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How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

Posted by oakleyok (My Page) on
Thu, Nov 5, 09 at 12:07

Let's try this again. :)

Anything I add to this mantel I'll need to buy. I'm completely out of accessories since we added the room. And I don't want to spend big bucks.

Don't you think it needs some bold color?

The wreath is obviously too small, so if I keep the wreath stand there (which I kind of like), I'll need to get a bigger wreath.

The clock needs to stay.

WHAT I DON'T WANT:

1) Mirror
2) Painting/picture/ or a tapestry (we plan to put a tapestry above the TV)

My accent colors besides the dark wood floor and furniture, white beadboard throughout, the upholstery (sp) is maroon w/light gold (barely) and forrest green. I'm open to introduce more accent colors but what? Gold would get washed out, wouldn't it?

Anyone here have a stone fireplace similar to mine in color that you can show me how you decorated the mantel?

What colors would "Pop" on the mantel?

We are also going to get a larger hearth rug than the one we have, but I want the deep red in it too.

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Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

What about a larger wreath. Actually, a few of them that you could change out seasonally.

Add some chunky candlesticks and you'd be all done.

That beautiful fireplace doesn't need a lot of accessories.


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

An oil painting! That would be my choice.


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

I love your colors and I think you already have your pop. Could you tuck your wreath between your flower pots resting on the mantel then hang something (I don't know what) on the wall above the wreath? If your goal was to create a warm, inviting and comfortabe space, you have reached your goal. Patti


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

I think a larger wreath would be the trick. Everything just looks puny up there because the FP is so big.

Instead of candlesticks, what about either one or two buffet style lamps? We have an "eye-ball" light which shines on the mantel, but we never use it, and I've been wanting some good ambience lighting up there.

Ugh, wreaths are SO expensive! But I'll have to cave I think. My dh has no idea what I paid for the wreath already there. lol


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

Hmmmm, for one thing, I think your mantel/fireplace is somewhat rustic looking and some of your accessories are a bit more dainty (?) or feminine (?) for it.

With the black firescreen, I think you need something black on the mantel also. I would do chunky black candlesticks. Books are also good on a mantel, lay some flat and lean some. I would remove all of the pieces there now except the clock and add some larger, chunkier pieces, while incorporating something black in to the mixture. If you wanted to hang something, then a black metal piece might work.

tina


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

I agree with Tina...larger accessories & a touch of black.


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

OK....gonna through some ideas out for ya. First off, I love your fireplace! A thought I had was to make your display ledge a bit chuckier by taking a board and some decorative moulding and creating an 'overlay'. Then, you could either paint if black (to match your screen) or you could even finish the 3 sides of it in beadboard to match the rest of your room.

You mentioned the clock had to stay. Does that particlar clock need to stay or do you simply want something in the room for time? I'd be tempted to put up an oversized wall clock (see link below)

Another idea for doing your mantle would be to ultimately, follow the lines of the ceiling above.

Here is a link that might be useful: wall clock


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

A large picture?

A collection of candles (at least I think these are candles)?

A headless man?


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

Because of the sloping ceiling, I'd try propping a large rectangular piece (either a mirror, print, or painting) on the left side of the mantel, oriented in the "portrait" direction. Then I'd hunt for another painting/print to prop in front of that on the right side, oriented in the "landscape" direction. Depending on the dimensions, a square shape might work too. Your clock could then take its rightful spot smack in the middle. Depending on the prints, those pretty flowers in pots could stay on either side, or you could do some candle sticks, a vase, whatever. Pretty stone!!


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

Oakley, Here's what I'm wondering. The fireplace is so organic & sort of speaks for itself. I wonder how some sort of "beefy" black candleholders with cream or one of your other accent colors for candles placed on the left (tall) side of your mantle would look. Then put the clock on the right. What about a plant that is organic & sort of hangs over the mantle a little, or maybe some long lucky bamboo,

The wreath is beautiful, but for some reason, it feels too fragile for the stone.

Just ideas, you know!


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

I like the idea of adding something chunky and black up there. They make some nice decorative ironwork I can set on the mantel to use as a back drop. Good idea!

Again, no paintings/picturs. I forgot to add, no large clocks either. While I like them on other's mantels, I want something different.

My dh would divorce me if I were to build something onto HIS mantel. LOL. The FP is his baby, he designed it, and hovered while they laid it stone by stone. :)

The rock on the mantel and hearth is a different kind from the FP itself. Quartzite?


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

Agree that what you have there right now is too dainty as somebody mentioned.


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

my 02 worth :) what about simply moving the clock to the middle between the 2 orange pots, leave the wreath where it is, remove the photo frame and lantern, replacing them with a set of 2 candlesticks on each end (one large chunky black and one shorter next to it, with candles the color of the red/burgandy in your hearth rug?

It also seems that it's the actual mantle that does not stand out, so if there was some way to beef it up?

these may not be your style at all, but I was thinking along the lines of the staggered height..candlesticks (from target the first set of 3) on the "tall" side of the FP and maybe a coordinating pottery piece on the right side by itself?
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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

I would like to suggest not trying to "balance" the fireplace--maybe a giant wreath made out of branches on the left side, where the ceiling is high; maybe place the clock on some books (without their dustjackets) that are stacked; and also like everybody else says, some chunky black stuff. What about a decorative rocking horse? (wish I had a picture of what I'm thinking--think folk art). Look for accessories from around your house that would work, just think "oversize", because your fireplace is big. It is beautiful.


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

rj, those are beautiful candlesticks! I'll check online after Christmas to see if I can get some on sale.

I like the idea of putting the clock on some books, we have plenty of those.

My grandfather had a clock like mine, they called it a "Grandmother's Clock", and I've wanted one since I was a little girl. It chimes too, but I turned it off. lol.

In person, the mantel doesn't blend in, it's very noticeable because of the size.

Would the wreath or the flowers look good along with the larger black accessories?

Since I have a new white Christmas tree, I bought a white wreath for the mantel, and will use a red Poinsettia garland to go on top. Can't wait!


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

I like your stone fireplace but I think it needs a thicker mantel, even in wood. The smaller stone looks rather lost in it. JMO


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

I would suggest going to Joanne's and buying a large bare grapevine wreath and then you can adorn it yourself. Very cost effective.

dody


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

I think a larger "twig" wreath would look nice given the rustic nature of the stone. Add a couple of chunky candlesticks, some books and you're set.


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

I would get a big black long mirror and get rid of all the small ofjects. One big piece in this case is better than a bunch of little things. And it will pop IMO.

.....Jane


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

Oakley,

I hope you aren't offended in any way by this proposal.
I can see that under the mantle, there are wooden(?) pieces supporting it, that blend into the stone and aren't very visible from the front, at least in pictures.

I wonder if there is a way to 'beef up' the horizontal part of the mantle, perhaps by adding some molding to the front? Notice how the first two pics that kiko posted have more heft to the mantle itself? I think that would go a long way toward making it look more in scale to the stone. Perhaps if it was stained a bit darker, it would stand out a bit more, too.


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

my3dogs, the pieces supporting the mantel are stone. That's why I said earlier the mantel itself kind of blends in on the pictures, but in real life, it doesn't.

I'm sold on the idea of black pieces..I'll be searching! Thanks for all your help everyone. Not sure why I didn't think of black! lol


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

At first glance my first choice would be a chunkier mantle that is in scale with the stone, something like I posted below. Perhaps even a reclaimed piece of barn wood. Then I would begin to decorate.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

I understand that you said that you "can't touch" the mantle, but I agree with the other posters who said the mantle is too small and not substantial enough to carry the fireplace. I know your DH worked very hard on it, but unfortunately he missed the mark with the mantle, which happens to many mantles that I've seen, even in fireplaces that were designed by "experts". That's the crux of the problem. Since you "can't" add to it by either adding to the existing stone or adding a wooden surround or ledge, how about just leaving the mantle bare so it blends into the background stone instead of drawing attention to it? Take everything off the mantle and find another place for your lovely clock ;o) The only thing I would do would be to put up a large natural material wreath (made of twig, perhaps), very simple and plain to go along with the rustic look of the fireplace. The only thing you would have there would be the fireplace and the wreath. It would basically fool the eye into seeing just a clean wall of stone and a simple wreath.


