I loved, loved, loved our mantel draped with jewel tones this past Christmas. But I also love when you pack up the holiday decor, and are left with clean and minimal again.
I've found a formula for styling the mantel that works for me...balanced height, something shiny, and at least one living object. In this case, the candles and stems add height, the silver candle sticks shine, and branches cut from our Magnolia tree, along with a piece of driftwood from this trip, bring the natural elements.
Next to the hearth, I threw a sheepskin (like I used to recover the piano bench) over the little stool...which is actually a camel saddle. For reals. My great-grandfather worked in Afghanistan, and used it while he was there. Whenever I think of getting rid of it, I remember these are the types of things that give a room character and life. If you have something not available at a mass retailer, hang on to it!
This is a double-fireplace, with the other side in the Family Room. Since installing the TV over that mantel, we decided having fires wasn't a great idea....which means time to spruce up the fireplace box.
After cleaning out most of the ash, I gave the grill a fresh coat of black spraypaint. I love the look of birch logs, but we aren't privy to them around here...so I improvised.
I picked out just the round logs from a pack of grocery-store firewood, pulled off most of the rough bark, and gave them light coats of flat white spraypaint. Not enough for solid coverage, just a dusting.
I'm sure you Canadians would notice the difference if you stopped by, so I'd have to distract you with a hot toddy. No one around here will know my secret. Unless we decide to light the fire...that could be a problem. Disclaimer: That was sarcasm. I don't plan to burn wood that's been sprayed with flammable paint. I suggest you don't either.
I love our fresh Winter Mantel....which will likely be the Spring Mantel a few months from now. What do you think of the faux birch logs? Want to come sit around our fire-less fireplace and drink hot toddies?
Links to some of the projects seen in this post: