Ah, the post-holiday clean up. The tree is gone, and you’ve packed away all the decorations. Now you’re looking at a bare mantel and it seems just a little sparse and lonely without all the garland, twinkling lights and stockings. After the glory that is Christmas, what’s a mantel to do to keep from being ho-hum?
The hearth is the heart of the home, and the mantel is an ideal showcase for favorite things, rotating displays, or bold artwork. If going back to the same-ole, same-ole after the holidays feels a little stale, take the opportunity to get a fresh start for the new year.
Embrace symmetry – this is ideal in traditionally-decorated spaces. Flank your fireplace with matching vases and large sprays of flowers, or a pair of matched wall sconces framing a large mirror. The trick is to mirror the sides as closely as possible. Using a single, bold centerpiece is optional.
Go green – well, green inspired. Frame up some pretty botanical prints and display them on your mantel. You can lean them up against the wall, or hang the set in an attractive pattern. Go ahead and think outside the box with strong colors, which backgrounds and matte black frames. Add a couple of potted plants to complete the look.
Circular sensation – a nice balance to the squareness of a fireplace and mantel, use circles, rounds and soft curves. Hang a large, round mirror, and accent with curved vases and circular designs. A particularly effective trick in a modern space.
Go lean – a minimalist approach can work wonders. Group a cluster of like-colored pottery or one large vase off to one side. The asymmetrical visual weight makes the minimalist approach work in modern settings.
Seasonal inspiration – keep it fresh by rotating different elements on a regular basis. Put out fresh flowers, change up the artwork, use a rotating selection of family portraits, or display travel mementos.
Plate it up – put those beautiful dishes on display. It doesn’t matter if they match, or are charmingly mixed. Use plate stands or easels to arrange a selection on the mantel and hang a large piece of art behind them.
Get regional – a large, rustic barn door, a twisted branch from nature, clear vases filled with seashells. Use location-specific accessories to set the tone and make a statement.
Go ahead and brag – show off your hobby or occupation. This is possibly the best way to display all those riding trophies you still have, or the collection of antique letter presses you got when you graduated with a journalism degree.
Light it up – group candles for a romantic look. Keep it sleek and simple with clean lines and only a few candles, or embrace your eclectic streak with varied heights and styles for uniquely-you look.