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

I like the suggestions of a larger wreath as well. A large eucalytus (sp) wreath with some black carriage laterns with candles in them would be pretty.


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

I agree with the other posters, you need less items on the mantel but bigger in size. I too have a stone fireplace, I have attached a photo for you, but this one of those times when the picture doesnt do it justice, it looks better irl. I am not 100% sure either if I will add anything more to mine but I think less is more, you dont want to take away from your beautiful stone.

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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

The mantle needs to be beefed up as others have suggested.
The stone is beautiful, but the overall looks of the FP,
is compromised by the weak mantle. You can make a nice mantle that is hollow inside and slips over the existing mantle.
My hubby built our FP with a friend and labored over each
stone as well (very heavy stones) so I know how your hubby feels...I didn't want a mantle, so we never had a mantle, until just a couple of years ago, when I dreamed up a mantle... Hubby built a mantle from black walnut. It's about 3" thick or so and it sure made our fireplace pop...
If you consider making a wood mantle -- by slipping it over the existing
mantle, you can always slip it off if you don't like it, but I am sure you'll love it.
Stone is masculine, I love the masculine aura in a room mixed with feminine touches...Show hubby this thread.

Here is a pic from underneith that I took for my woodworking forum to show how he scribed the mantle to the stone. For installation he installed brackets (metal angle brackets)
and the scribed mantle slips over the brackets.
It's also about 9" deep, which is good for showing off stuff. :) which I change frequently :)


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RE:more How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

I found a recent front view. I know I have a lot of stuff but that's just me I just can't help it)...Since taking this photo,I moved the saying "There's No Place Like Home" to above my doorway into the family room.


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

The mantel itself is too small and blends into the background of the facing. Everything you put on it will just float in the air.

Can you face it with a dark wood to make it look bigger?


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

joann, that is a nice mantle. I like your stuff.


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

Thanks readerlearner, It's always nice to hear, since I'm so over-stuffed. Sometimes I go around and un-stuff, but it always finds it way back. donno how that happens!

Oakey, is that a hallway to the right, or does the FP butt
up against the wall?


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

Those large wood mantels are gorgeous! Oakley, ask someone to PS one on yours. Might help to see it in a different light.


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

I like the fireplace and mantle as they are I think they are very beautiful. I do think that a much larger wreath and some chunky "somethings" will do the trick!


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

Thanks Natal! Love your all's mantels, but the wood would make it a bit too modern, IMO.

Again, IRL, the mantel is larger than it appears. This morning I stood in front of it and looked really hard, and it doesn't blend in the way it does in the pictures. It's just something you'd have to see in person.

The mantel support has three pieces of staggered stone under each side. The mantel itself is almost 3 inches thick, which looks good.

Also, what you can't tell from the pictures is the mantel is the same material as the hearth, quartzite. It has several colors in it which sparkles and has gold sparkles which I love. But it doesn't show up in the pictures.

Bigger wreath (so I can have flowers, lol) and tall, black something or other! :)


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

How about a different direction since you aren't considering changing the mantel, change the wall color.... It seems to blend right into the mantel and be a little blah but that could just be the picture. A darker, richer color on the walls would make the stone pop a lot more than just blend into the wall. Have you thought of that? With the sloped ceiling and the very little mantel shelf being so high, you don't have a lot of room up there. Then I like the idea of some darker chunkier candle sticks and such to beef it up.


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

Is that a Rumford style fireplace? Looks like it and if so that's a great choice and the stone work is magnificent.

First of all IMO "pop" is greatly overrated in decor. I'd be more concerned with getting the scale right. This is a huge FP and needs large scale accessories and not too many. The first thing I thot of was pewter candlesticks altho not sure how large they come. I might do several silver ones for holiday decorating as I like silver. Otherwise black is nice but I'd try to get cast iron, not resin. But that's just me. A large painting or print would work. Don't try for symmetrical - with the sloping ceiling asymmetrical will work better.

Have fun with this, and if budget is challenged have a look at thrift stores, etc. Clear it off and put 3 of the largest things you own there for now.


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another idea RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

I had a couple of other thoughts too just to add.

1. Add larger accessories on the hearth to beef up the hearth and leave the top plain and monochromatic.
accessories below

2. Make all the accessories on the shelf monochramtic like this picture and avoid the contrast which draws the eye to the obvious like the colored accessories or black and the black screen. Take all that away and find accesories that blend but have varying heights.... Like this one:
See how the furniture and rugs, and wall color (very calmly) add the contrast in textures and colors but the accessories and the whole fireplace are nuetral...This lets the fireplace be the center piece and the focal point or the stone and not the accesories or anything else.

monochromatic fireplace

Again if you aren't going to beef up the mantel like the other posters showed you then I would let it blend in and deflect attention away from it and onto the pretty stone...

Just my thoughts...


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another RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

Here's another picture. I agree with the other poster that said making it "pop" is not necessary here with the very organic look. Notice the very neutral accessories that blend in with the stone but, add depth to the wall. Your stone is beautiful and so organic, that any contrasting colors will compete with it so I take back the black accessories suggestion too. Now that i am looking at some other stone fireplaces.... I do think that making the wall color another color would help too...

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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

You don't need anything black as I see plenty of colonial type things including pictures on your wall. Did you ever think of moving things around so that objects are not lined up (thinking wall pictures now). Your mantel might look nice with nothing on it. My choice would be a large picture picking up the colors in the stone. Your focal point isn't the mantel but the black objects beneath it.


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

I very much agree with Mrs Marv....sorry to say the mantle is too narrow, too high and too small. Since there is nothing you can do....your best bet is to make it go away...ignore it, put your clock somewhere else and then get a very rustic twig or grapevine or even reed wreath....;BIG! So big that it fills the whole space, touches the ceiling and the mantle.
Then to visually bring that mantle down and more in proportion with the fire box and the rest of the stone work, get "something"...a black iron something or a rusty look iron something that you could hang under the mantle so that it doesn't look so high and out of proportion.
And you need some thing tall and visually heavy on the hearth to the left of the fire box.
It's a great rustic stone fire wall....but you need to be aware of the weight and scale of it and decorate accordingly...weighty stuff....designed to visually bring the mantle down and widen it.
Linda c


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

Luckygal, yes, this is a Rumford. I think there are only 3 or 4 in our state. And the man to the right of the FP is Count Rumford himself, a gift from me to dh for his birthday. He loves it!

I'm quite shocked that you all are suggesting I re-paint my newly painted walls, and even redo/re-build my mantel, when I only asked how to accessorize it make it look nicer on top.

As I said many times above, in real life the mantel is NOT out of proportion, it's quite large.

And this is a cooking FP..we lost power for three weeks during an ice storm...so we don't want to hit our head on the mantel when we're working there. My husband stands there quite a bit when making a fire, and having a lower mantel would not be good.

In person, this fireplace is massive, hence the high mantel. To be honest, I never thought it was out of proportion or too small. This is a first.

I do wish I could take a better picture of it though where you can see it IS in good proportion to the FP.

The paint looks good because the room has all white beadboard, and a built in white book nook, and an old rustic beam going across the ceiling, dark hickory floors, Persian rug in the back of the room. Kind of an "Old World" feel to it. Very cozy which is what I like in a LR. A place to put my feet up!

All I wanted was advice on how to decorate the mantel..instead I got replies that would cost me a couple of thousand bucks...and my marriage! lol


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Rumford

To give you all an idea of how the cooking Rumford's look, click on the link below, then click on the individual pictures under "Cooking Fireplaces." Most of the mantels are very high. Some have thin pieces of wood and very narrow mantels. One of them looks similar to our's. The lady in the picture looks like she could use some help with mantel decorating also. lol.

Here is a link that might be useful: Rumford


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

"All I wanted was advice on how to decorate the mantel..instead I got replies that would cost me a couple of thousand bucks...and my marriage"

Here are a smattering of suggestions you received, which are in keeping with your request.

