates in the mirror used with another mirror in the center. Again, this mantel arrangement is simple but effective. Photo Laurey W. Glenn Stylist Mary Leigh Fitts

This room has lots of color and I also loved the arrangement on the side table with the two monogramed lamps and large artwork. Looks like a mirrored wall above the fireplace, along with a round mirror leaning with 2 side floral arrangements.

Southern Living Photo: Jean Allsopp, Laurey W. Glenn Stylist: Lisa Powell

Another traditional arrangement, this one has 2 large finials and 2 floral arrangements, along with a simple gold mirror. Coastal Living Photo: Rob Melnychuk Stylist: Nina Hamilton

Love this above room completely! Beautiful mantel with 2 striking sconces, one piece of art that's hung on the wall and another one leaning. I love the leaning look, but haven't quite got that mastered yet. Note most of the accessories are large pieces. Southern Living Photo: Jean Allsopp

Here's one with a brick fireplace for those of you who have these. It's neutral, so blends right in with the room and the mantel is stained dark. Very pretty room and the 2 light fixtures mounted right on the mantel is striking too. Southern Living Photo: Jean Allsopp Stylist: Lisa Powell

I love the asymetrical arrangment on this one, meaning it's different on both sides. See how the tall finial on the right complements the tall sticks or maybe feathers on the left? And the gothic arch makes a nice statement as the centerpiece. A simple low wooden bowl completes the arrangement for the middle. Lots going on, but it's not too busy. Southern Living Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

Another symetrical look, the above mantel is very striking with the red brick and black surround. If this was my room, I'd paint out that brick a creamy color. Love the frames on those prints and the floral arrangements that flank them. Simple, but very pretty and effective. Southern Living Photo: Laurey W. Glenn Stylist: Mary Leigh Fitts

Another simple mantel of florals and a large mirror. I especially love this pic for the sofa table, with 2 lamps, large artwork and the plates surrounding it. Love it against the chocolate walls.

Hope this gave all of you with mantel dilemmas some fun new ideas that you can take home with you and try out on your mantel! Let me know if you try any of these so we can all take a peek.

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Pat @ Back Porch Musings said...

Somewhere in all my archives I have that Christmas mantel, with all the swaggy lush greenery, from Southern Accents saved. I may give that one a try this year.

Rambling Girl said...

These mantels are all pretty. I don't have one but have often thought about gettting and old mantel from a home and using it on one of my walls and also a fire screen. Who says you have to have a fireplace with a mantel What do you think?

Kristi said...

Thanks for the fun tour of mantels! Our is so rustic in comparison. Natural brick fireplace with a chunk of wood for the mantle. Do you have any examples for decorating one like that?

I'm so happy we have fireplace. We use it often in the cold months.

Jerri Lynn @ Southern Sassyness said...

They are all so pretty...I have got to get a monogrammed lamp shade!

I have a leaning picture/painting over my den fireplace. It took a good while to get just the right accessories in place, but I do love the look.

paintergal said...

Thanks for the inspiration. I finally have a mantel since moving into this house. Once I figured out an arrangement, I haven't changed it since! Maybe you've helped me overcome that fear of messing it up if I try to change it. :)

Mrs. Trixi said...

Great job Rhoda, these are so pretty. Thanks for sharing.

Hooked on Houses said...

I can always use fresh inspiration for my mantel, so thanks! I noticed that the orange and brown rooms are the same, right? Just decorated differently? How fun to see two different ways to handle the same space. -Julia

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Good eye, Julia! I didn't even notice those 2 were the same room, but you're right, they are. It is fun to see a room done 2 different ways.

Rhoda

Twice as Nice said...

I think mantels can be hard to decorate. It has to be just the right balance. Love how you put pears on yours. I never would have thought of that. Thanks for the tour-great ideas.

Caren said...

Pretty! I really love the yellow and black and the chocolate brown! Thanks for the ideas.

Darlene - Our Creative Life said...

Loved the tour of mantels! There are so many different ways to decorate a mantel! Makes me think of doing something new this Christmas!

aunties said...

The matels are all so beautiful. Thanks, I enjoyed the tour of mantels this morning along with the most inviting rooms.
I have never tried leaning art over a hanging piece, hmm I will have to give it a try.
Loved using larger items as the accents. Thanks again for all the great hints.
Beth

Scooterblu's Whimsy said...

Thanks for sharing this mantle inspiration! For some reason, they really intimidate me! :) ~Rhonda

Angie said...

Those mantels are all so beautiful - I don't know which is my favorite!

nikkicrumpet said...

I love the different ideas all in one place. I think that is one area that I have the hardest time finding what works. I gave up about a year ago an decided to move on to other things and get back to that when my mind wasn't so muddled...sadly it still sits undone. These picture give me hope I can finally find the perfect solution. THANKS for posting this. And about that spray can attachment. Mine acutally has a pretty good sized opening...and as of now it doesn't slip on the can at all. I can even hold the handle and still shake the can. I hope it stays that way. Have a great day!

Kat said...

Beautiful photos Rhoda! I love the abundance of everygreens and giant pinecones in the Christmas display.

windycorner said...

All gorgeous rooms, Rhoda, thanks for sharing. Today is my day for moving accents around and bringing in some fall things so the ideas are right on time.
Holley

Jennifer said...

My 17 year old son (who is like a bull in a china shop at times) broke the blinds that we had on our slider door. I wasn't too bummed because we had painted the walls about 6 months ago and I never felt that the blinds really matched anymore anyway but hadn't thought of what I wanted to do. Now I am in a hurry up mode to get some sort of covering for the slider because the sun beats in it in the afternoon. Do you have any suggestions? The slider is in our dining room and leads out to our deck. We go out on the deck a lot.
Would love your advise.
Smiles!

