Mantel help, please???

jackson2348August 13, 2014

So now we've come to the part of decorating in the new house that I'm terrible at- accessorizing, fluffing, zushing, etc. I have no idea how! I'm starting with the mantel, because it's the smallest area and therefore the least scary. We'll move on to the bookshelves later.

So WWHDDFD? For an idea of scale, the mantel is 7' long and 5'4" high. Ceiling is 12'. I'm going to hang the painting, I'm thinking the bottom should be about 6" off the mantel. Correct? Then add.....what? Symmetrical or no? Bookshelves aren't. What accessories should I be looking for? Height? Size? Color? I'm lost! Please help me!!!

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I think the painting is fine where it is. If you raise it up at all it will be obstructed by the chandelier.

Making your mantel decoration symetrical and even-height is a more traditional route. Look up "garnitures" for inspiration.

Making your mantel asymetrtical and all different heights in less traditional but still beautiful. The key is to have variying textures and levels of 'formality' in your decortions.

This is from In With the Old ( a great book!!):

"[Tablescapes] A collection should be grouped en masse. Take a small collection of object that you have, like sterling silver powder compacts, and place them on a table. Because compacts lie practically flat against the table's surface, you will need to create some depth to your tablescape by introducing a lamp, an obelisk or two, or a porcelain [decorative pot] all of which are good choicef or adding height and dimensions to this arrangement. Think about the finish of your compacts. Their polished shine needs to be balanced by something textural which could be a coarse linen tablecloth or a piece of rough-cut marble. Because sterling silver can look a little fancy, place something in the mix that has an unassuming charm, like a small vase of wildflowers or perhaps a chipped piece of antique Delftware. And there you have it. A tablescape in which the table's whole is truly greater than the sum of its parts."

May advise would be to start with things you already have and go from there.

Here is a link that might be useful: A bridge unites a tablescape and wall decor

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 10:09PM
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And another great link:

Here is a link that might be useful: Arranging Your Decorative Accessories

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 10:10PM
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Jackson That's a beautiful room! Don't hang the artwork. It looks cool just sitting there. I would do something asymmetrical because the beams on the ceiling don't line up evenly. Something taller to the right side seems a bit more pleasing to me. I like that urn on top of the bookcase for the left side. If you just push the painting over to the right and add the urn to the left with a few books with cool bookends...or maybe the urn on top of some stacked books.
Do you have personal items you currently own, that you love? Start there. No need to rush out buying accessories.
I love that rug BTW

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 10:33AM
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I have no ideas, because I stink at these things, too. But I did want to say that you have a very pretty room :)

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 10:43AM
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I'm not sure I would add anything to the mantel area other than the picture as you will have lots of pattern and interest from the bookshelves on that wall. I would style the bookshelves first, then see if accessories are needed for the mantel.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 10:51AM
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Love your room! Personally I don't like setting pictures instead of hanging them as it always looks to me like a work in progress. I think you do need something on either side of the mantel. Also can you tell me where you got the pillows on your couch? (the ones with the flowers). They are exactly what I've been looking for.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 11:32AM
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Gorgeous room! I like the painting leaning, just as it is now. I love the color and simplicity. (And agree I would wait to do anything more until filling out your bookcases.) Sometimes I think mantel decor looks too contrived, but one leaning painting does not. Care to post additional views of the room?

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 12:00PM
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OP, I love your room! I would definitely hang the art as you envisioned. You'll be able to see it while seated just fine. The little bit of space on either side of it does need something, to my eye. On my mantel, I have a boxwood topiary on either side. Since you have green as an accent color, I can see that coordinating well for you, too. I'm linking to the first photo I found of something similar, but there is a member on here (nini804) who has a beautiful example:

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 12:08PM
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Thank y'all for all the kind words about our space...I've poured my heart into building it! Selcier, thank you for the links as well, I like the simplicity of his explanations.

I like the idea of a topiary. Do y'all think I could do one or would it need 2? I've only seen 2. And I adore Nini's house too!

I think in this instance the painting has to hang; is 6" above the mantel too high? Should I shoot for 3-4"?

I have a few accessories that I love, and lots of filler stuff. The urn up top is a favorite, but it's huge- it's sitting about 8" down in a hole. The carpenters have to get a top put on the bookcases so I can display up top.

I think I'll get the painting hung, then start playing around with what I have. I'll post back with progress pics and ask for more help.

As for additional pics, we are absolutely not quite ready for prime time here. I'll post a long view, that shows the French doors and windows. Just ignore all the boxes and stuff on every available horizontal surface.

We did manage to get the drapes hung without anyone being injured. The back rod is 18'6" long.

Louislinus, I had them made. We used Schumacher's HotHouse Flowers fabric. I had my seamstress center a different flower on each pillow. I'm sure if you search hothouse flowers on etsy you'll find some, it's a popular fabric.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 12:59PM
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Some input on the painting: I like it leaning. However, if you want to hang it, I would start at the lowest point (I'd start with 4 inches above mantle) and work up from there--so any mishap nail holes won't show (common sense--but I learned the hard way. ;-)

I would avoid having it hang evenly between the bottom of the beam, and the top of the mantle. Let it sit lower.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 2:20PM
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Def hang the painting, and I would do 6" above the mantel. Leaning stuff is a look too many people use without a reason to do so, IMO.

Love how the pillows use all the colors in the room, as does the rug! Can't wait to see more photos when you've unpacked :-)

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 2:55PM
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Err on the side of too low I say. I just did the mantel at my new house and hung the mirror too high (6"), but I am not doing it again! So a little too high it stays.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 6:06PM
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