Interiors- Where Do I Start?

When decorating a room, I love starting with a fireplace mantel. It seems that if I get that right (colors, accessories) then the rest of the design decisions (furniture, lighting, etc.) fall into place. And if by chance there isn’t an existing mantel, well…I find a blank wall and put one there. :)

colorfulfireplacemantelseriesofsix-optThe images (above) are all from my series of ideas based on a single fireplace mantel.

Top row- Colorful Colonial, A Botany Lesson, Fall’s Bounty

Bottom row- A Swedish Holiday, Mister Moore, Going Dark

Others- A Novelty, Juxtaposition

(Photos & Styling- Martha Browne)

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Decorating@Nibs- More Fireplace Mantels

What’s a novelty fabric/wallpaper print? In a nut shell, novelty prints use familiar objects in a cool, repeating pattern. Of course, from a distance it’s hard to tell what the objects are. But then you take a closer look and…surprise!

Fireplace Mantel #26- A Novelty

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Process-

1. Cover the walls in a novelty fabric (or wallpaper). I chose a print with scissors…that’s right, scissors. :) This one is from Joann’s.

2. Prime and paint the mantel ‘China White’ by Benjamin Moore.

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3. On the mantel- I didn’t want a scissor theme display. Too predictable. Instead I played off the print colors- gray (tarnished antique tea set, photographs and mats) & yellow (textured vase, flowers and lemons). Also, note how the model’s hand complements the natural wood frames.

4. Other- If I were to keep going with this design I’d love to use this DWR chair or a set of them for…say a breakfast nook.

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(Photos & Styling- Martha Browne)

Related Nibs posts-

Fireplace Mantel Series

Decorating@Nibs- More Fireplace Mantels

Christmas has come and gone…so why am I posting a holiday mantel display? As I was going through things in our basement (initial packing for our move) I came across these ornaments. And I just had to do a quick arrangement for my series before putting them in a box.

Fireplace Mantel #25- Christmas Village

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Process-

1. Use Ikea fabrics- wood plank (for the walls) and logs (for the firebox). The mantel remains Benjamin Moore’s China White.

2. On the mantel- Collection of handmade small scale homes and barns, HO scale figures/deer, diorama trees, folk art wooden hearts/stars garland, and natural wreath with craft store burlap ribbon.

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(Photos & Styling- Martha Browne)

Related Nibs post-

Fireplace Mantel #23- A Swedish Holiday

Fireplace Mantel #14- Retro Christmas

Fireplace Mantel #10- Christmas Portrait

Decorating@Nibs- More Fireplace Mantels

The design term ‘juxtaposition’ has been used for years. But in all honesty what exactly does it mean? Juxtaposition is defined as putting things together (purposely placing them side by side) in order to create an interesting (and fun) contrast.

Fireplace Mantel #24- Juxtaposition

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Process-

1. This display starts with leaf patterned walls that complements the classic fireplace mantel painted Benjamin Moore China White.

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2. On the mantel- Three framed prints done in felt-tip markers by photographer William Eggleston 2009, assorted small scale chairs, Ikea black clip-on lights, craft paints, solar powdered bulb/toy and a book.

(Photos & Styling- Martha Browne)

Related Nibs post-

Fireplace Mantel #23- A Swedish Holiday

Fireplace Mantel #22- Fall’s Bounty

Fireplace Mantel #21- Mister Moore

Decorating@Nibs- More Fireplace Mantels

Other countries can provide such wonderful inspiration for interiors. I loved the idea of doing a mantel design with a nod towards Sweden. My immediate thought was of Carl Larsson and the home he and his wife Karin created. Of course, I always like to mix in things to make it my own. And I encourage you to do the same. :)

Fireplace Mantel #23- A Swedish Holiday

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Process-

1. Prime/paint walls Benjamin Moore Fresh Peach #060.

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2. Prime/paint baseboard and fireplace mantel Benjamin Moore China White.

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3. Prime/paint detail molding Benjamin Moore green #434.

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4. On the mantel- Framed print c. 1700s, old photo, brass candlesticks with candles, fresh tulips in a glass vase and lots of garden bulbs.

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5. Other- Antique candle holders, framed botanical prints, Steiff teddy bear, wooden shoes (from Margot), family heirloom table, vintage cross stitch tablecloth, D.I.Y. chair cover, gingerbread cookies with checked ribbon, rug and log print fabric (check Ikea for availability).

(Photos & Styling- © 2014 Martha Browne)

Related Nibs posts-

Fireplace Mantel #22- Fall’s Bounty

Decorating@Nibs- More Fireplace Mantels

I enjoyed decorating a friend’s simple antique mantel sixteen different ways that I went hunting for one like it for myself. 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 #22- Fall’s Bounty

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I wanted this mantel to celebrate Fall and Thanksgiving without being too predictable. So I skipped the bright orange pumpkins, black paper crows and jars of candy corn.

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Instead, inspiration came from rural French decor with a few added surprises of my own.

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Process-

1. Prime and paint walls/trim & moulding warm beige (custom mix).

2. Prime and paint mantel dark brown (custom mix).

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3. On the mantel- Two wheat stacks, garden sickle, wire script ‘merci’, mercury glass pumpkin, antique bottles with corks, pottery, wooden spatula, vintage faux fruit, ink drawing c. 1900, clay figure and old books.

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4. Other- Linen cloth frill, printed log fabric (check Ikea for availability), country chair, hand carved walking stick, string of old keys and clay plate.

(Photos & Styling © 2014 Martha Browne)