"What about a larger wreath. Actually, a few of them that you could change out seasonally.
Add some chunky candlesticks and you'd be all done.
That beautiful fireplace doesn't need a lot of accessories."

"Oakley, Here's what I'm wondering. The fireplace is so organic & sort of speaks for itself. I wonder how some sort of "beefy" black candleholders with cream or one of your other accent colors for candles placed on the left (tall) side of your mantle would look. Then put the clock on the right. What about a plant that is organic & sort of hangs over the mantle a little, or maybe some long lucky bamboo."

"I like the fireplace and mantle as they are I think they are very beautiful. I do think that a much larger wreath and some chunky "somethings" will do the trick!"

"The only thing I would do would be to put up a large natural material wreath (made of twig, perhaps), very simple and plain to go along with the rustic look of the fireplace. The only thing you would have there would be the fireplace and the wreath. It would basically fool the eye into seeing just a clean wall of stone and a simple wreath."

I don't quite understand how you equate most of the suggestions offered with a large chunk of change. Granted, you did receive suggestions that maybe you were not prepared to hear, but that's usually the case when querying people for their opinions. I still believe that in the case of your FP, less is more.


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

Oakley, you should know by now that when you put a picture here you are going to receive all sorts of unsolicited advice. ;-)

I'm glad you posted the Rumsford cooking stove link. It pointed out something that didn't register at first. Your fireplace screen. It doesn't go with the idea. Could you get rid of that (teach children not to go near the fire) and everything on and above your mantel except the clock and take another pic. I think you need very simple here. Perhaps you'll want to add a few things but I think it will become easier once the canvas is clear.


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Mantel

Had you read any of my replies, you'd see I did acknowledge the suggestions, thanked everyone, and even agreed to some of them, and I would be searching for things after Christmas. Which I'm going to do. I got some great advice here, and I'm very thankful.

The problem is some people don't read the whole topic, they skim over it, and they don't read the follow-ups by the OP. This is what causes dust-ups. I'm not the only one who complains about this. Suggesting a re-model to accessorize someone's mantel is kind of insulting.

If someone were to ask me how to decorate their already existing mantel, never in a million years would I tell them to replace the mantel and repaint the room simply because *I* didn't like how it looked sans accessories.

Although I should be used to it by now. ;)


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FP screen

LOL, roses. Yeah, I know. No matter what topic I do asking for SPECIFIC advice, all I get is criticism on something I didn't ask for or want. I've known many here to leave the board because of this same thing. Sad, but true.

Oh, we definitely need the screen, we also had it custom made. The FP makes a huge fire, and the crackling and pops would not be safe. I'd be afraid to leave the room!

I'm sure in the pictures people removed their screens so the picture would capture the inside of the FP, which is what a Rumford is. It's how it's built on the inside on up through the chimney. With the screen you can't see the mechanisms of it.


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

To all:
Gardenweb forums have IMO a huge flaw. Actually they have many flaws but this is just about one of them. You can't respond to one particular post. So I could take Oakley's reply as a reply to me and get all insulted but I don't think it was a reply to me. But maybe it was. Who knows because you can't reply to a particular post. I wish Gardenweb would update this site. Lobbying would be helpful if you agree. Not that I think it will do any good. The place has been the same since I first visited in 2000.

Okay now go back to your regularly scheduled decor advice. ;-)


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

No matter what topic I do asking for SPECIFIC advice, all I get is criticism on something I didn't ask for or want. I've known many here to leave the board because of this same thing. Sad, but true.

Oakley, did you see JohnMari's response to a similar comment you made on the "Forum Not as Active" thread? You're complaining about something that's as natural as the air we breathe. Here it is:

"I do get my feelings hurt when I do a topic and the replies have nothing to do with what I ask."

I'm sure you'll probably take this as "criticism", but you do need to become better acquainted with the concept of "topic drift". Side discussions do occur, especially in long threads, when person A finds something in a post by person B that s/he wants to address even though it isn't what the OP has asked, but it doesn't quite merit starting an entire new thread. And sometimes the whole thread does drift off into an unexpected direction and take on a life of its own... when that happens you either put on the big girl panties and go with it (because frequently when this happens it can be a LOT of fun) or you shrug and abandon the thread as a lost cause, but it's gotta sink in better that it is NOT about YOU personally when every single post in a thread you start isn't about you and your question from beginning to end. It's just the way forums work. ~~Johnmari


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

I just wanted to validate your feelings about the advice you were given from some of the posters. I really don't believe the intent was to insult you but I too was wondering when I read the posts why people were going where they were with their advice when in the beginning you were clear about what you wanted and didn't want and even said you didn't want to spend big $'s.

That said, I think you did get some useful advice. Take what you can use and ignor the rest. And have fun decorating for Christmas. A white tree and wreath are going to be stunning. Patti


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

I think that sometimes we don't know "what we don't know", which is why I love ALL advice and opinions. Maybe we'll get a suggestion that we would have never have thought of, or didn't ask directly, but it might solve the problem or issue we were dealing with. Maybe we could incorporate it later on down the road if budget or time is an issue.

I think we all want to learn and expand our horizons, and by offering up different ideas that's exactly what happens. I say "keep what you like", "discard what you don't", and be thankful that people take the time to respond.


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

Well said fillagirl.


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

Oakley, I personally think the fireplace is great AND the mantle is the right size! The fireplace is what it is. I am around the homebuilding business and have seen fireplaces built like this, along with the mantle size. They are, however, decorated in a more rustic style or contemporary. I know you are going for the more Old World look, and you have to work with what you've got. You can make it more Old World. I have done this in houses that even have a contemporary architecture, but the people want something more traditional.

I know you said you don't want a picture above the FP, but, a beautiful landscape picture, with muted reds, oranges, greens would love so good, and provide the POP you want. Especially, since you have the eyeball light in the ceiling to point to it. You could still put some chunky black candlesticks on one end, and then on the other end, I would put a real ivy plant, good-sized one, that hangs down, and RIGHT next to the ivy, tucked-in, some bookends with about 5 books in between. I wouldn't put anything in the middle of the mantle. Of course, at Christmas, something decorative in the middle!

A good picture makes all the difference in the world in a room. Most people go buy cheapies, that are mass-produced and it looks cheap. I have found pics that are oil-painted that look expensive, but aren't. If you look, you can find them. I was just at the Stockyards this week in OKC and found a couple in a craft booth type store. I also have pics that are pretty expensive, around $500-$800 and are timeless. But, I am just as happy with my bargains I find.


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

No Natal, I didn't see JM's reply. I'm not shocked at what she wrote, it's typical, but I do disagree. And the mob/clique mentality here is just getting better and better. ;)

I don't think you or she, and other's here quite understand what you're doing when a person ask for a simple suggestion, and the replies are basically saying tear down the room and start over! It's preposterous!

And you betcha it's about me personally when you tell me in MY topic to re-do expensive construction changes that I personally picked out, when it was never asked for. If it's about MY room, it's about me personally and my tastes. If you want to talk to another poster about your own rooms in my topic, feel free, it doesn't bother me.

This is such an enormous stretch from the original question, it boggles the mind that anyone would suggest such drastic and expensive changes, JUST to put items on a mantel! lol As if I'm going to run out and spend thousands on a new mantel and paint, just to please you all. Nope. I'm perfectly happy with my mantel, FP, and paint. I merely wanted some ideas how to decorate it on top so it would "pop."

And JM, I do have on my "big girl panties", which is why I have the courage to stand up to people like you and others. Very few here are afraid to disagree. ;)

I expect someone to come in here and tell me to get a wrecking ball and knock down my room just so I can decorate the mantel properly! lol.

None of my diatribe is directed to any of you who gave me the advice I was seeking.


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Rustic

Thanks Olliesmom. I like Rustic too, I guess the room is a combination of both?

The reason I don't want a painting or picture is because I have so many in the room already.

I do like the ivy suggestion though. I have one I might put up there, and when it starts hanging it will really look nice!

Thanks!


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

I do have to say I would be miffed too, if someone told me to re-do a mantle, if all I asked for was how to decorate it.

