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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Fall Mantels

I don't know if I should really be decorating for fall yet, as it will reach a balmy 81 degrees later this week. But, I can't help it. And, as there were some requests for fall decorating tips, I thought I'd share this year's Fall Mantel with you. Let's go step by step.


This is the before. A lovely, albeit boring mantel.

Start with a nice, full garland with realistic leaves (the same goes for evergreen ones at Christmas). I attached it with clear packing tape--I still have much at my disposal. I taped it at the front corner of the ledge. I also taped an acorn and leave swag in the middle as a kind of "centerpiece." You can click on the mantle close-up (below, a couple pictures) for a better look.



Then, add some tall elements. One of the most important thing about accessorizing is thinking about positive/negative space. Positive space is where the things are. Negative space is all the space around the objects. When you have a varied assortment of sizes and shapes, it makes it more visually interesting to look at. You need interesting positive and negative space. Does that make sense?



Here's a closer-up of the mantle. One idea is to tip objects in different directions. It may be kind of hard to see, but the pumpkins on the inside of the candlesticks are tipped forward so their tops are showing.

Then add some smaller objects. This arrangement is fairly symmetrical. It's not exactly the same on each side, but it is similar, and more importantly, visually balanced. I wanted some more height on the left side of the hearth area, so I used a cardboard box covered with a pretty kitchen towel as a stand. A crate would have been better, but I made do with what I had. :)


I used indian corn and some more stems of leaves for fillers. And, voila, I'm done! Hopefully you got some ideas that will help you in your fall decorating! Happy Autumn!

Was this useful/interesting? Let me know!
Click here to see 2010's mantel!

14 love notes:

Lea said...

Very Useful, Absolutely intersting. Please keep the ideas coming, I LOVE it. And while your at it can you come back to St. Louis and tell me how to use all my positive and negative space? My home is just dying to be decorated and I have no clue where to begin, very frustrating. I know what I like and don't like but I don't know quite how to use the space. Any books or websites that I can refer to?

Carolyn said...

Oooooh! Thanks, that is so pretty. I've always wondered about how to get garland to stay up. Tape, duh! Excellent! Thanks for the tips. I think I might actually decorate my mantle this year. I still need to get pictures up on the walls. For some reason, that is what's hard for me to commit to.

PS... I loved reading your post about your anniversary and reminiscing of the "beginning" years. That brought back so many memories!

Happy Mom said...

Wow! You do a flair for decorating girl!!! It's beautiful!

Kate Nelson said...

Yes and might I say that I would love more tips because my home is wanting for some cuteness. Do you know of any web sites or magazines that might do the same sort of thing you just did?

Tasha said...

I like it--I don't have a mantle in our apartment, but I like learning about how to arrange things. My place could use an artistic eye!

Becky said...

So pretty! Will your kids actually leave those corncobs untouched? More decor ideas, please.
How about porch decorating ideas?

knechted forever said...

Well, we aren't rich enough to afford a fire place. We still do it outside in a pit. Darn these newlywed years!! Someday though, I'll pull from the dusty cobwebs of my mind the ingenious "fall mantles" blog and say, "hey! I know how we can decorate our mantle!" Bless you.

Laura F said...

Yay! I'm taking one of these photos to Michaels with me tomorrow... :-)

Cory Elvidge said...

Great! Thanks!! Now what store do you buy a mantle at? :)

Things' Mommy said...

Hi Gals,

Everyone's asking about other resources for design ideas and decorating tips. I can't come up with any off the top of my head. So, let me think, then I'll get back to you.

Becky, yes, amazingly they do go untouched (after the initial "These pumpkins are NOT basketballs" speech. Who woulda thought?

Laurel @ Ducks in a Row said...

So pretty. Thanks for dissecting it for us - I need help like that!

Liam's Mom said...

Useful and interesting and fun! I love it!

Aura said...

Looks lovely! I just got mine all decorate for fall, too.

Melissa said...

Love the look!