I am in the process of spring cleaning and I finished up our office space yesterday. Today I did a new mantel display.
Your thoughts, please, ...additions, subtractions, move items to another place??
What bothers me most is all the light/airy, linear objects you have on your mantel scape. You need some visual weight in either a symmetrical or asymmetrical fashion. If asymmetrical, keep balance in mind. This area is a focal point and therefor attention should be directed to it via scale, color, possibly pattern and texture. Also, remove the electronic gadget with hanging wire as it is a distraction.
On the plus side, I can tell you have a sense of placement and knack for achieving an eclectic mix. Continue to play with objects that enhance this area with more presence. Tell a story with your vignette. Soften an edge with a trailing plant. Some items that could be considered in a mantel scape are...
A BOWL WITH DECORATIVE FILLER SUCH AS SPHERES, MOSS BALLS, PINECONES, SHELLS
DECORATIVE BOXES OR A CHEST
FRAMED MAPS, ENLARGED PHOTOGRAPHY, PAINTINGS, SIGNS, MIRROR
CANDLES, CANDLESTICKS, LANTERNS, VOTIVES
PLATE ON A STAND
FRAMES OF VARYING SIZES OVERLAPPING
ARCHITECTURAL SALVAGE SUCH AS FINIALS, PEDIMENTS, CAPITALS, CORBELS
I hope my suggestions inspire you. This message has been edited. Last edited by: Froo Froo,
Hi Cara Rose,
I do agree that you need to add some visual weight to you mantle. I prefer an asymmetrical look but I think more people find symmetry comforting. Here is a helpful link.....
http://www.sasinteriors.net/20...perb-spring-mantels/This message has been edited. Last edited by: annie17,
I like the right side of the mantel. The tilted cross, and the left side need work.
I would go differently on the left side than a collection of odd items.
MY PLAY on your mantel:
The right side, the Ampersand, book lying down (I assume to carry more black, good idea) The lamp, see through but provides interesting straight and curved surfaces though not providing color, introduces gold metal (I would like to see MORE gold on the left side, in a larger piece).
The angled cross does carry the ampersand diagonal line but is distracting. I LOVE the window, but it seems too small, perhaps laying it down to be horizontal might help, then putting color behind the glass, or brown paper bag pieces that are crunched then spread out again... for texture. Then something hanging above that horizontal window.
I do like the small arrangement of dark books on the left of the window, but would use them on the other side to add more than one book under the lamp.
With all that black 'line' going on in your arrangement, I would get a piece of thin black tape (or paint it) and make a thin black line just under the mantel shelf.
Do you have a large mirror to place behind all the objects? Just an idea, would be fun to look through the window and see reflections...around the items.
I like this exercise you did, YOU really know HOW to put ideas into 3-D to assess and recalculate! Sort of the way a writer free associates and writes all his thoughts, then can go back and edit!
There is more than one way to make something symmetrical. One can be by mirroring the shape and size of the firebox below above the fireplace mantel shelf, balances all that weight of the black and the shape. Then there is repeated items as you did with books. There is also double lamps, which is a favorite of many and why suggested so much as a remedy. Many homes have sconces above the fireplace mantel to achieve this look.
The WHOLE PURPOSE of this fireplace is to add comfort and central gathering peaceful place in the home. It is an 'old idea' of the home's central altar. So, with that in mind decorate it with important pieces that mean pride and loving feelings to the family and you can't go wrong.
Thanks for sharing this exercise with us, I really enjoyed having to use my brain to figure out why there were placed that way, and then reconfigure and make sense of it.
There did I desecrate that mantel enough? LOL just playing around as if I were there and actually changing it around. Great exercise!This message has been edited. Last edited by: Mary Ruth,
I am probably going to upset you but I think you have too many things on your mantel. I would take it all off..and then add some back. I would turn your window horizontal in the center. I would hang your cross in the middle of your window...making it one piece. I would stack all your books flat (maybe add one or two more) on one side of your mantel and your ampersand on the other side. You may be able to put the picture (the one that is on the left side now) in front of the ampersand. Remember less is more.This message has been edited. Last edited by: May,
I agree with May. I like the window, the cross, and the ampersand. I am not sure what some of the stuff is. Is there a spiral bound notebook and a lightbulb?
What does the cord go to? The oil lamp is nice but seems to need something with color around it.
Thanks for all the good advice. I wanted to hear everyones ideas and the what to keep and what not too.
First let me tell you that this mantel tells a story. You see, my dh was a deacon in our church for 8 years, then he was ordained as an elder and years later when we retired and moved to this small farming community, he started a little church here. He preached there until they were large enough to pay a minister.
So ...with that in mind...here is the things on the mantel. The black framed item says *study to show thyself approved*... Under that is my very first big girl bible. LOL. The books standing up that are black are part of a set of dh's commentaries. The cross was made by my dh. The black note book in the front is a suggestions of studying. The white thing is an old door knob, representing that He stands at our door and knocks. Next to that is an old bottle of ink and and old family pen. The gold book is a song book of hymns. The oil lamp represents the *light* and I put the ampersand up there to designate He and I. The old window is from this house years ago.
