Thursday, January 10, 2013

Simple Winter Mantel

After the {relative} opulence of my autumn and Christmas mantels, I have been craving something a bit simpler. I wanted less stuff, less fuss, while still maintaining a big impact. 
Easier said than done!

I have a love/hate thing going on with my mantels, in that I love to decorate them, but struggle to get them to look just right. If only there was some formula I could follow to achieve the perfect mix of mantel elements... but where does one turn with such an impossible request? 
Pinterest, of course!

If you click through to the original article, there is a great discussion about how to decorate a mantel.
Basically, you want to create a visual triangle using a large, center focal point, flanked by layered elements that add weight and movement.

I scoured the house and came up with a hodge-podge of things I thought might work. I focused not only on finding objects similar to those shown in the diagram, but things that worked together color-wise as well.  I smuggled the cardinal out of Caitlin's room {she hasn't noticed it yet!}, the wooden boxes from Hunter's room {they're still full of little-boy treasures}, and the photo of the kids from my bedside table. And there's now a gap in my front-hall gallery wall where I swiped the "home sweet home" picture... 
Nothing is safe from my mantel scavenging.
The red leaf-y things are from Michael's and they were the only thing I had to purchase for this project. 

I thought the pops of red gave it a Valentine feel without being too over-the-top-holiday. I'm saving that for the kitchen mantel! 

I think, for now, this is a winner. It feels like a more purposeful arrangement, rather than my usual thrown-together affair. And it will be easy to change out some of the elements for a more spring-y feel down the road.

How do you arrange a mantel or vignette? Do follow the rules and decorate by formula, or wing it and fly by the seat of your pants?

I'm linking up here:
My Romantic Home
French Country Cottage


  1. It's beautiful. I like the giant clock and the pops of red. I have a TV sitting on my mantel. I didn't want that, but it's really the only place in the room to put it. We have a small living room. In all actuality, it probably saves me from decorating headaches. I never really knew what to do with it anyway.


    1. I have the TV mantel thing going on downstairs in the family room and, I must say, I never once have fussed over that mantel! ;)

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks, Kate! I like it too. I think I'll keep it like this for a while... stay tuned, though. I've been known to change my mind!

  3. Love the look and I have a thing for clocks.

  4. I have a hard time decorating after Christmas - but I LOVE your mantle!! I love your clock!


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