I swore I’d never have another mirror above my mantel again…but then I met this guy. If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen this handsome mirror that I was “auditioning” for my mantel this week. Even though I was really drawn to it in the store, I still needed to live with it for a while to make sure we were a fit. I had my mind set on a gold mirror, but this guy showed up and ruined my plans.
The fact that he was a $50 steal from the clearance section at TJ Maxx made him a hot commodity and landed him in my cart before I really knew what was happening.
NEW DAY, NEW MANTEL
Because I have decorating ADD, I tend to change things up more often than normal people.
Yep, it’s a real thing. I’m sure lots of you suffer from this as well. #decoratingADD
Every couple months, I make small styling changes on the mantel front, but each year I completely shake things up. My mantel is what I call a “big impact spot”. It’s a focal point in my living room, but it’s also one of the first things guests see when they come in our home since we don’t have a formal entry.
I thought it would be fun to show you the evolution of my mantel and break down how I’ve decorated it over the last couple years…
This mantel was a result of one of my favorite DIY projects. Before my 5- minute marble “art”, I had never used a feminine statement piece like this in such a prominent spot before. This was also the beginning of my love affair with using pink as an accent color.
2014 MANTEL #2
Marbled art + “Be True” print + greens + books + glass
I loved my marbled art so much, but wanted to tweak the arrangement to keep a more narrow focus. The gold leafing in the “Be True” print pulls from the gold in the frame, but it adds a modern geometric vibe which contrasts the traditional frame and organic lines in the marbled paper.
It took me a while, but this finally felt right, and the mantel stayed just like this for a good chunk of the year.
2013 MANTEL…A Flop
Mirror + silver frames + candle sticks + small glass objects +baskets on the floor
Confession, this mantel is much too crowded. I’m being honest here in order tho help you avoid my mistakes. Here’s why this set-up does NOT work:
1. I was trying too hard to make things feel “collected” and casual, but it just looks cluttered.
2. I used too much of the horizontal space and should have left a little mantel clear for breathing room.
3. The two family photos should have either been hung on the wall instead of being propped, or just nixed from the equation.
While I still love those pictures, they hang in different spots these days. The mirror served me well for a couple years in different places, but it has made its way up to the attic…where all the aging decor in my home goes to live out its remaining days before moving on to greener pastures. (AKA: Craigslist)
It’s like a crazy little challenge to decorate my mantel differently each holiday season. I made a quick little round up of the last four years below…Looking at all of these side by side, I realized that I seem to stick with a color combo of green, white, and gold but use totally different components in each set-up.
You can read more details by clicking on the pics below to head to the posts.
Mantels can be tricky, so I end up helping a lot of my local clients tackle this spot in their homes. Mantels are a little like homecoming queens; they command your attention but require the right accessories to feel complete. Too much stuff going on and you’re in danger of looking cheap and like you’re trying too hard. Too little decor for a mantel is the equivalent of wearing yoga pants to the prom.
I’m (mentally) prepping a post on “How to decorate your mantel”…There are so many formulas that seem to work time and again, no matter what your style. Some people-including me for the duration of 2014- don’t particularly care for mirrors above mantels. I guess because it can feel too traditional…
Sometimes the things that feel traditional are classic for a reason. They work. I’m sure I’ll go through a “no mirror over my mantel” phase again, but for now I’m cool with it. It may not be the most exciting set up, but I’m loving the bold and minimal vibe it’s bringing to the room to kick off a new year.
How do you guys feel about mirrors + mantels? Classic? Boring? Not your thing? Too much like your “mother’s thing”?