I did want to add to my post, that, if you are wanting a wreath, I would put a twig one up also, but, do you have room for one on the wall next to the FP (not the wall with all your pictures already). I couldn't tell from the pic how much space you had there. If you had room there, that is where I would put a wreath.


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

Ok, I get it, NO PICTURE! LOL In that case:

1. Hang a thick good-sized twig wreath in the middle of the mantle.

2. Chunky black candlesticks at one end. Put in fat red candles on them for some POP.

3. Good-sized real ivy plant on the other, with the small picture you have tucked in right next to it.

4. Your mantle clock right smack-dab in the middle! I don't know how I missed that before. I love clocks those kind of clocks on a mantle!


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

Oakleyok this is a cooking fireplace? That is so cool!! From your posts it sounds like this fireplace has really added some history and uniqueness to your home.

What about decorating with the purpose and history of the fireplace in mind? Maybe add things like the rustic vintage copper or cast iron baking or cooking items or old cookbooks mixed with your traditional items like the clock and maybe some short candles, dried grasses, or some small decorative ironwork. So people know it's not just a traditional fireplace.

I think a couple of interesting pieces would be ok and not make your room look like a kitchen. I have no idea where you might find some of the items or what it might cost.

This way the color of the stone can pop against the metal and cast iron items.


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

Hi Oakley.
I feel for you! Just keep repeating "Just the mantel decor folks, this is not a reno - and no paintings or mirrors please." :-)

I love Kiko's picture that has all the white candles lined up along the fireplace, though in real life I imagine it would be a dust magnet.

My first thought was that you should spray paint that wreath holder black to go with your other accessories, and get a larger wreath (though the one you have up is beautiful - just too small.)

I think that change, along with the massive candle holders, will be all you need.

Good luck!
Amy


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

Just want to throw this out "just in case". I have no idea of your DIY capabilities but since you said you wanted low cost I wanted to tell you how easy it is to make willow wreaths. We've cut willow growing by streams and I've made many wreaths of varying sizes with them. I've always just "woven" them 'round and 'round but you can wire them if you like. I've used freshly cut which works best but also soaked them in warm water to make them more pliable when I've left them for awhile.

Of course this depends on what's growing locally. We live in the back-woods so it's easy to find willow. I'm sure other twigs could be used as well. For a large wreath it would be best to start with long twigs but shorter ones can be woven in as well.


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

luckygal, I have two left hands. lol. I even have grapevines out back and I've tried to make wreaths out of them. It was hilarious!

Roobear, the bucket on the hearth which holds a lot of fire accessories is copper with fleur de lis (sp) on it, but the color doesn't show up well in the pictures. I do have some very old cookbooks that I could put up there, that's a great idea!

Postum, I think you're right about spray painting the wreath holder. I may just buy a new one in black and use the white one elsewhere, they're very inexpensive.

LOVE the red candles in black candle holder idea! Oh I can't wait until the after Christmas sales, especially on red candles. lol


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Wreath

Olliesmom, I meant to ask you about the twig wreath. Should it be plain or have some decoration on it, like a bow or ribbon? What about a plaid ribbon? I'm bound and determined to add checks to my living room even though it probably wouldn't match. lol

Gosh, I used to have a lot of twig wreaths during my crafty/country phase. I think I threw them all out because of the dust. :)


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

Oakley, you are letting this get to you much too much. This is a MESSAGE BOARD. I don't understand how you let it hurt your feelings. Granted, there are times people say things the wrong way but I don't see in this thread that anyone has done that to you. I realize you don't agree with all the suggestions, nor would I, but you asked and people are trying to help you out!

I don't see anything wrong with johnmari's response in the other thread. I re-read it earlier and most of her response was directed to everyone - even the big girl panties I believe. She took the time to try to explain things to you. I believe she was direct and didn't try to sugar coat things (which I would appreciate). I don't understand your response to her. Why would you think anyone is afraid to speak up to her? I've never gotten that feeling. Nor do I think people are afraid to disagree. For goodness sakes, how much disagreement have we seen on this one thread???!!!

I don't think people expect you to spend thousands. You could do a wooden mantel (overlay) without spending alot of money. I think it would look better, as do many here, but if it it not what YOU want, that is fine. I can understand you not wanting to paint after just painting, but I can also see what the poster meant by needing more of a contrast. That was just her thoughts - it's not mandatory that you follow anyone's suggestions LOL.

I honestly am trying to figure out why you post here when you think there is such a clique or group??? Don't take people's suggestions as criticism, I think most people are honestly trying to help you.

tina


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

Hi! can i ask where you got the wreath holder and how high it stands? i haven't seen those....
re: your mantle-- i also think that less is more with your fireplace...something as simple as the clock and candles (and maybe the ivy-not sure!) is all you need. if you go with a large wreath, i would probably suggest even less on the mantle.


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

I am mostly a lurker, so my 2 cents may be worth even less than that. I want to comment on/defend the posters who suggested changes not to your liking.
People generously offer suggestions because they want to help, not because they want to offend. The advice is free! Just ignore it if it doesn't suit you.
By taking offense at suggestions that you don't like, you run the risk of some forum members(with maybe excellent advice!) ignoring your future requests for advice for fear of insulting you.
You seem happy with some of the suggestions made--pick and choose to your liking--and your mantel will turn out the way you envisioned :)


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

Oakley, I mean this in all sincerity, isn't there an ignore function somewhere on GW? I don't know how to use it, but, you might give it a try.

Anyway, the twig wreath I was thinking about, they have at Hobby Lobby or Michaels, inexpensive. They are the big, thick, not thin ones, but if you got one that was pretty full-looking, that would do also. I wouldn't use a ribbon on it, just let it look natural, all by itself.

If you could find a red-checked hearth rug, that would look adorable!


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

...isn't there an ignore function somewhere on GW?

No, but there is on the Southern Living forums. You may be more comfortable there.


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

I think it's time for this thread to die, it's just getting deeper and deeper into territory where hard feelings are going to result...this is the example someone made above of how these threads can get completely derailed and everyone's feathers seem to get ruffled, first due to one thing, then from someone else's comments to another thing, and then yet another who comes back at the last person's comments, and all the while this ALL could have been avoided had suggestions been focused on what the OP asked in the first place.

My own experience with "criticism" was about some quaint "old" pictures I had that I wanted to use in my guest room, they (antique forum folks) went as far as to tell me I should sell them in a garage sale for $1, if I were lucky. some called them nicoteen stained trash and claimed that I was a troll...or something like that? wow, I really was taken aback from such a drastic response. All I asked for was advice on how to mend a tear in one corner of one of them...anyhoo, everyone jumped on and all kinds of things were said. Had the group stuck to the question at hand and left off their snooty "antique reviews and critiques about the poor quality of my horrid cheap knock off prints not to mention pointing out my "lack of culture and knowledge" well you all get the picture.

LET IT REST, oakley when you get the mantle all purdied up, shoot us some follow ups, but PLEASE dont ask for further advice on it ;) *JK*


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

I can definitely see a much larger chunky wreath, the vine covered ones maybe.
I would go for an organic, rustic look , no color pop at all, it will enhance the
stones. Just seeing the colors you have up now bothers me, too harsh and cutesy compared to the stone work.
Candle lanterns in black or brownish metal would look good also.

I tried searching for an example of a large wreath , couldn't find anything
but I've seen them before.


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colors of flowers

just to clarify, I meant the colors of the flowers on the mantle are jarring although they pop , I actually like the sameness of the wall color vs the stone, a neutral background for the textures.


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

I'm going to jump in for a minute in Oak's defense. The collective "we" here "talk" out of both sides of our mouths. On the one hand "we" collectively inform posters that if you want a specific question answered, "be specific and detailed about what you want/need". Then everyone will be clear about what you want and will only answer that specific question. No unsolicted advice will be given, feelings won't be hurt and everyone can play nice in the sandbox. On the other hand, "we" collectively inform everyone that this is a message board, threads will get derailed and go off-topic, posters will offer suggestions on things/items that were not asked because that's the nature of a message board so pretty much deal with it.

