Every year after I take down all the Christmas decorations I get all depressed. The house looks so bare and so does the mantle. I usually just go with a spare look, such as just a few candlesticks on each side and maybe one thing in the middle, but not this year. This year I wanted something busy, but it had to include many shades of brown, a few other natural colors and have lots of texture.
Here's how it's turned out so far. Bear in mind that this is a work in progress and that I'm still tweaking it:
I've had a devil of a time photographing this mantle. The pictures just don't do it justice and neither does my camera. So here's a couple of other angles:
All three of these are blurry. One day I'll get a real grown up DSLR camera.
For a breakdown of what's on the mantle:
This is to the left of the mantle. The tall wooden puppet is from Indonesia and really works. The brown teapot was brought back by my husband from a trip to Peru and the box it's sitting on was a gift from my brother's trip to the Czech Republic.
In the center is a small collection of cut crystal. Some were wedding gifts, some belonged to my grandparents and a couple were also brought back by my brother from the Czech Republic.
And to the right, I found some old books that has been tucked away and stacked them with their edges out to display the different shades of tan and brown. These also served to give some height to display the black pottery. Oh, and there's a green pillow tucked into a small metal basket on the right.
To pull everything together I grabbed some strips of burlap that was leftover from the kitchen curtain project and bunched it up a little and then spread it across the mantle. I made sure to give it some height in some places to add interest. Next I grabbed some dried curly grape vines that were originally in my foyer in a large pottery jug and stuck it in random places. I also have some little vine balls on the mantle that have been dyed that I purchased at Target. I used these as filler.
Also please keep in mind that the nasty striped wall paper will also be disappearing over the next couple of months. My "MantleScape" will have so much more impact then when it doesn't have to fight the stripes to be seen.
I'm not sure what else I'll do to the mantle, but I like where it's heading so far and I"m loving my "new" mirror.