Sunday, March 23, 2014

Vintage Mantel

I bought a new mantel this weekend to go around our new gas heater.  When we built this house, we decided we didn't need a fireplace.  That was one of our many mistakes.   Doing without a fireplace was not a big deal, actually, til our recent ice storm.  We were without power for several days - long enough for the house to get quite cold and long enough for hubby and I to decide that we would make a few changes asap.  

I wasn't all that keen on having a ventless gas stove, but it was our best option for electricity-free heat.  It turned out well.  We really like it, actually.  Once it was installed, it pretty much demanded a mantel.  One thing leads to another...

Mr. Dream secured the mantel in place.  He plans to make two sections for the bottom of the surround on each side.  We didn't want to cut the baseboard.

I haven't made up my mind what I want to in the area behind the stove.  It doesn't get hot there at all (all the heat goes forward) so I only have to consider looks.

Even though the mantel is quite large, it needs something more above it. Our ceiling are 10 feet, so there's plenty of room to work with.  I'm hoping to find an interesting vintage sign to go there.   I would prefer to have a metal one that's truly vintage.   If I don't find any I like soon, maybe I'll  make a wood one.


As for mantel decor, that's going to take a bit of playing.  If this were a standard mantel with a wide open areas above, I'd be full of ideas.  I could do those all day long.  Decorating a mantel with two shelves is requiring me to think a little harder.

I have some ideas.  For instance, I'd really love to hang a small wreath over the mirror.  A wreath would be easy to change out, too.


I may include some branches as well.  Lots of things are bursting into bloom around here.  And I have several great pitchers that are just begging to be used.
I'll likely try to include a bit of color.  As pretty as neutral mantel vignettes are, they just wouldn't look right in my near bohemian home.  Give me some color, please.  (But don't let me cross over into the tacky zone!)
I don't know how much color I'll actually need.  I might need to play around with that.  I really love the look below with the assortment of bottles with greenery.  There's not a  lot of color there, but it might still work.  And those bottles sure would look great in front of the mirror.


This travel themed mantel is very different from the other inspiration photos I saw today.  It's super casual and colorful.  It doesn't use common mantel decor rules at all. There's no rhyme or reason to the height of objects.  It totally took me by surprise in a good way!  It's refreshing and fun.



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