The reality is that "we" collectively give conflicting messages and when someone complains and essentially calls "us" collectively out on it, folk then get upset at the one pointing out the conflict. People have left this board because of unsolicted advice and the collective "we" have gotten upset because "they" left. "We" collectively promise to be better and "we" are for awhile and then "we" slip back into old habits.

"We" can not have it both ways. "We" have to pick a side and live with it and not keep going back and forth. "We" collectively as regular members have the power to shape the board the way "we" want. It will be one of two things, a) any and all advice will be given whether asked for or not, or b) only answer the question asked.

As you know a really popular poster left at one point because she purchased something, wanted to show it off, got a ton of unsolicted advice, spoke plainly about what she did and did not want, posters kept offering unsolicted advice and then like here got snippy when the OP called the collective "them" on the behavior.

Let me be clear, I think NO ONE here wants everyone to just ooh and ahh and get pats on the back so "we" can feel good. I think we all want honest feedback but I think it is incumbent on "all" of us to adhere to the question(s) at hand and if it is clear that the a poster is open to ALL advice whether related to the original question then fine. If a specific question is asked, then we should honor that. There is a thread active right now and just like Oak was very clear that she want all advice, solicited and unsolicited and that thread has been going very smoothly. IMHO, the reason why is that the poster was specfic about what she wanted and "we" collectively are complying with her request.

Oh yeah, one more point. A topic getting derailed that discusses for example, black paint instead of white paint is one thing. Suggesting to a poster to do something incredibly expensive particularly when "we" collectively know that certain items in a room or house is brand new or may be work just done is IMHO just wrong, plain wrong. IMHO it goes against what "we" collectively preach all the time "if you love it then that is what is most important". In Oak's case, this isn't the first time "we" collectively have seen her fireplace, we have seen it muliple times. Nor is this the first time she posted her mantle with small items and "we" suggested bigger ones. The mantle was there previous times when she posted including when it was first completed and it has been there ever sense. Oak was pretty clear in her love of her renovated space and "we" should have honored that and "we" did not.

Now I believe this thread should die and only because I think "we" all need to think about our behavior not only in this thread but a couple of others that have popped up recently.


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

Deb, everything you say makes a lot of sense, in a perfect virtual world.
But in practical reality, situations like the ones you mention will keep arising time and time again. People open threads, look at the picture, read very briefly what the op wants, and then comment freely.

I've read threads where the OP simply ignores the unrelevant comments, and carries on with her objectives; then it's a much shorter thread, it doesn't get padded up with rules and reprimands.

It's a known fact that people don't read instructions, annoying but true.

Very specific and clear instructions could be helpful but honestly do we need it ?

such as

I LOVE my mantel; I WON'T change a thing about it. It's new.
DON'T comment on it.
All I want are ways to ornament the mantel with objects in colors to make it pop.
No paintings, pictures or mirrors.


If we have to think too much of our behavior before tackling the forums, it's self censoring and removes much of the pleasure to be had.
I find myself recently reading things and thinking; "humm, no, better not comment" ; maybe it's just me, but with certain posters, we can anticipate having to walk on eggshells. I'm fine with that.

I disagree with always having to say, let this thread die. No one decides when a thread dies, someone might still have something to say and they're allowed to; who knows, that person might have the last word and the most brilliant suggestion, lol.....

Peace out to you all, have a great sunday morning.


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

But Deborah, there is no 'we.' It's an open forum. People feel differently about these things, hence, the mixed messages. People come here for their own different reasons, with their own expectations and, more importantly, they also value outcomes differently. Some people like the type of input they get here, others it seems don't. Most just take what they need and leave the rest.

Within GW's rules (of course), there should be no censorship rules by a select group who decide what's right or wrong for the others here.


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

How about a display of pictures that follow the opposite angle of the ceiling?

Pardon my crude attempt.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

I'd put a piece of black iron scrollwork (flat rectangle) that would fit between the lower mantel supports. That would visually lower the mantel and yet not interfere with your cooking.
Then I'd simplify the top with a large twig or vine wreath (really large) and maybe a couple of other items grouped together on one end.
If someone could photoshop a decorative piece down between those stone supports, I think that would do the trick at beefing it up and getting it visually lower....


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

Mitch, you are correct about calling for a thread to die. If it is constructive and open dialog then it should continue. My bad.

Very specific and clear instructions could be helpful but honestly do we need it? I think we do. Given the fact that this subject comes up time and time again, again IMHO, we need to talk about it and find a solution to the problem. Before I alluded to a popular poster, now I will just call it out, this very issue is what caused RenoFan to leave the board for quite awhile. She gave excellent advice, was always very helpful and based on what I knew of her from a cyberspace perspective had a very tough skin. We collectively were all upset when she left and yet "we" collectively are back to the same pattern. I just don't get it.
everything you say makes a lot of sense, in a perfect virtual world. You hit the nail on the head and that is exactly the problem. None of us are perfect, some are more sensitive than others, we are "virtual" and in the end anonmyous and just don't know what lurks pro or con in the hearts of everyone. What we do know though and most importantly has been proven time and time again is that some want only the solicited advice and some don't. To me it is not rocket science and the question is why can't we adhere to this fact. Some can work with "just ignore what you don't want" but it has been made clear that some can't. Again I think we need to honor that.

I remember my first post years ago. It was about decorating a shelf in my foyer. I had lurked quite awhile before posting and then jumped in and asked my question. I got alot of unsolicited advice about changing out the light in my foyer. At first though, because I was getting a lot of advice, not about what I asked but what I didn't. I was hurt and thought "I'm not going to post anymore because this is a tough crowd. You know what, the posters were right and the light needed to be changed. However the more I read and learned the dynamics of this board, the more it became clear to me that I needed to be clear in what I did/did not wsnt. I also learned that I needed to have a tougher skin and quite frankly get over it. I did and I do. Not everyone can do that. Also again I realized over time that the board gives out mixed messages and ultimately I realized that this board is just like real life, not always simple, multi-faceted, layered and not always what it appears to be on the surface. It takes time to get to know "it" and understand "it" and if one can hang in there to reach this conclusion, it will be ok.

I maintain, say what you want and mean what you say.

Deb


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

I know in past posts from Oakley, in re-reading some of them, I took myself to be a little attacking, don't know why. But, I have been trying to redeem myself lately and plan on staying there.

If you are honest with yourselves, you knew Oakleys mantle was new and how proud of it she was. In that case, I would not have asked someone to re-do it. You knew she would get upset about that, as would I, so why even tread there? I have to agree with Oakley there a few that do this to her. Hope they can redeem themselves, too. It is a much better place to be.

Of course, there are pics that people post, and I think, you will have to spend a ton of money, knowing they won't take the advice I would give them, and I just don't comment on them. There are people I have helped IRL in decorating their homes, and you have to work with what they have. If they aren't willing or can't spend the money, then I realize you have to work with what they've got. Maybe that should be a question asked of someone first, how much money do you want to spend-lol.


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rre: how can i make my mantel pop? pictures

I think it's a very good idea for sensitive posters, or those who are happy with their space and don't want a lot of input, to just state that -- at the *outset,* as most people do read the opening post. Most people here would also honor it, I think. Those who don't, may be new so have not specifically seen Oakley's other threads where the topic has come up before; or don't understand the decorating sensitivities around here. A few others may want to get things going and cause a stir. I think it will rarely come out perfectly though, with no one straying off path for one reason or another.


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

The thing I find most irritating about this thread is that darn photo that makes us scroll back and forth to read posts.

There's always gonna be something. ;)


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

"But Deborah, there is no 'we.' It's an open forum." It is indeed an open forum and those that come here are the collective "we" that I am referencing. "We" collectively set the tone for this open forum and "we" collectively create the dynamics. As some others have mentioned, there are other boards that are more "friendly" and then there are those that are not. The collective "we" that frequent those boards dictate the tone. It is just like Hot Topics, if you can't stand the heat over there, then stay out of the kitchen. Many of us know that and there are those that don't venture over there for that reason. The tone has been set over there by the collective "we", "we" all understand that and "we" make a choice whether to participate or not. We have set a tone over here as well and I guess what I'm asking is that "we" collectively acknowledge that fact and at a minimum own up to that. I'm not seeing that in this discussion. It is what it is.

