Friday, September 14, 2012

In Search Of The Perfect Mantel

An eclectic mix of art, both traditional and contemporary. Interior Designer Elaine Griffith's living room. Image via Elle Decor. 

This week was spent looking for inspiration for my latest home project: reworking our mantel. I've got a large regency type mirror centered over our fireplace, but it's taking some serious effort to get the perfect mix of objects, pictures, art, and flora to go below it. What I learned long ago from my design-savy sister is when in a design rut, stop, take a step back, and go find some visual stimulation.  Decorator Alessandra Branca says "mantels should be seen as a piece of furniture, similar to a console. You should use it as an opportunity to assemble the things you love."  Here are some of my favorite rooms, each with a totally different take on the space they all have in common. 

Neutral tones with natural elements. Actress Keri Russel's living room. Image via Elle Decor. 

These objects have perfect chemistry.  Mantel in L'Wren Scott's Paris apartment. Image via Vogue. 

A gold mirror and some found objects in a lovely Paris apartment. Image via Elle Decor.
Beautiful symmetry. Interior by Jonathan Rosen. Image via House Beautiful.
Less is more.  Image via House Beautiful
A modern twist on a vintage mantel. 
I also stumbled onto a great tutorial for assembling your objects in a visually stimulating and proportionate way. At the end of my hunt, I decided to order 2 silver footed orchid pots from a great store in San Francisco as well as these two guys. 

 Vintage Brass Elephant, $13,; Brass Steel Sculpture, $65, 
Here's to hoping it will all come together. When it's done (questionable as to how many months it may be), I'll try and remember to share a pic or two.  Have a great weekend everyone! 


Theresa / InspirationCOOP said...

Having the same conundrum. Our mantel is constantly changing. Love all the inspiration you provided. It sounds like you've got some great things for your own mantel. I bet it's going to look great. The best part: You can always keep tweaking it.
PS~I'm still in love with Keri Russel's home.

dulci said...

Fireplace porn is my ultimate addiction!

Erin said...

My last apartment had the best, most beautiful and ornate marble fireplace mantel and I wish I had taken the time to really give it some love. The place I live now has no old details like that (it's a new building) so I'm left decorating shelves and such instead, haha. Love that elephant!

Anonymous said...

I love a good mantle. I wish mine was wider but I purposely made our fireplace larger than what the builder wanted to. I hate a teeny tiny fireplace which is what most "builder homes" have in them.
I would redo the mantle, however. Hope all is well. xo Teri

Christine D. | The Plumed Nest said...

i love these. i so wish i had a fireplace, i miss having one. i love love love the last fireplace with the blackbird on the mantel.

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fireplace mantel shelves said...

Fireplace porn is my ultimate addiction!

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