Category Archives: Displays

D.I.Y. Firebox Decor

The talented owners of this home crafted a whimsical smoke cutout to cover their empty firebox. Inspired, I decided to make one of my own.


List of materials-

1 sheet of foamcore (36″ x 48″)

exacto knife or box cutter

pencil, craft paints, markers and paint brushes


1. Measure your firebox so that your design will fit. Begin by using a pencil to lightly draw out your smoke onto the foam core.

2. Carefully cut it out with an exacto knife on a hard surface such as a work bench.

3. Now have fun with paints and markers drawing in cartoon-like details.

4. Place inside firebox. I simply leaned mine against the existing wood pile.

 (Inspiration photo- ‘Perfect English.’ D.I.Y. photo & styling- Martha Browne)

Three Easter Centerpieces


#1. Quail eggs with blue ribbon– design skool (top left). #2. Robin eggs speckled with edible gold paint- Honestly Yum (top right). #3. A moss covered wire chicken with eggs- Sweet Paul (bottom).

Masculine & Feminine Decor


The thought of something terribly masculine in a room setting that is unabashedly feminine has been on my mind lately. I’d love to try this in our next home. Reproduction print of 19th historical portrait (Robert Peel, Prime Minister of the UK) can be found at Restoration Hardware. The floral wallpaper is from Anthropologie.

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



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.


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.


(Photos & Styling- Martha Browne)

Related Nibs posts-

Fireplace Mantel Series

A Page From…

…’Food & Wine Magazine,’ 1998.


“What you need to have in your kitchen

1. A great stove is worth every penny.

2. Install a strong exhaust hood.

3. Consider concrete countertops.

4. Lay down a rubber restaurant-kitchen mat.

5. A bar refrigerator can save kitchen space.

6. Recycle materials can pay off aesthetically and financially.

7. Put an island on wheels.

8. Adapt restaurant equipment.”

Note- All of these recommendations still work for a 2015 kitchen.

Fireside Chats

A series of magazine images where the fireplace takes center stage.


#3. Jean-Claude Huon uses his bedroom’s painted brick fireplace as a giant backdrop for artwork and chic garden arrangements.

(Photo- John Coolidge for Elle Decor, 2000)

On My Reading List

#5. Decorating- ‘Perfect English‘ by Ros Byam Shaw, 2007.

” In the context of decorating, ‘Perfect English’ is something of a contradiction…We like our chic to be shabby, our grandeur to be faded— perfection is a very non- English quality.” – Roger Jones


(Photos- Chris Tubbs)