The overriding thing I see on this board that gets my goat time and time again is when someone, whether it be Oak or anyone else for that matter, points something out that has factual basis and then that person gets attacked. My humble opinion is that that is just not right. I don't often engage in debate like this so clearly it is an issue of importance to me. I usually stay out of the controversy unless I believe passionately about something. On this issue, I do. In the end we are all free to agree to disagree but ckearly I feel the need to take a stand on this one. I would do the same whether it was Oak or anyone else for that matter.

Let's disect Oak's OP one more time and what she pretty much specified at the outset:

I'm completely out of accessories since we added the room.And I don't want to spend big bucks.

The clock needs to stay.

WHAT I DON'T WANT:
1) Mirror
2) Painting/picture/ or a tapestry (we plan to put a tapestry above the TV)

Anyone here have a stone fireplace similar to mine in color that you can show me how you decorated the mantel?

IMHO she was pretty clear about what she wanted.

.


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

There are many instances, here on the GW and IRL, that what I THINK would be best, isn't what the poster wants, be it, there personality, money or whatever.

Just like I think a pic would look the best on the mantle, but, Oakley said that isn't what she wanted. So, you take what they can do or are willing to do and work with that. Of course, if I could do anything with her or anyone else space, and the sky's the limit, we all have our different ideas.


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

What about adding a placque/grille work between the firebox and mantel to layer up your fireplace?

BTW, I think a mantel arrangement similar to this could work on yours.

Jim

Photobucket


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

Deborah, I understand what a collective 'we' is, but the tone of a forum is organic and dynamic. Unless certain people or opinions dictate, it will just be what it is. One person's suggestion, for example, for a poster to be specific about what they want, is not a collective statement. Another person's statement, to just accept that a variety of responses will occur, is also not collective. Those are only individuals trying to help another understand the general nature of forums and how they might try to approach things. It will always be a mix of opinions, expectations, and value placed on outcomes -- on both sides of the equation.

I, too, think Oakley was clear on what she wanted from the group, or was able to do. And there's nothing wrong with that. It's a good approach for her. Unfortunately, some people didn't feel that was the issue and said so, anyway. Some would appreciate it, others not. Some on this thread may not have read her previous threads to know it was already an issue for her, personally, when the suggestions stray. I don't think that will ever change. There are too many people here and everyone does not feel the same about things. That's why it's a good idea to state what you want and don't want at the outset. It would be more likely to run that route in the end. There were probably many people who would have made suggestions, or other suggestions, but did not because of what was laid out in the opening post. Perfect compliance is just not gonna happen. Unless GW decides that's how it should be and sets down the law for a Stepford-style community.


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

First let me admit that I missed the wreath stand part. I had not even heard of one before so I Googled it and found one that I think would look better, it is rusted metal and would not stand out against the stone like the white one does and I doubt that black would be much better. Each time I have seen your picture I thought you had lights on your wreath and that was an electrical cord hanging there. Or maybe if the white one was painted a color to blend in with the brick? No hurt feelings intended, just an honest opinion about something that would cost very little.


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

Maybe I have a bit of a different take on all of this...

When I read Oak's first comment "Let's try this again", I knew this had been discussed before and I had missed it. Unfortunately the search here is broken so I couldn't find it. So, I just kept reading and ultimately wondered if the mantle height had already been discussed in the prior thread, hmmm. It was approx. 8 hours after the OP that it was revealed this is a cooking Rumford. Prior to this thread I had never heard of it (glad to learn though!). I think had those of us who hadn't seen the first thread known this, it would have affected some opinions.

That said, here's my .02...

If it were me (and I think this phrase is freakin' gold on this board ;-) I would find another place for the clock (I think it's great in this room, just too small on the mantle), but since you said it's staying and you like the wreath idea here's a mock for you. I didn't do it in the mock, but I think a few cookbooks under the clock might work. Again, if it were me, I would paint the wreath stand a tan color to blend into the stone. The wreath I placed is a little on the purple-y side, but maybe you could find or make one with those itty bitty cranberries (see link). I would also find some kind of hanger for under the mantle to hang a few antique cooking utensils in copper and pewter (this could be a decorating journey so as not to spend too much up front). Or perhaps a fireplace broom hung sideways. Unfortunately, your mantle is so big that it needs big stuff, and big stuff costs more, sowwy. I'm sure the wreath and candlesticks I placed aren't cheap, but maybe you could find something similar on CL.

Good luck!

Oak's Mantle

Here is a link that might be useful: Berry Wreath


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

Squirrel, on certain points, I believe we are saying the same things but in different ways. At the same time, we differ on other points so I think we have to respectfully agree to disagree.

I went back to re-read the recent "getting to know you, why did you come here threads" and a couple of points IMHO emerged, there are folk out there who are reluctant to post because of the tone and some of the response one is likely to receive. The other is that people have stopped posting because of responses received.

The message I'm getting IMHO in general and in total for me and only me is "like it or leave it". For me personally I can handle it but clearly others can not and they are walking with their fingertips to other boards or are just not posting at all.

"Perfect compliance is just not gonna happen". I agree and also never claimed that we should have perfection cuz life is just not made up that way. But I do think that we all need to acknowledge the reality, we send/give conflicting messages and it is what it is. So deal with it.

We, meaning you and I get it, can handle it and take it for what it is. There are others who clearly don't and to be fair to those who don't I'm suggesting that the board try to find ways to make it more accepting for those who don't. Again, I'm not suggesting tiptoeing and not being "real" but at a minimum at least acknowledging the situation.

Finally, I was using "collective" rhetorically not literally. I apologize as I should have been more clear.

I also have to say that I absolutely appreciate the open dialog because in the end I think it only helps the board, not hurts it. Being able to rationally and respectfully discuss an issue makes for a good board and what also keeps me here. That or I need a life! LOL!


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rre: how can i make my mantel pop? pictures

The message I'm getting IMHO in general and in total for me and only me is "like it or leave it".

there are folk out there who are reluctant to post because of the tone and some of the response one is likely to receive. The other is that people have stopped posting because of responses received.

Well, my interpretation of people leaving because of the tone and responses is not due to people who are genuinely trying to be helpful, and in a polite way. It is about the ones who are nasty, snarky, or otherwise unkind with their suggestions, or responses to other people's suggestions -- and the downright lectures and fights that break out as a result of interpersonal tensions and civil war around here. Those are completely different things, imo, than someone not wanting to hear their lamp may be too small or their house is being swallowed by shrubs.

I will always support respectful and polite behavior and an open and productive forum. And people have different ideas on just what constitutes that, also.


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

oakley, you've got people here trying to make sure you're accommodated so you don't get upset. That rarely happens. Some are going to see a 'Handle with Care' label and probably not respond to future requests for help. Quickly can become taxing making sure every i is dotted and t is crossed, especially when it comes from people's free time allotment. But for those who are willing to put forth that extra effort to accommodate your feelings, maybe reciprocate in kind, meet them halfway and try to roll with things a little more? Trying to achieve pigeonholed responses that fit our personal taste, style, financial and emotional investment is like trying to control a conversation in a crowded room. It's a futile endeavor. Have seen it mentioned to you multiple times over many threads but bears repeating: it's not about you, it's the dynamics of how a message board works.

I too was going to suggest making the wreath stand blend in with a $4.59 can of rustoleum (primer first with their gray primer) in antiqued metal or matte stone or suede finish. Haven't used the specialty finishes, can't vouch for them, but the antiqued metals hold up well, even outside.


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Magnolia Wreaths

How about something like these magnolia wreaths?
When I had my shop, I sold these so I can vouch for their beauty and quality - they're gorgeous.
Here are a couple that I think would look great with your stone:

Simple magnolia leaves

Something like this would pull in the white from your beadboard and the delicate florals don't fight the rustic look of the wreath

You can see all of the styles here:The Magnolia Company


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Birch Twig Wreath

How about a large birch twig wreath?
They have a lot of texture and are pretty substantial.
I can also vouch for the quality of these wreaths.
The 40" wreath is very large and makes a real statement.