Liz said...

Waaa! I wish I had a fireplace! Great pictures and ideas!
~Liz~

Joanna said...

I don't have a mantel, but all the pics are wonderful! I really love the swag for Christmas!

the pleasures of homemaking said...

I never know what to do with my mantel! I know I like things to be symmetrical. Great inspriation photos!

Manuela

Strawberry Blonde said...

My mantle is always a challenge for me, too. I like some of the ones you posted. Actually, a good friend of mine was a set stylist for Southern Living, so I was looking for her name. But, she has been home for the last year and a half, though.

Great ideas!
Brandi

Layla said...

Now I REEEEEALLLY want to get to work on my mantle....too much to decorate, too little time!

Layla
The Lettered Cottage

Brown-Eyes said...

Once again, you are going to make decorators out of us yet! Such great inspirations and they don't look all that expensive either...totally do-able...THANKS!
;-) Bo

Susie Q said...

That last picture is in my decorating files! I love the brown on that wall! : )
Such lovely mantels...and such fun to decorate for every season!

Alway a treat to stop by and see you!

Love,
Sue

Faye said...

I love all the mantel ideas, however I am very pleased to see the simple Christmas one, with the silver chalices. I'm planning to very simply decorated home this year since we plan to be away for the entire Christmas and New Year holiday. I want to decorate, so we can enjoy it for the month leading up to leaving though.

Kim said...

Thanks for this! I have ALWAYS struggled with the mantel. This gives some great ideas!!!

The Berry's Patch said...

I wish I had a mantel to decorate. We did in the old house. It was fun to decorate for the holidays. It was the focal point of the room. :-)

Angie said...

Hi Rhoda!

Boy, do I wish I had a mantel now...those pics were fabulous! And, it is much cooler here tonight..so a fire would be so lovely!

~Angie

Ms. Tee said...

What great inspiration photos. :) My favorite is the one with one picture hung and the other leaning - I like that effect, too. I don't know why, but mantels can be a challenge to decorate, can't they!

sandra/tx said...

Those are all great ideas, Rho. I still need to figure out what to do with mine. :-/

mrsjones6 said...

Thank you for the mantle inspiration! So many beautiful ideas and styles of rooms. Now I just need to take inventory of what I have and see where I can go with it! Right now mine is an empty canvas and needs desperate attnetion. It would help if I knew what my style is.
It does help that fall holidays and Christmas are right around the corner! :)
~Jen

Gollum said...

I've been having a Mantle Breakdown, and your blog saved me.

I tend to have fun with the living room mantle, but the one in the den has a flat screen over it, and it's been impossible. Great ideas here.

Pennies In My Pocket said...

Ohhhh thank you for this! Being that I was one who had Qs on mantels! They are all so lovely. I especially love the 2nd one. Pretty!

~melody~

sarah @ a beach cottage said...

ooooh what a lovely post today, I enjoyed looking through these Rhoda, so wonderful

I have been looking out for an old mantel surround on ebay (or the side of the road) but not found anything that's quite right, I've now decided I might make a faux one, idea from a blog involving a mirror, candles and a shelf!

great inspiration

Sarah

Leah said...

I've been stumped for almost 5 years with my mantel! Thanks for these examples!!

Nancy Hood said...

love love love the pics! coming back to study them more in depth later!

Kristi said...

LOL! Rhonda, I bet you saw my pitiful looking mantle and said, "Man, that girl needs a reminder to learn how do fix that!" HA! Yes, I had visited and love the ideas... I need to get cooking on some for myself!...

munnfamily said...

Very cool!!!!
I dont have a mantel but could certainly use some ideas for the lowboy under my wall mounted TV.
I always thought I could TREAT it like a mantel.
Great picks & great topic!!

Elizabeth G. said...

Thank you for your sweet comments about my post on modesty.

You have a beautiful blog with many wonderful ideas. I just wish I had a mantel to decorate. This is my first house without a fireplace and I don't like it!

What is a PK?

My husband went to high school in Birmingham! That was a long time ago, though. :)

Blessings,
Elizabeth

Debbie @ ribbonwoodcottage.blogspot.com said...

Wow, these mantels are so beautiful. I want to save these pictures for future reference. I enjoy how warm the rooms look. Beautiful post!
Debbie

Susie Harris said...

Thanks for the great pictures! Mantels are always so hard and I just dont know why.... I just did mine for fall... Take care~

Mrs. B said...

Oh how I long for a mantel! I love them! We've been talking about installing a fireplace for the last two years, but it just hasn't happened yet. Someday!

OldBagNewTricks said...

Rhode, bless you. When I am weary from renovating I always know I can come to your blog and find something finished. And today, when I needed it most, I found lots of things finished. Lots of pretty mantels all done and dressed to the nines. (heavy sigh.)

Thanks oh-so-much,
Jenny

Layla said...

Rhoda!

There is an award waiting for you over at my blog. :-)

Also, have you thought about attending the BlogHer Convention in Nashville in October? I'm thinking about going.

Layla
The Lettered Cottage

Diane said...

Love all the ideas! Also love the animal print background. I have been trying to incorporate animal print into my home! It should work really well since I live in a zoo!
xoxo
Diane

French said...

These are all amazing! Thanks for the support during my difficult time;) Things are looking up! French;)

ginger at enchanting cottage said...

The mantels are just amazing! I also love the brown wall, it is so pretty. I have to tell you I made a BIG MISTAKE I painted a hutch I had I used black spray paint. I truly think I should of just brushed it on. It looks just okay but I want it to look great.

Ginger

Aisha said...

I have a huge corner fireplace with the top completely open. I just don't know how to decorate it. It's so big it overwhelms anything I put on it. I think it is almost out of scale to the rest of the room - any ideas for me?

These mantles are beautiful!