Friday, January 14, 2011

It's Time to Dress Up... the Mantle

It's a New Year... Change up the Mantle!
Part One: Nothing is better than sitting by the fire keeping warm and toasty to kill of the wicked winter chill that seeps into your bones. With that statement, I guess it's no secret that I live in the North! While you are sitting by the cosy fire, it is even better if you can have a lovely looking mantle to make everything look so picturesque.
There are a couple of things that you need to consider when deciding what you want to put up there:
  • What is your Theme.
  • Have a Color Scheme.
  • Highlight some of your "Treasures".
  • Pick a Style.
Our Mantle at Christmas, complete with Stockings!
(Click on any of the pictures to view them larger.
THEME: A mantle is the perfect gathering place for setting up a theme. For instance, I bet you all had your mantles decorated to the max for Christmas. I know I do. Every year. Love it. Here's a Picture of it done up for the holidays. But now, the holidays are over and hopefully you are now faced with a clean slate. Using the holidays as your theme again, it's time to get ready for Valentines Day. OR you can use the Seasons as your theme. Right now would be Winter. If you have a special collection, like my mom does of Milk glass, Fenton glass and Lenox Birds, she could use her collection as her theme. 
COLOR SCHEME: Once you've picked your theme, it is time to move on to color. YOu need to have a palette in mind. It can match what furniture you have in the room or coordinate. You definitely do not want to pick something that clashes- everything should compliment the other colors. The only time that that would not matter is if you are going with a color to match you theme. It's ok that you use orange and black when it's Halloween. Just make sure that you use enough of the color together, that it's obvious that it is meant to stand out from other parts of the room. 
This mantle design color theme is picking up on the red colors that took us through Christmas and now through Valentine's Day. I'll give you some close up pictures this weekend of the individual pieces that I'm using. Here are three different versions :
Version One Mantle: Basic with a RED color theme.
Version Two Mantle: Red with a Winter theme.
Version Three Mantle: Sea Blues and Butter Yellow Spring theme.
TREASURES: Treasures are things that you collect because they mean something special to you. Why not show them off on your Mantle? Enough said.
STYLE: Everyone is drawn to a specific type of design style. Whether you love Shabby Chic, French Country, Modern or Eclectic; (to just name a few) each of these different styles also looks better with the way you lay them out. Symmetrical or Asymmetrical. Minimal or Complicated Layers. 
Now there a couple of considerations that could pose a dilemma. One is how high off the ground your mantle sits and how much room you have above the Mantel until you hit the ceiling. Also how wide your mantle is from the wall? Both of these were two huge issues for me as the space between the shelf and the ceiling is not very wide. I chose a large narrow rectangular Watercolor painting to hang above it. Then, because my shelf area is not very wide, it limits how much layering I can do. It's not possible to put many of my lovely treasures up on the mantle as it won't hold them, it's too narrow.
Just make a choice and start to play around with different items that you want to use until you get it to look right. You'll know when you are done. It will just feel right to you.
My last piece of advice to you is that rules are nice, to help you to follow, but they are also made to be broken. Don't be afraid to try something totally different!

My next post will detail some of the different treasures I used in the pieces above.
Until next time- Pam

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Pam ♥