Category Archives: Decorating@Nibs- Series Of Fireplace Mantels

Decorating@Nibs- More Fireplace Mantels

Fireplace Mantel #18- A Botany Lesson

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It always amazes me how color and texture can change the whole feel of a room or this case the whole feel of a fireplace mantel. My historical mantel went from yellow-gold to a bright mossy green. And what a difference!

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Process-

1. Cover walls with this fabric from Ikea. Here’s how. You can either- a. Prep walls with a special sealer and spread on a paste that’s made for fabric. b. Furring strips (thin pieces of wood) are spaced (fabric width) and nailed to the wall. Then you shoot staples through the fabric into the strips. c. The easiest method is to use a staple gun and shoot directly into the plaster/lathe or sheetrock.

Apply natural objects to the fabric walls (pressed flowers, leaves, nests, sea shells, insects,etc.) with small nails and/or hot glue.

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2. Paint trim with Behr (at Home Depot) in a custom mix that matches the fabric background.

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3. Prime and paint fireplace mantel Benjamin Moore #434. Next carefully cover the mantel shelf with sheet moss held in place with staples. Side Note- Another idea is to wrap the mantel completely in moss.

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4. Mantel Accessories- Crane claw bookends, books, bell jar, postcard, turtle shell, animal skull, rocks, seed pods and dried plant clipping.

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5. Other- Antique woven chair, paper wasp nest, binoculars and a stone vase that holds my great-grandmother’s walking stick.

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(Styling & Photos- © 2014 Martha Browne)

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Decorating@Nibs- More Fireplace Mantels

I enjoyed decorating a friend’s simple old mantel that I went hunting for one like it. After months of searching, I came across a mantel that was perfect for my new series on color. Now let’s have some fun and decorate!

Fireplace Mantel #17- Colorful Colonial

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Inspiration for this mantel came from the Peter Wentz House in Worcester, PA  c. 1758. The bold color and sponged dots are part of the house’s  intriguing decoration.

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I picked out Benjamin Moore paint colors that I felt were close matches- Stuart Gold (fireplace mantel), Black PM (trim & dots) and Simply White (walls). I suggest either a flat or pearl finish.

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Process-

1. Prime and paint walls white.

2. To mimic the black dots, I used a sea sponge. Keep in mind, a sponge makes the dot shapes imperfect and that’s what you want. To do- Take your sea sponge and cut it in half. The uncut portion will be the part you dip in the paint. Pour a small amount of black paint into a pie pan. Then lightly coat the sponge. You may want to practice sponging the dots (2″ diameter) on some newspaper. You can measure and mark the walls with a pencil as to where to sponge (space 9″ to 12″ apart) or apply the dots freely…stepping back periodically to see where you need them.

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3. Paint base molding black. I’ve read this was a common practice because of dirt. Side note- In a room setting, window trim would be painted gold.

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4. Prime and paint fireplace mantel gold.

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5. Mantel Accessories- Hand carved tray holds fresh pears, framed rooster needlepoint c. 1930s, black silhouette rooster cutting board, old metal spring with feather, iron hook, vintage dust broom, cut paper and antique crock.

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6. Other- Amish straw hat, candle holder, candle, muck boots, redware bowl, antique barrel, chair and hand-loomed rag rug.

(Styling & Photos- © 2014 Martha Browne)

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Decorating@Nibs- 16 Fireplace Mantels

A Bright Future- Yellow

My Imaginary Magazine Cover- Elle Decor

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I know…not quite the imaginary cover you were expecting. I just couldn’t resist tweaking one of my photos into this Elle Decor business reply card.

(Photo- Martha B.)

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Decorating@Nibs- 16 Fireplace Mantels

Decorating@Nibs- 16 Fireplace Mantels

I hope you enjoyed this first segment of Decorating@Nibs showing one fireplace mantel made over sixteen different ways. It was fun coming up with all these displays. Remember you aren’t limited to what I’ve done here. Pick out a few ideas and combine them to create your own design. Click images to enlarge.

(Styling & photos- Martha B.)

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Decorating@Nibs- Fireplace Mantels

What a stroke of luck! Just when I thought I was done with the series on fireplace mantels I got a call from the homeowners letting me back into their place for a few weeks. So…I put the ideas for place settings on hold and picked up where I left off in early June.

Fireplace Mantel #16- Toile de Jouy

One of my favorite fabrics is traditional Toile de Jouy. This is the type of print that can do it all- from walls to bed to furniture. For this display I even made a Toile mantel skirt highlighted by black ribbon.

1. Classic Toile de Jouy fabric from Joann’s

2. Eighteenth century print in the original frame

3. Glass urns filled to the brim with hydrangea

4. Staffordshire ceramic spaniels c. 1880-90 (these are my grandmother’s)

5. Book

6. This is the very same chair that appeared in my first mantel idea…only now it’s hidden beneath a Toile slipcover.

The hatbox is antique whereas the hat is a reproduction.

(Styling & photos- Martha B.)

