As soon as the Christmas mantel decorating came down this weekend, I was feeling the need for a trash to treasure mantel. What can I say… I was craving my rust and wood.
How to decorate a fireplace mantel with junk? Easy! Layer, stack, move around like minded clutter until it feels right and there you have it.
However I dug down a little deeper today, so here’s the wordy version of how I do it:
I look at shapes of things. The window is square so I soften it up with circles and straight lines rising outside the window itself to break out of the box configuration. A surplus comes tumbling out at each end as well.
The light trick
White mini Christmas lights were tucked in behind the works and wound up into the lamp to help brighten things up. Lights are my secret weapon often because of the dark fireplace, otherwise elements can simply disappear. They sure cast a neat glow in the evening.
Like minded elements
Bringing like minded elements together is what makes this work. In fact it was very hard to go wrong. Love those rustic woodsy tones!
It’s actually quiet and subdued. There’s lots there, but it doesn’t scream lots because the darks and lights are close in colour tone and texture.
Watch for overload
Heavy decorating on a fireplace mantel is one exception I make. I generally have a sparse hand, but if something isn’t in the way, I go to town.
But you can overdue it. I have a fanatical eye (that is both a blessing and curse) and one extra thing just makes it look jumbled. It’s hard to explain.
Say you have two cups on a table. You decide to add a glass coaster under one cup but realize it ruins the clean lines of the cup. That’s how I’d feel if I added one too many elements to something. You’d think it would get lost in the shuffle but it stands out like a sore thumb to me.
But I always try. I get to the point of too much, then take away, rather than having to add. Go big or go home!
Here you can sneak a peek at the lights behind the pulley. It glows much brighter in person.
Working in layers offers more dimension without feeling ‘too full’.
I don’t have any official training in this. And I don’t even know if it’s right!
But for my junk filled home, it’s perfectly trashy perfect. And free.