Category Archives: Decorating@Nibs

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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Coming In March- More Fireplace Mantels

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Back in 2011, I borrowed a friend’s home to create sixteen decorating ideas for a simple white fireplace mantel. Even after all those, I wanted to do more. I began searching for a similar mantel of my own. This past Autumn, Margot and I were antiquing in upstate New York and you’ll never guess what I found? :)

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The new series will be different. If you remember, I was restricted from painting the mantel in the first series. Which was fine. It became the constant in the design equation. But with my mantel, I want to explore all sorts of other ideas. I’ll give you a hint. The operative word- COLOR.

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(Vintage photos c. 1900-1940)

Decorating@Nibs- Place Settings

place setting- the set of items consisting of cutlery, crockery and glassware laid for one person at a dining table.

A place setting is as simple as that. But ohhh…the possiblities!

Place Setting #13

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Squirrel plate- Crate & Barrel

Dinner plate- Russel Wright c. 1950

Flatware- Vintage bakelite

Glass mug- William-Sonoma

Wool plaid fabric (tablecloth)- Joann’s

Paisley napkin- Fabric from P/Kaufmann

Place card holder- Use a coping saw to slice an opening in the acorn for the card. Secure the nut to the leaf with a dab of hot glue.

Cross cut wood cheese board- Handmade by my father-in-law.

(Styling & photo- © 2013 Martha Browne)

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More Small Scale Decorating #14

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A shout out to Design Within Reach- make your catalog cover of furniture silhouettes into real wallpaper! :)

Red wire chair- CB2. Printed floor- Joann’s. Wood baseboard- Blick.

(Photo & styling- © 2013 Martha Browne)

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The IKEA 2014 catalog arrived in the mail last week.  Quite a few things caught my attention including this set of dollhouse furniture based on the company’s own designs. Then my friend Christine mentioned it on her blog. Well…that did it. I just had to make a drive to the nearest store to check it out. I ended up purchasing the set- sofa (with pink slipcover), yellow chair, green table, shelving unit, striped rug and heart pillow (not shown). The scale is bigger than most of the 1″=1′ scale I”m used to. But I’m always up for a fun challenge. :)

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A large, traditional Toile print is a pleasant surprise combined with the more contemporary IKEA pieces. It also balances out the bold black and white rug. Two botanical posters (actually postcards from a boxed collection by Chronicle Books) hang above the sofa. Shelves have books crafted from cut foamcore covered in colored paint chips. I added my Pottery Barn Kids dollhouse table with a Post-it note shade lamp. Nesting tables are made of a section of a plastic box and the IKEA green table. Lantern is a Pier 1 find.

(Photos & Styling- © 2013 Martha Browne)

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My Imaginary Magazine Cover- The World Of Interiors

Repurpose- Paper Table Runner

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A paper table runner from West Elm can easily be repurposed as a fun border in a kitchen. Use Roman Pro-880 Ultra Clear Adhesive to apply to the wall.

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Note- I see that the paper runner is on backorder. Try checking stores to see if they have it in stock. Hester & Cook carries this one that would be great for either a kitchen or dining room, too.

(Photo & Styling- ©2013 Martha Browne)

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More Small Scale Decorating #12

chairsglassplasticcube-optRemember the plastic boxes? I took one apart and created a table for two Ikea dollhouse chairs. The ‘rug‘ is a felt-tip marker drawing done by photographer William Eggleston for the cover of Aperture Magazine.

(Photo- © 2013 Martha Browne)

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Decorating@Nibs- Nesting Instinct

A tiny hallway between our living room and den got a spring update. I simply removed pages from the book ‘America’s Other Audubon‘ by Joy M. Kiser and mounted them on one wall.

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Suggestions-

1. Cut out book pages & clean up any ragged edges with an exacto knife/metal ruler.

2. Arrange the pages on the floor to get an idea for placement. I started in one corner because I wanted as many full pages as I could fit on the wall. Otherwise, I recommend beginning at the center and work outwards.

3. Instead of wallpaper paste, I used Krylon’s Easy-Tack. A mistake in hanging…no problem. Just peel off the page and try again.

(Styling & photo- © 2013 Martha Browne)

Note- If you decide you like this idea and want the pages adhered to the wall rather than Easy-Tacked…try Roman Pro-880 Ultra Clear Strippable Wallpaper Adhesive. Apply evenly with a 3″ foam brush. Press into place and remove air bubbles using a clean cloth. A damp sponge will remove any excess glue left on the pages. Just remember to wipe gently…don’t scrub. 

Decorating@Nibs- Place Settings

place setting- the set of items consisting of cutlery, crockery and glassware laid for one person at a dining table.

A place setting is as simple as that. But ohhh…the possibilities!

Place Setting #12

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Sandwich plate- Crate & Barrel

Glass- William-Sonoma

Vintage school tray c. 1955-1965

(Styling & photo- © 2013 Martha Browne)

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Decorating@Nibs- Place Settings

place setting- the set of items consisting of cutlery, crockery and glassware laid for one person at a dining table.

A place setting is as simple as that. But ohhh…the possibilities!

Place Setting # 11

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Blue & white dot plate and napkin- West Elm

Swingtop bottle- Specialty Bottle

Vintage sea salt container

Tyrrell’s lightly sea salted chips

(Styling & photo- © 2013 Martha Browne)

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