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Decorating@Nibs- Fireplace Mantels

What a stroke of luck! Just when I thought I was done with the series on fireplace mantels I got a call from the homeowners letting me back into their place for a few weeks. So…I put the ideas for place settings on hold and picked up where I left off in early June.

Fireplace Mantel #15- A Hippie Vibe

While shopping at Joann’s I came across their pre-cut fabric samples used for quilting. Before I knew it, I had collected a dozen or more floral prints with the idea of decorating the wall with them.

1. Most fabrics from Joann’s. Others are from my stash.

2. Antique framed needlework

3. Basket

4. Vase with baby’s breath

5. Butterfly is from my own collection.

6. Assorted bottles…(large one is from Anthropologie & the other two are from my dad)

7. Feathers were found on my parents’ old farm in upstate New York

8. House plants

9. I got this old wooden trunk at an Antiques store that’s now closed. The cost? $10.

10. Paperback books, yellow mug (ebay) and bird’s cage (local consignment shop)

11. & 12. Vintage record albums and c. 1969 guitar

The rag rug came from Ikea.

A peek at next week’s mantel!

(Styling & photos- Martha B.)

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Decorating@Nibs- Fireplace Mantels

What a stroke of luck! Just when I thought I was done with the series on fireplace mantels I got a call from the homeowners letting me back into their place for a few weeks. So…I put the ideas for place settings on hold and picked up where I left off in early June.

Fireplace Mantel #14- Retro Christmas

The basis for this mantle design started when I saw these glass globes at West Elm. I couldn’t help but envision them as small dioramas showing winter scenes. I bought two…

…and filled them with sugar snow, HO scaled model pine trees, deer & figures. After that the rest of the display fell into place.

1. Fabric wallcovering (similar at Joann’s)

2. Vintage set of deer antlers is affixed to a wooden plaque.

3. Collection of Christmas cards c. 1930-1940

4. Old glass ornaments are from my husband’s family.

5. I bought this lone antler from a shop in New York state.

6. Container Store solid blue wrapping paper & red ribbon

7&8. Glass globes available at West Elm. Figures are from here and here.

9. West Elm also had a bunch of these garlands for sale. They look a lot like a paper chain but they’re actually made of wood shavings. Unfortunately, they’re sold out online. Check individual stores to see if they have any left.

The stool is from Ikea.

A peek at next week’s mantel!

(Styling & Photos- Martha B.)

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Decorating@Nibs- Fireplace Mantels

What a stroke of luck! Just when I thought I was done with the series on fireplace mantels I got a call from the homeowners letting me back into their place for a few weeks. So…I put the ideas for place settings on hold and picked up where I left off in early June.

Fireplace Mantel #13- Less Is More

Over the summer the walls got a fresh coat of white paint which was perfect for a very clean, minimalistic display on the mantel.

1. The photograph is a beautiful traditional C-print that I bought from Christina Dixcy whose work I love. A grouping of her pictures (four or more) would look great here, too. I used a simple frameless clip frame available at Blick.

2. Vintage McCoy vase c. 1920-1930

3. Driftwood

4. Seed pods

5. The painted chair was rescued from a dumpster.

A peek at next week’s mantel!

(Styling & photos- Martha B.)

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Decorating@Nibs- Fireplace Mantels

Last week I got word that the homeowners wanted back into their place and I’d have to remove my stuff from the room I was using to photograph this mantel series. I was disappointed since I had planned to do six more. Oh well…it was fun while it lasted.

Fireplace Mantel #12- Christmas In The Pine Tree State

I pared down to just a few objects for this Christmas display but made sure they were all interesting and/or had plenty of texture. By the way, if you’re wondering what the pine tree state is…it’s Maine. :)

1. Fabric wallcovering has the look of burlap

2. Large pine cone wreath

3. Vintage tourist plate from Maine

4. & 5. Brass holders with candles resembling tree branches

6. Plaid fabric sample hung by curtain rings (this idea came from a short article on wool textiles in World of Interiors Magazine)

7. Antique woven chair

8. I bought the Christmas pine tree on sale at Crate & Barrel. The ornaments I made from old photographs, scanned onto cardstock and then glued to stained embroidery hoops.

A peek at a new series- place settings!

(Styling & photos- Martha B.)

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Decorating@Nibs- Fireplace Mantels

I thought it would be a fun challenge to do a collection of posts on decorating. Not whole room renovations mind you, but rather smaller, more manageable projects. First up will be a bunch of ideas for decorating fireplace mantels. So…check back as I’ll be posting a new mantel arrangement each week. I hope these will provide lots of inspiration.

Fireplace Mantel Idea #11- Inside/Outside

I loved the idea of using this colorful floral fabric as a whimsical backdrop for some garden related items.

1. Fabric from Calico Corners

2. Old watering cans (similar at Terrain)

3. Rabbit photograph by Walter Schels from his book ‘Animal Portraits

4. Vintage picnic basket

5. Garden bench

A peek at next week’s mantel!

(Styling & photos- Martha B.)

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