Thursday, March 5, 2009

master your mantle, in a few easy steps

IS your mantle a gaping hole in your otherwise inventive decorating?  Does this most focal of focal points stymie your creativity by virtue of its prominence and length? We have a solution, so here goes: first, choose a UNIFIER -- this can be color, here, a sort of sea inspired blue, a loosely arranged theme, or some combination of the two.  We went for a combination -- this mantle works on several subtle levels, since the sea blue of the papier mache deer head (sustainably handmade in Haiti for Stray Dog designs, and available in 16 benjamin moore colors) refers back to the shell frames (target!), the driftwood/barnwood blue frame (Laville Frames of Baton Rouge, Louisiana), the one shell, the sea glassy vintage bottles (see last post on our infatuation with these!), and the vintage clipper ship silhouette.  But wait!  Did you spot the other "link"?  IT's the turf, of surf n turf.  To reinforce and echo the big ol' deer head, there's a collection of kiddo's tiny vintage deer in the center, complemented by an owl she made in art class.  This arrangement is also unified by color -- the colors are limited, complementary, and all evoke the seaside.  We also used shape as a quiet unifier, creating a wave pattern across the mantle with object placement, and repeating the element of the darker square/rectangular photos within lighter frames.   So while a casual glance shows you that this mantle "works," a quick but careful second look makes the why obvious.  Give it a shot: find a common thread among art and objects on your mantle, and remember, the look will be better if it's not too predictable.

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