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Open House: Cluttered or Spare Mantel?

In some homes (um, including my own), the fireplace mantel, which is often the main focal point in the living room, is piled with photos, candles, coasters — you name it. While it's a logical place to display knickknacks and mementos, often this excess can look cluttered. On the other hand, a spare mantel often looks naked. How do you decorate a fireplace mantel?


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drgethefbt drgethefbt 7 years
Put tall items on it, which draws your attention and forces the eye upwards for a more dramatic statement. Owner- beat drug test
chancleta chancleta 8 years
i like them bare maybe a plant or candle and that's it
SweetnLow SweetnLow 8 years
Mine is fairly cluttered. It houses travel objects I have collected. A morrocan mirror, a larger picture of Venice, an african style paper-mache tiger (which looks like one of my kitties), an asian-style dragon lantern, an apothecary jar with random orbs (just to tie together the colors), two old original-binding books stair-stepped, and 3 pillar candles. They are all in the same color-families, and the rest of the room is fairly bare, so it works. Things get rotated a lot, too. Changing your mantel is great for those of us with decorating ADD. I like them cluttered, as long as they appear to have a ddecorated look. I have a friend who has one that is cluttered and it looks horrible b/c there is no unifying style to it. (But then she says mine has "a lot of stuff on it." I sometimes question her taste, anyway..)
lickety-split lickety-split 8 years
clean, except at christmas when it is draped with garland and candles and red ornaments. getting in the mood just thinking about it :)
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i think that i would limit my mantel (if i had one) to just a couple candles or maybe a photo - and that's about it. my mom has a lot of stuff on hers and to me it does look to be a bit cluttered.
soapbox soapbox 8 years
My grandma's mantel (Like most grandmas) is packed with candid pictures of everyone in the family. It's so much fun to look at all the pictures in their mixed-matched frames. It gives her sitting room a very home-like feel. So sometimes clutter isn't bad.
latent latent 8 years
Mine's loaded with baseball memorabilia...a minor league bat, a couple of MLB baseballs, some minors baseballs, etc. It could probably stand to be less cluttered but...I've got four kids and two of them are baseball fans. *shrug*
Kimpossible Kimpossible 8 years
oh and yes, I like to decorate it differently for Fall and Christmas.
Kimpossible Kimpossible 8 years
I have mine decorated with a decorative box and ornate obelisk type thing (LOL) on one side, a vase with willow branches on the other and a Bev Doolittle print hanging low in the middle. I'm still looking for something for the middle of the mantle that is low enough to fit under the print. So, yes decorated but not cluttered.
chippyshero2066 chippyshero2066 8 years
I would keep it simple like the setting from the pic above. Don't add candles on the mantle or otherwise you would end up with smoke stains on the wall when you light up. Believe me trying to clean smoke stains is a pain in the azz.
Suzy-Cue Suzy-Cue 8 years
Do NOT have a cluttered mantel. Bad feng shui for starters. Put tall items on it, which draws your attention and forces the eye upwards for a more dramatic statement. Leave the middle of the mantel bare and deal with the ends or do the middle and leave the ends bare. Take all personal photos off a mantel; they do not belong there.
demure20 demure20 8 years
I change mine with the season. Right now it has two similar topiaries on either side, two matching lenox votives, and a lenox clock in the middle. It's spaced out evenly, so it does not appear cluttered.
MandyPinecone MandyPinecone 8 years
right know we are in the process of selling our house so the mantel is bare, but before we had our wedding photo and a set of candle stick holders, they are nice and chunky ands each. weight a good 5 l
bushra bushra 8 years
not so many items, only an effective few. but that's because there's no way i could maintain dusting on a cluttered mantel.
g1amourpuss g1amourpuss 8 years
Oh gaaahh... my mother's mantel is so cluttered. I like it spare!
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 8 years
I like to have a few things up there but nothing cluttered. I usually rotate items every month or so so it's always fresh. This is a great place to decorate for the season.
kathili kathili 8 years
I tend to put photos and other personal items (a wooden artist's figure, a pretty glass bowl, a mirror, etc) on mine, but I try to leave a clean space margin around each so it doesnt feel so cluttered.
tweet-hotpants tweet-hotpants 8 years
come on people, post! I have a new mantel and I need some ideas for decorating :)
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