Decorating: Ways To Decorate Your Mantle

Try one of these simple and elegant ideas to make your mantle the decorative focal point of your living room.

In most homes, the fireplace is the focal point of the main living area. Thus, its mantle is a vital decorative space for the entire house since most guests will be looking right at it when they walk into the room. Just look in any home decorating magazine and you can get all kinds of tips for decorating your mantle. Or for the trendiest mantle decorating ideas, visit the model homes of new subdivisions.

Some of the most elegant mantles I have seen have been the simplest. Many people choose to hang a piece of art centered over their mantle. Instead, why not simply place it on your mantle and lean it up against the wall? You will want to choose a piece of art that is large enough so that it doesn't get overwhelmed by the fireplace, but not so large that it appears enormous over the mantle. Use your own gut judgment on this one. Depending on the subject of the artwork, place a related item on either side of the frame to create some symmetry. For example, if the art features a horse, place two identical ceramic or metal horses on either side to carry the theme of the art outside of the picture.

Why not search within your creative spirit and look at your mantle as a small narrow stage that will represent your family's personality and lifestyle. Perhaps you have an outdoorsy family that loves to fish and sail. Maybe you can put a small boat replica on the mantle along with some other ocean-inspired artifacts like a large clear bowl of seashells that you and your family have collected. If your family loves to travel, turn your mantle into a photograph gallery, of sorts. Pick one favorite picture from each of your trips and frame them in different sized and different styled frames. Working within a rectangular perimeter above your mantle, hang up these favorite travel pictures. On the mantle itself, scatter your different travel souvenirs. One thing to keep in mind when placing items on the mantle is the size of the item. You do not want to put small items on the mantle because they are not large enough to draw the eye to them and they are overwhelmed by the mantle itself. Make sure the items you place on there are large enough to carry their own weight, so to speak.

If your living room is small, make it appear larger by hanging a large framed mirror over the mantle. Again, you can simply place it on the mantle and lean it up against the wall if you make sure that it is steady. Place some white medium sized pillar candles directly in front of the mirror in a row that spans the length of the mirror that will give a beautiful reflective effect when you light them. Place two identical vases on either side of the mirror which hold flowers or leaves that fan out far enough to just reflect in the mirror.

Whatever your style, your mantle can reflect you and your family. Be creative and have fun. Your mantle can serve as your creative canvas, so to speak, as you can change it year-round to reflect the different holidays and times of year.

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