Friday, March 11, 2016

Project Design How to Style Your Spring Mantel Two Ways

Inline image 1

Welcome to the 5th installment of our Project Design Series.  Once again we have gathered a fabulous group of Design Bloggers willing to share their tips on how to style the mantel.

Things to Consider Before Styling Your Mantel:

     Size Of The Mantel
       Use pieces that suit the size of your mantle and surrounding walls. Select your pieces          accordingly.  Dinky items on a large fireplace look lost.  Better too big than too little
     Does the Fireplace Already have Dominant Features
       Keep the Elements Simple and let the Fireplace be the star
     Is it Calling Out for Color
       If so make sure the colors visually connect with the rest of your room
     Does the rest of the room lack texture
        Add Textural Items in additon to the art
        Layer Textures
     Where is the Center of Your Mantel for your Focal Piece
     Don't Forget to Play with the Progression of Scale
        Remember to Vary the Shapes and Sizes of the Elements
        Start with Larger Objects in the Center and Spread out to Smaller Objects 
*The fireplace in my bedroom is a small curved corner fireplace. The curves have to be addressed when styling.  The typical triangle approach will not work here because the smaller items on the ends can disappear.

Example #1

Why this works:

  • You cannot go wrong with symmetry and it is the easiest to do. Start with a large mirror, picture, architectural item, or identical grouping of items in the center.
  • Create balance on the left and right of your mantel by using single items or groups that mirror one another.
  • It completely fills in the visual space of the mantel and creates height which works for a room with high ceilings

Example #2

Example 2a -additon of art

Why This Works:

  •      Spring Blooms and Moss Ball add color and organic softness
  •      Books bring color from surrounding room
  •      Anchor Architectural Item adds texture,height, and sculptural interest
  •      Bowling Pins and rabbit add vintage charm

Example #3

Why This Works
  • Simple & Minimal
  • Variety of Shapes and Heights
  • Art, Flowers, and Pot mirror colors in Surrounding Room
  • Candlesticks add Sculptural Interest

 Which is your favorite and why?

Do you have a pretty mantel you would like to share with us? Hop on over to Instagram  #ProjectDesignNow .  We would love to see it! Check out our Group Pinterest Board here for more inspiration.


  1. A fireplace in your bedroom!?! That alone is amazing. All your vignettes are so pretty but I am drawn to the urns with the mirror.....that balance is pleasing to the eye. You are such a great stylist...I love how you put things together Cindy!

    1. I am glad you like the urns and mirror because guess what that is exactly what is up there right this very minute! You are such a sweetie Lisa!!

  2. Love all of these, and especially love all your explanations! My favorite is the scale and the repetition of the color. Beautiful job! And you know you were only supposed to do 2 over-achiever you! (My favorite kind of student. :) )

    1. Ha! I am so not an overachiever!! I cheated and used the old one! The others were just variations of the same! I love getting your spin on things. It always makes me think!

  3. Great tips did a great job showing us examples!

    1. Thanks so much Julie!! I love your mantle in your house!! Why don't you share yours on instagram #ProjectDesignNow

  4. WOW over-achiever :) Hey...I just saw Kelly said the same thing. Well, you have given lots of great advice. I love learning from you! All three are beautiful.

    1. You learn from me now that is a good one!!

  5. I love your style tips! And I am also a big fan of symmetry. I just love the unique and vintage quality that the bowling pins and rabbit bring. Flowers are always great to add to a mantel, too! Thank you so much for such a fun week! :)

    1. Thanks Amber. I can't do anything without adding something old or vintage, it is just second nature. Thank you so much for participating...loved, loved, loved what you did!!

  6. All of you in this series have done such beautiful vignettes! Thank you for these lovely inspirations!

  7. Cindy,
    Wow! I love all versions but that mirror in the first it an antique? It's spectacular! Thank you for giving me some additional ideas for future mantle-scapes.
    Enjoy the weekend.

  8. Hi Karen

    Guess what the mirror came from Ballard many years ago. In fact I think I actually bought it as a Ballard reject on Ebay! I have always liked it there too.

  9. I absolutely love symmetry Cindy, so that one really speaks to me. But I have to say, in my own "paring down and simplifying" mood that I have been in of late, I would say I love the "simple and minimal" one best, the last one. And I love the painting of the little boy!



  10. Sheila you and I are on the same path!! Simple and edited!

  11. I also like the balanced mantle, its simplicity. Larger and fewer has become my design guide.

  12. HI Cindy,
    A balance mantel or surface with symmetry gives it a visual effect in flow to a room, less distracting.
    Yet one of visual, less balance to the eye is the trickier task in designing a visual look of appeal. Be it busy, or simplistic.
    In my own designs I love when the lack of balance just works, adding a bit more play and fun to its space.
    You always do beautiful work here Cindy, on site or your own home... As for my design jobs it's always balance adding the pleasing symmetry, in my home it's about what I gather and collect to fool the eye.
    What I see you often do oh so well.

    Love all your attention to the design details.


  13. Oh, I love the symmetry of the first one - great tips, Cindy!

  14. I love symmetry so the first is a favorite, but all are wonderful, Cindy! Happy Monday!

  15. I have a hard time coming up with ONE way to style my mantel well let alone all of the many options that you came up with Cindy! As a mantel newbie (we didn't have one in either of our past two houses), I'm loving all of your smart tips.

  16. P.S. I think the squirrel deserves a chance in the mantel spotlight! LOL....

  17. Definitely one of my favorites and Maryann's too.

  18. This was a great challenge! I had a lot of fun with my mantel as you can see on my blog today. Would love your thoughts on what else to do there as it's been my most challenging place to decorate in my house. As far as yours go, I really envy your curved's gorgeous even without decor. My favorite option was the third one..I like how the simplicity plays along with the earthy look and the curves. Well done!

  19. These are all so darn pretty! Od course it helps with that fabulous fireplace:)


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