My Imaginary Book Cover

One of the most enjoyable projects I’ve ever done for Nibs was a series of fireplace mantels. The mantel was in the master bedroom of an old house that I got to borrow for several weeks. I indulged myself with all kinds of ideas that I’d always wanted to try out in my own home but couldn’t. And now I’m toying with the fun idea of doing a small, self-published book using them.

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Christmas Craft #27- The Fireplace Mantel

As readers know, I have an ongoing love affair for fireplace mantels. This one is in our dining room/library/guest room. A portrait, tied up as a gift, looks out over fresh pine & magnolia branches, antique brass holders with red candles, old books and a pineapple. Simple but effective.

(Photo- Martha Browne)

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)

Decorating Our Farmhouse #2

kitcheninspiration-optThe next big house project will be our kitchen. And I’ve been spending a lot of time going through my stash of ‘The World Of Interiors‘ for inspiration. Key point- I want the kitchen to respect the house’s architecture (1800’s) but not so much that it ends up feeling like a museum. It’s a bit of a design tightrope, I know. Wish us luck! :)

(Photo- Martha Browne)

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

D.I.Y.- Real Easy Christmas Displays

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#3. Another old idea that’s worth revisiting. All you need is a small bucket (mine is an antique lard container), tapered candles and play sand (check Home Depot).

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Fill the bucket with sand and insert the candles. Perfect as a table centerpiece.

Note- Remember…don’t leave this display unattended.

(Photos & Styling- © 2014 Martha Browne)

D.I.Y.- Real Easy Christmas Displays

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#2. Here are two fun and simple things to add to your front door for Christmas. A classic pine wreath is fine but if you can…look for something a bit different. In this case, I used boxwood (similar). Try to purchase the wreath smaller than average size, too. For the door handle, hang a large jingle bell. Red ribbon with white dots is from my own stash of leftovers.

(Photo & Styling- © 2014 Martha Browne)