08 September 2010

what kind of mantel are you?

So I am really have a blast with my online clients.  I will share more as we move along (and as they feel like sharing)  One family wants help with an eating area, one with their master bedroom and one with their playroom...and den.  Each famiy's style is of course different from one another which is a blessing to me--it is teaching me to honor their true style, yet still stretch them perhaps in some areas.

So....with Katie's den.....we have been discussing their mantel (or mantle as a reader pointed out, thanks!)

I think a mantel can really display a lot about a person's tastes.  I have a preference, but I am curious about what Katie loves....

classic and symmetrical

Jean Allsopp Photography

eclectic and layered (my favorite!)

CL  (sorry..either Country or Cottage Living)

simple....but not boring



Country Living

I love the thoughtful way she styled this one.  She really
balanced the room...and mantel.

Cottage Living  (almost positive)

And, of course, the most popular:

a mirror!

Mark Burstyn

I love a layered mirror look on a mantel

D. Caponigro

Our mantel

What is your favorite type?  
Do you change it out seasonally?

Send me a picture if you want....I'll post readers' mantels!



  1. I enjoy balance more than symmetry. The mirror is a great element because the view is different from every angle - an effect you can't demonstrate in a photo. It also gives strict symmetry some breathing room. I hope designers make sure the view in the mirror is interesting.

  2. I am somewhere between simple and eclectic. It all depends on my mood. During christmas time, I'm more on the eclectic style. I just love the 3rd fireplace. It's gorgeous.


  3. Great post! My favorite is the layered, and the 5th image. Although I really like your mantle as well!

    I am not a fan of mirrors on a mantle, because it seems like 90% of the time, the view (when seated) is of the ceiling. Not for me. I'd rather have art or objects or both.

    There must be a mantle bug going around, because I was planning to do a post on our fall mantle tomorrow, and my friend e-mailed me ANOTHER post on mantles, and then I read yours. Great minds think alike I suppose! I will probably link back to this post.

  4. Oh so many choices. maybe that is why it's the hardest thing for me to get right. I fuss and fuss and can never seem to get mine just like I want it.

    do you know my friend at Brock Street? He posted a lovely snap of his today:


    He loves vintage and antiques, too!

    Thanks, Julie! Donna

  5. I think I am "balanced" too. Mine is stacked boxes, sculpture, and books. None the same but arranged to be balanced. But I do love a simple mantle with just one fantastic piece. Makes a statement.


  6. I love the look of a mantle. I am actually on the hunt for an old one to put in my store.

  7. I'm definitely a combo of eclectic and simple. I'm moving in a few weeks so it will be interesting to see what my new mantel evolves to - it's always one of the last things to get just right for me. Oh, and I like a mirror on the mantel if it is layered with art in front - all my itself is too expected. Fun post!

  8. I too love the layered look! But have to say that gallery look is tugging at me too. Can't wait to see what you guys come up with! Hugs!

  9. We re-did our mantle when we moved it. As for what's above it that's a work in progress. But isn't it always!

  10. I love decorating mantles because it's a quick fix without spending a ton of cash and can be a focal point. I change mine seasonally. I sure hope you are able to share some of your work with the clients...would LOVE to see it.

    xx - Christina

  11. Can I tell you a secret? I don't have a mantel in my living room... I still need to order one... yikes.

  12. I like to change things up. In a formal room symmetry looks best, but in a casual family room you can keep changing it so it's not static.

    BTW, the photo above with the blonde in it, is from Cottage Living and that's our friend Janet Gregg. She's a jewelry designer and artist who lives in Charleston. The photos of her cottage are on Cottage Living and we posted about it here:

    Styling mantels is one of my favorite things to do for a client.

  13. All of these are great, but we will have to go with the gallery mantle. Thanks so much for the sweet comment you left on the SCAD post!!

    Eddie & Jaithan

  14. My look is the layered mirror mantel--for the illusions--space expansion, more light in the space, sparkle and drama

  15. I tend to gravitate towards simple but not boring but, sometimes I really like a layered look. They are all great looks.

  16. Love all these looks...but I am definitely a symetrical girl!!!

  17. These are all so great! I love the layered look probably the best. I have a wierd shaped wall above my mantel which really limits me to what I can do since nothing really looks right against it. I've resorted to one huge worn, white metal star that sits on its own and makes a big statement and I'm quite happy with that for now (at least until we redo the wall above!)

  18. My favorites are layered and symmetrical - now, how's that for a juxtaposition! It is probably why I can't make any final decisions when it comes to designing my home.....

  19. I love the layered look on a mantle. Mainly because I am very drawn to asymmetrical layouts. Right now we have to do a symmetrical look on our mantle because its tight and their are already sconces installed. We also have a mirror installed and I would like to change it out for art.

  20. I love the photograph by Caponigro best... so somewhere between layered and simple would suit me best, I think.


  21. Layered...although most of the ones I am coming across have a dang TV on them.....

  22. The wall above my mantel is asymmetrical, which has made my life very difficult - nothing but a layered look works, but that's been the hardest for me to get right!

  23. I love great mantles...unfortunately I don't have a great one at the moment. It's brick and the mantle itself is installed at a weird height that makes styling it very awkward. Thanks for the inspiration!

  24. Terry said it perfectly. Balance over symmetry. I do like things to be balanced, yet I am not a fan of pairs of anything.

    I don't really like layered for my home because I prefer a less cluttered look, yet I can genuinely admire it at others' homes.