Ask S & C: Mantle Decor

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Question:

Hi Steven and Chris!
I've attempted to accessorize my fireplace mantel several times but struggle with scale and balance. What am I doing wrong? Please help!
Alison.

Tips:

The reason that you are having a hard time with scale and balance when accessorizing is because your mantle and fireplace are out of scale. Start with a "blank canvas" and remove all of the accessories that you have right now. This includes moving your television off.

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Mantle Cap - This is a very simple fix, beef up your mantel with a simple cap - you can have a wood 'box' built that will simply slip on top and secure it in place

Consoles - We recommend balancing the fireplace with two matching media consoles. One of them can house the television and the other, any books, magazines, tchochkes, etc.

Color - We think that you should tone down the fireplace a little and paint it a warmer and slightly deeper colour.

We have some simple rules for accessorizing a mantel. This should demystify the process for you!

1. Take one large piece and centre it on the mantel. Go for something reflective here like a large mirror.
2. Layer in artwork. Layer art and photos in front of the mirror.
3. On the left - Add something with movement. We love tall candleholders - they add height and warmth. At this point, a triangle shape should start to form. Remember to stand back every so often, squint and adjust accordingly.
4. On the right - Incorporate an element with visual weight to the right side like a glass cylindrical vase filled with tall wispy branches or a chinoisery vase with simple white flowers.

Finishing touch - Finish off the vignette with accessories that reflect your personality like souvenirs or items from a collection.

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