See other sizes and styles here: Birch Wreaths


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

Oakey, since I am one of the offenders, let me be the first to apologize for making a
suggestion that you clearly were not looking for...

My daughter once told my hubby, 'The internet is a great
place for Mom, now she can give advise world wide instead of just her small inner circle' :)))

There are many of us here on this forum, that freely give out our opinions/advise without thinking that
they could possibly be hurtful. It's just that sometimes giving out our opinions can have
unintended consequences -- such as hurt feelings... I am not speaking for anyone here other than
myself, when I say I am sorry for not being more in tune as to what you were clearly asking for..

I didn't mean to offend, and I feel really bad that your
feelings were hurt.
Joann


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

Alright, this is the last I'll comment on this topic.

Those who disagree with me simply don't get it. Once more, I have no problem with suggestions, even those I don't like.

What I do have a problem with is when someone tells me I need to put in a new mantel and paint the room (thousands of dollars worth of advice on a NEW room, btw). What the hades does that have to do with putting mere knick knacks on the mantel?

I had to reply to those outlandish suggestions! Who in their right mind would ignore something so silly? Yes, it IS silly to tell someone to do expensive architectual changes so knick knacks will look nice. Oy.

Those are the suggestions that I did not appreciate, and I doubt any of you would appreciate them either.

I'm still LOL at those suggestions, but not the ones where people gave me real ideas on what to put ON the mantel! (BTW, I found some beautiful black wood, staggered candle sticks and deep red candles, also red candles with snowflakes on them)

This doesn't make me "sensitive", and I wish certain people would stop saying that. But I am singled out on this board and have been for a long time. Funny, the same posters treat me with respect on the convo board. Go figure.

And yes, I did a previous mantel topic when ours was built last winter. I asked people to show me their mantels so I could get ideas on how to decorate mine.

Know what I got instead? 99% of the replies were telling me to buy a new TV stand (which is to the left of the FP), hang the TV on the wall, move the TV, etc., etc. It had NOTHING to do with my mantel! It's like a game with some of you all.

If I wanted structural and painting advice, I'd ask you. But since I didn't, why in the world would you tell me to knock down an expensive mantel just because YOU don't like it, knowing I do?

Squirrel, name me one person who's spent thousands of dollars on a FP they absolutely love and someone has told them to basically knock it down to put the right wreath on it? ;)


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

Squirrel, name me one person who's spent thousands of dollars on a FP they absolutely love and
someone has told them to basically knock it down to put the right wreath on it? ;)

What is this in response to, Oakley? And, I don't think anyone told you to knock down your new fireplace. ?

Looking back at your op, I think people may have seen the title 'How can I make my mantel pop' and responded about
beefing it up (add-on overlay, not rip out) because the mantel itself doesn't appear to stand out very much in the pictures.
You can't see that? Look back at the pictures. That's all we have out here. You also eliminated large items as suggestions,
like a painting or mirror, which are very often used to bring focus to and further enhance a fp/mantel area.

Actually, I have seen it suggested that the front of a new build be renovated because the windows weren't symmetrical. : /

I'm sure you love your new fp (though people don't always love what they've done and are showing us for some help), but you didn't say how much you loved it in your opening post. You may have said that later when the wood mantel suggestions came along, and then they still continued to suggest it be modified. But I'm not going to trudge through it all to confirm that. We're all pretty clear on what the issues are.

Don't single out and yell at me. I was talking generally here and said I thought you were clear in your opening post. Include yourself in the group of "those who are happy with their space and don't want a lot of input" if you don't feel you are sensitive about decorating your home or about your taste.

And there's nothing wrong with being sensitive.


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

I am glad to see two posts: greenthumbfish; perfect and what I think would work best...and joanie w/the birch wreath. When I first saw your lovely fireplace a twiggy wreath was my first thought.
I would use greenthumbfish's mock up but sub a twiggy (or loose) type of wreath. Make it big.


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

-----"Those who disagree with me simply don't get it
----- This doesn't make me "sensitive"
----- I am singled out on this board and have been for a long time

Ok, Oakley, you win. I still think you're a very nice person, in between the few persecution posts , and we can live with them. I think most of the above posters were trying to make you feel better and make you understand that it's ok to feel like you do but it's also ok to drift off the original thread direction.

oakley, don't go disappearing again, this too shall pass, lol.......


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

This whole thread is completely and utterly ridiculous and I think some people are taking this site and forum way too seriously.

I think anyone who responded to this thread offering their time and thoughts is great and wonderful for doing so. I dont' think any of us every aim to hurt anyone...it is the opposite.

I do think however repliers should read the original questions very clearly before responding (how many folks suggested a painting when Oaklyok said no paintings?).

Posters have to be prepared for a spectrum of thoughts on a question comes with the territory of asking something on a forum (the good, the bad and the ugly).

It is a shame if anyones feelings were hurt but that I am sure was never the goal from anyone.

Sorry normally I never respond in these types of threads but this one really struck a chord with me.

Haley


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pic

OK, well at least I'm great and wonderful in Haley's and bumblebeez's minds, LOL!

BTW, BB, I like the birch better too, couldn't find one I liked earlier.

With the cranberries and red candles...

Oaks Mantel 2


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RE: How can I makke my mantel POP? Pictures

I think when I start a post about a home project, there's a lot of things I prepare for:
1. People will suggest ideas I don't like
2. Some won't read the question thoroughly and answer accordingly.
3. Some people may suggest changing out items I like
4. I may get my feelings hurt if I take this too personally
What I will get:
1. An potential answer to a problem that has been bugging me for a while
2. The generosity of people to take their time to come and offer opinion including Photoshop help they aren't getting paid for.
3.That someone will see something I'm not and that could include a new and potentially more expensive project on an area I didn't even consider an issue in the first place. I like this because my design can grow.

I think if people want specific answers to their specific questions, then they can call a paid professional.


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

I think if people want specific answers to their specific questions, then they can call a paid professional.

This is an interesting thing that I was thinking about. Designers and decorators (and other professionals), have the same difficulty -- people don't like change and they don't want to hear what they have to say. They can choose to be YES men or the problem-solvers they were hired to be.


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

Oakley, I know you said you made your last comment on this thread, but I wondered if you saw that several posters apologized to you. Hope you saw that.

tina


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

Squirrel-All your discussion posts were very eloquently stated, all my thoughts exactly!


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

I really like the the last photo Greenthumb fish posted. Even if you wouldn't do red (which I like), I like those items up there.

You have a very pretty FP Oakley.


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

I just wanted to be post #101,

I'm lucky if I get half a dozen responses to my posts before they retire to page 5, 6 etc.

that's all.


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

LOL @ rjinga


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

Wow, after skimming through the 100+ responses I can't believe I'm wading into this debate. But wading in I am.

Your fireplace is beautiful and dramatic but you have too many itsy bitsy things on it. Your mantle is high but small and all of your pieces look lost. You need larger items that are more dramatic and organic. Like balls of twine in a large vase, a la Kelly Hoppen.

Chijim's inspiration photo looks great because the items are overlapping each other and the space has a nice dimension.

Joanie posted a birch twig wreath. Something like that would be perfect, either as a wreath, or as a flower arrangement.

What about a round clock? I myself am a fan of a round over a square.

Good luck!

(PS - I plan on posting my fireplace pic soon on GW because I, too, will seeking advice from GWers!)


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

Greenthumbfish, very nice! I like the way the clock, which I happen to like, echoes the center circle in the wreath, which is subtly picked up again in in the cylinders of the candles.
That's a big thing of mine, repeating small components (color, design, pattern) throughout a room, house, etc. That's why your composition works.


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

Wow....I like that last picture that was posted!


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

I think a more stubstanial shelf would look better - too thin and too shallow and I would go with black - the current shelf looks like it is floating.

I'd keep the objects really simple like the last picture.


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

I'm back to acknowledge the apologies. Thank you.

Greenthumbfish, you nailed it! That wreath is perfect and really makes the mantel pop!

