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Open House: How Do You Decorate Your Fireplace Mantel?

I love the seashells that are carefully and artfully arranged on the fireplace mantel at the Park Lane Guesthouse in Austin, TX. The white of the shell is so compelling against the gray of the stone.

At my house, I also tend to add natural objects to the mantel, such as fresh flowers, agates, or shells. While I appreciate the austerity of a restrained, bare mantel, I'm more intrigued by mantels that showcase a homeowner's interest or hobby. How do you decorate your fireplace mantel? If you don't have one, how would you want to decorate it?

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