That being said since someone ask that the mantel should *tell a story*.
Froo I can see what you mean about all the light objects. I always have difficulty with visual weight...The gadget your describing is the cord to the little light next to the framed object. I mean to tuck that behind before I pictured it. I guess it is the little things that count? I can see where a plant up there would help and I will do that asap. Could you tell me what I might add for visual weight??? And yes I am inspired and love the list you put up for me.
Annie17~ There is that visual weight again. LOL. Ideas please. I am much more comfy with symmetry. Not sure why. When I try asymmetrical I always end up making it look worse. I have three mantel here and I like to keep re-doing them. Thanks for the first link. I have that in my interest and it does help me. And the 13 mantel link. WOW. Now if only I could do that.
MR~ I don't know if I have anything larger in gold. In fact I never realized there was anything gold there except the song book. LOL. I will look for something gold for the left side, but I have to throw in right here that I am so not fond of gold. Will try the window lying down to see if that helps. I thought it might be ok to stand it up for height??? Like the idea of brown bags scrunched into the open panes too. I have more books to use if I want. Would you use others or just do all in one stack? Don't want to paint a line on the mantel with black...won't always have
so much black up there? Actually I have a couple large mirrors one with the frame painted black that i could use. I am a constant tweaker and yes I have too much time on my hands. LOL. I guess I need to learn how to EDIT more. ONly one of my mantels has sconces but I can try lamps. I have a couple of black mantel lights...Let me try that.
May, no you didn't upset me. I ask for help and I wanted it. So thanks. Yes, I am often told that I use too much when I decorate. Guess that is just me. I always think more is more and I am on a quest to discover that less is more sometimes. Of course I will try you way and take a picture. Who knows, you might convert me.
Grapefruit, lol no that isn't a light bulb, explained above....I hope I explained the whole theme so that everyone understand who I did it for and why I did it and what all the items mean. That is not to say I am opposed to removing something...
More ideas anyone?
Here is a definition from the decorologist:
A dark-colored item has more visual weight than a light-colored one, and heavy or fat items have more visual weight than light and thin ones. In an assymmetric grouping, you can use peaks and valleys wherever you choose. Keep stepping back and looking to see if the visual weight looks fairly equally. Just add or take away an item to even things out.
and 2 pics of same fireplace from Sweet Something Design Blog with some visual weight.....
Annie17~ Wow, thanks for the explanation of the visual weight. I totally get it now. Bout time huh? LOL. And thanks for the pictures that helps me see it also.
Thanks for getting me and understanding what I was asking help with.
You are welcome! Post pics when you are done!!
Thanks again Annie, and I will post pics when I am finished tweaking. I so want to learn.
BTW, do you have a mantel and if so could you PM me pics of what you have done.
CaraRose, do you have a photograph, maybe B&W, of the little church? I love pictures of churches and a framed picture of the one your DH started would add to your story.
OH GP, what a great idea. I will go there tomorrow and snap a pic and get it done in B&W. Love this idea....
Also, you may have a favorite hymnal you could frame as a twin to your church picture. You could tea stain the paper to make it look old. You might want to consider hanging a double frame with these pictures above your mantel. Just ideas of mine and may not be nothing at all as you want your mantel to look...LOL... Good Luck ... now I need to go work on mine
TONS of pages of inspiration here:
Funny that you should mention that GP, because I have a very old hymnal that I got at a book sale and it is already stained, lol. By years and years. I will get my fave hymn and get it into another frame, in fact I think I have one more of those black frames. Perhaps the ampersand on the all with a black frame on each side? Would that look ok? And yes you on the right track of how I want my mantel to look.
I change it monthly and am always looking for new ideas. One of the mantels is in dh's office so I try to make that one more *manly*...LOL
Please post yours when you finish it. And if you have pics of former mantels I would love to see them. Thanks ever so much.
Thanks Froo, I will certainly look and see what I can learn from those. I appreciate your posting a link. I am a visual learner so it is much better for me to see a picture and then act accordingly.
I love your inspiration that you put together for your mantel. It's fun to use a special collection of pieces and create an original display. Those pretty painted church scenes would look nice and add some visual weight also.
Some good suggestions to try and see if you like the look or not. Of course Froo always has the best lists to help with adding other objects if needed. Plus Annie's inspiration pic help to see the concept of adding weight.
Don't forget to leave some empty space in your display. It gives a place for the eyes to pause. I forget that lots of times and have to take something out.
Most of all remember to have fun with your decorating!
~Like sands through the hourglass
~So are the days of our lives
Oh my, I had totally forgotten my church pictures. I shall get those out and have a whirl. I did remove some things and it looks much less cluttered now. I still can't get use to letting a blank space though. I guess that is why my eyes are always crossed, LOL...no place for them to rest.
Yes, I think the key is having fun and when it ceases to cause stress or not be fun, then I best give it up...
Appreciate your kind thoughts, as always.
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