Take It Off!

Take it Off!

Hey now, get your mind out of the gutter! We are talking about mantels here 😉 Below I am going to take you through 3 easy steps for a full mantel redesign! BUT, before we start, you must take everything off, and start fresh! By doing this you have the opportunity to see the mantel from a new point of view. It is hard to imagine something new if you are still looking at the old!

Step 1: The Anchor

This is the focal point of your mantel, and the largest piece. We start with this, and then build around it. Make sure to choose something that is to scale with the space you are working with. Take mine for example, the brick goes all the way to the ceiling, so I chose a large window mirror. Imagine how it would look if I put a tiny picture frame up there as the anchor…not cute and off balance.

There are many options for anchor pieces. A few of my favorites are: wall mirrors, large piece of artwork, wooden signs, a clock or even an old chippy window!

Step 2: Weight

Choose objects for the left and right side of the anchor that will add visual weight and bring balance to the mantel. These can be identical if you prefer symmetry {as illustrated in the photo above}, BUT they do not have to be identical, as long as their visual weight is similar {as illustrated in photo below}. In both photos I have two “layers” of Step 2. You don’t have to do this, you may want the anchor and the pots (or your weight of choice) and that is it, and that works beautifully. Because my mirror is so large the candlesticks help bring height and visual weight. However, it is up to you and what makes your home YOURS!

Above I have two different pieces on either side of the candlesticks. Their visual height and weight are similar which brings balance to the display.

Options for weighted pieces: Candlesticks (can be varying heights), pitchers, vases or lanterns just to name a few!

Step 3: Filler

Sidenote: This step is completely optional. If you like a simplified mantel you may not want to move on to Step 3. For me personally, I often do stop after Step 2, BUT Step 3 can be a lot of fun! So, let’s jump in!

This is where you get to fill in space with smaller objects that you love! Keep scale in mind when choosing these objects. Fillers generally vary in height and should not be larger than your weighted objects in Step 2. In the photo above I chose to layer a sign in front of the mirror. Layering items in front of your anchor piece is a fun way to add visual appeal. A wreath is another great layering piece. I filled in the sides with books and pitchers. The pitcher on the left was smaller so I put it on a small candlestick to add height and balance.

Above is a symmetrical example of fillers. This time I used bottles and books to fill in the space.

Here I used a chippy window for layering as well as books and a pitcher (imagine that, another pitcher haha)!

Items that make great fillers: Books (they are always pretty and add height where necessary), greenery, wreaths, candles, small glass bottles/vases, picture frames. Pretty much any object that you would love to display that fits with the scale and balance of your mantel!

 

Things to consider throughout the styling process:

*Color scheme – Keep the color scheme of your room in mind when choosing objects.

*Scale – as I mentioned before make sure your items are to scale with your mantel and in proportion to each other.

*Greenery and flowers – adding greenery and flowers in vases, pots or pitchers is an easy way to update your mantel for the changing seasons without having to completely start over! It also adds height when needed.

And most importantly, make it yours! If you follow these 3 basic steps using items that you love, you will have a mantel that fits perfectly with your style. I guarantee you will smile every time you walk into the room!

I hope this guide to mantel decorating was helpful to you! I know it can seem overwhelming at first. However, I promise if you take it one step at a time, you will easily create a beautifully styled mantel. I would love to hear what you think in the comments! And let me know some of your favorite pieces to use when decorating your mantel!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

~Courtney~