Squirrel, I don't think I should have to clarify that I love my mantel. People here know it's new, if I didn't like it, it wouldn't be there. :) Plus I made it clear as day I only needed help with decorating it. And even though I nixed the paintings idea, I still wanted something large for it which other's here provided and understood.

Cattknap, it's not a shelf. It's a quartzite mantel, which is built inside the stone FP. As I said previously, IRL it's not small and it's not "floating." I do agree the items I have there now are way too small.

Clax, the mantel is high on purpose, because it's a cooking fireplace, which I also previously stated. It's supposed to be high. And it's not too small. It's perfect. :)

The pictures doesn't do it justice.

Again, thank you for the great advice in decorating it! I'll check out the wreath links too. I really want one with red berries!


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

Not exactly what you asked (but maybe it could be?) do people ever consider changing the color of their FP grates/covers. It's such a big section of the overall FP, that I wonder if it were something brighter? in otherwords something other than black if it could change the look? I dont know if I have ever seen heat resistant paint in variety of colors, but maybe I have, it's been awhile.

Could that be considered giving it a pop of color? (along with all the other great suggestions for wreaths etc)


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

Glad you like it Oak. You may have to purchase the wreath and cranberry sprays separately but it would be a piece of cake to DIY, BTDT.

I know you use it a lot and had it custom made, but during the summer you might consider removing the screen, the andirons would coordinate with the other round elements that BB discussed.

Thanks bumblebeez, sheesh and charlie.


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

Because the mantel is the same color as the rest of the fireplace, visually it does seem to be floating - at least in the pictures....I think it would be fairly easy to knock that shelf off and replace it with a nice chunky dark wood one (or a mantel facade)...at least that is what I would do. If the shelf were deeper, it would be easier to have larger accessories....I think that mantels in general can be very difficult to decorate - achieving the right balance and scale of objects is truly trial and error. Good luck to you.


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

Catnap, do you know how many hours was spent searching for this quartzite? Many. It may be in the same color range as the other stone, but it's a completely different color which you can't tell from the pictures. I am just shocked that you or anyone would suggest knocking down this mantel! lol Wow. I hope you never show us a brand new room that you're so proud of and everyone tells you to "knock it down."

Not sure why you say the mantel isn't deep enough, it is, and can easily hold larger objects in depth.

As I said before, I don't like the look of wood on a stone FP. It makes it too contemporary & our room is the opposite.

Green, I took a look at the screen and the design of the stone around the arch, and it's very noticeable. So we'll probably keep the screen up all year.


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

Oak...I just bought a birch twig wreath last week and it's wonderful. I'd certainly go that route...add berries if you want. It's a great textural look and the stones should shine IMHO.

Although the mantel is higher than what we're accustomed to? I think it's WONDERFUL that you cook there! We have the original crane and pot in our 1885 house and I've been dying to try it since we've had our chimney redone.


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

Oakley, I am glad that you love your mantle, truly. We all have items in our house that our special to us and anything anybody might say will not matter one whit because we love it.
However, to everyone here who does not get to see the "real thing", your mantle, in pictures, does look out of proportion and small. Perhaps in real life it is not AND even if it is, you don't care- we get that. But you really need to understand that many people are seeing that- no, I'm not saying change it out, just that that's what we see. People here are trying to be helpful.
Please try to chill out, take what's useful and ignore everything that's not.


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

Can we leave the mantel alone now. Oakley has repeatedly said that she loves the mantel and is keeping it, so why are some posters still telling her to change it...that is not being helpful.


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

I couldn't possibly read through all the posts - I had no idea she liked the mantel otherwise I would not have suggested she remove it.


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

It was totally worth reading this entire thread just to see the pic that greenthumbfish added. What a wonderful idea.


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

"It makes it too contemporary & our room is the opposite."

Maybe because we're only seeing one photo of the room we're not getting the whole feel of it. Looking at it I see a more contemporary styled fireplace and ceiling. If the fireplace didn't follow or "hug" the wall up to the ceiling and was squared off it would look (at least to me) more traditional. Usually vaulted ceilings are done in a more contemporary house. The fireplace and sloped ceiling say "contemporary, at least to me.


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

I'm so very sorry for hurting your feelings. I would never ever do something like that on purpose. I just started posting again yesterday after being gone for a long time - from all the pictures of different mantels that I saw as I quickly scrolled through, I thought you were asking for suggestions on the mantel - not just what went on it. I will try not to repeat this mistake in the future...really, very sorry.


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

TO whom it may concern:everyone on this thread.

1/"if you can't say something nice, don't sat anything at all".

2/threads have a way of drifting off, and before you know it, the paint color advice you've asked about turns into riping out carpeting and installing wood~just an example.

3/if you don't want positive as well as negative comments, don't start a thread.

4/take NOTHING personally. Everyone has their own personal taste, and it may not coincide w/what you are wanting.

5/"perspective"~ view, vista or outlook; The appearance of depth in objects, especially as perceived using binocular vision; The technique of representing three-dimensional objects on a two-dimensional surface; The choice of a single point of view from which to sense, categorize, measure or codify experience~"single point of view~"nuf said!

6/let's all strive to play nice.

I think the picture GREENTHUMBFISH posted is right on the money!!


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RE: How can I make

Thank you patty cakes.


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

I do think threads take on a life of their own and aren't owned by anyone, ops included. This thread is not closed yet and that's the way it should be- so anyone can post whatever they wish until then.
Gee, I love it when someone actually posts to my threads- even when I get left far behind.


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

Gads, no wonder designers charge so much.


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

Squirrel!! LOLOL


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

Here's some ideas that may or may not help

Here is a link that might be useful: My home ideas - Holiday


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

All right, Oakley, let's just get this straight: You're NOT O.K. with nuts and berries in your chicken salad but you ARE O.K. with them in a wreath. Did I get it right?

Sorry, just trying for a cheap laugh. Thought I was owed one since I just made it through all 137 replies.

Greenthumbfish's ideas are lovely. Your fireplace is gorgeous. Amen.


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

LOL, Folky! or FolkV : )


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

I love kimmieb's idea about using monochromatic items so as not to overwhelm the texture and tone of the stone. It's a pretty fireplace and the highlight of the room. kimmieb's "less is more" tack would work better than "pop." Thanks for that concept, kimmieb, it's given me some ideas for my own fireplace & mantel.


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

How about some kind of chunky lantern like the one in the link--it has a faux candle so you wouldn't have to worry about wax dripping on the mantle.

Although I would not suggest hanging all this stuff on your fireplace, if you happen to run across some antique cooking implement you love, you could take one of those command adhesive hooks and hang a couple of things to one side under your mantle.

http://www.inst.ncecho.org/photos/00008/00008010.jpg

Here is a link that might be useful: Lantern


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

I like Dktrahan's lantern, but it's about $170! Eeek! Oakley, could you use the lantern that you already have but give it a coat of flat black heat-resistant paint?


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

Have you made any changes to it yet? Quick--post some pictures before this thread is out of response spaces...it's getting close!


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

I didn't like the price on those lanterns either. I found this one on ebay for a much better price.

Here is a link that might be useful: lantern


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

Oakleyok, you have a gorgeous fireplace! I love the stone. Your DH has a reason to be proud!

I was entertained by reading this thread of suggestions. You asked how you could make your mantel POP and you were told to paint, replace the mantel itself, removed the mantel, etc. Last week I asked about a paint color for my DR and posted my inspiration photo. I also stated that I didn't have to have that room exactly but was wondering how the paint color would look with my lighting, floors, furniture etc. I did get some good feedback but now it seems I must repaint my trim, paint my table, remove my blinds, paint my china cabinet....and the list goes on. All great suggestions but I really just wanted to ask about paint color :)
But it did help me think about things and I have decided to paint my table. I had NEVER even thought about it before organicnoob suggested.
Good luck with your lovely mantel!


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RE: How can I make my mantel POP? Pictures

Found even a better price at Ikea and at 17" it's decent size. Good luck with your mantle!

Here is a link that might be useful: Ikea Borrby Lantern


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