EDIT: WOW, sorry about all that code where pictures were supposed to be. Darn you, Blogger!
Seriously, how do you decorate a mantel?! I was so freakin' excited when we bought this house and it had a big, old, fireplace and a super-sized mantel for me to decorate. Then, I figured out that I was actually going to have to decorate it. And that's when I figured out that I absolutely cannot put together a decent looking mantel to save my life. To add to my misery, one of my husband's biggest decorating pet peeves happens when I "over stuff" the mantel. Our mantel is pretty massive, so it's a challenge to keep it spare enough to keep him happy without making it look bare. And, I am also the least adept person at decorating a pretty mantel. Here's what I started with:
Then, I layered in an old mirror that my Dad salvaged from a farmhouse that was scheduled to be torn down. He had it framed and gave it to us at our wedding. Then, an Italian swordsman that my mom picked up cheap at a garage sale. Moved the candles and subtracted the rattan basket.
And hated it. And got accused of "over stuffing." So now it's bare. And there is crap all over my living and dining room that I dug out of basement storage in a desperate bid to get this thing decorated. And I still hate my mantel.
After wasting a good three hours hoping that something might possibly look good up there, I gave up and just searched for mantel eye candy. Here you go:
I love how spare this one is:
Great eclectic mantle:
Kind of arty:
Simple and Tasteful:
Love how this one is layered: