I've often heard children say, "There's nothing to do today". I beg to differ. I'd like to inspire you to do something. Anything. Read. Bake. Hike. Fish. Plant. Sail. Climb. Play. Reach. Move. Laugh. Dream; and take time to sit with me on The Old Granite Step.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Using a Mantel for Decoration


1.  a construction framing the opening of a fireplace and usually covering part of the chimney breast in a more or less decorative manner.
2.  also called mantelshelf; a shelf above a fireplace opening.
A mantel can be a wonderful piece of architectural detail whether you have a fireplace or not.  You can find them at antique or consignment stores or perhaps, like me, you'll find one on Craigslist.  We even answered an ad once for a house that was being torn down.  The ad said "Come with your hammer and crowbar.  Everything has a price."  We were there first thing and sure enough, there was a very large, beautiful mantel that was exactly what we were looking for.  $100 plus a little elbow grease and ten minutes later it was in the back of our truck.  Don't be shy about where you put your mantel but be sure to securely attach it to the wall.  If you can't do it yourself, a local handyman can help.  
This mantel is in a small summer cottage.  The cottage doesn't have much original architectural charm so the mantel adds that element.
We purchased this mantel at a tag sale.  It held a spot of honor in two of our homes but alas, we honored the buyers request to leave it in this one.  The mirror was given to me by a friend.  It is from a New York City brownstone and is still part of our family.  It hangs above a different mantel now.
This room always seemed like a room in an old tavern.  I'm sure the beautiful old floors helped give it that appearance, but the mantel seemed to help that cause. 
 The mantel gave this wall the detail it needed.
 Mantels are wonderful for decorating.
Although there is a fireplace here, I found this mantel for sale on the internet.  The original mantel had been removed for refinishing before we purchased the house.  Unfortunately, it didn't fit with the gas fireplace surround.  We weren't living in the house yet, but the Christmas greens added a seasonal flair.
The mirror in it's new home.  We moved the mantel from the other room when redecorating.  Cozy.
I answered this ad that I saw on craigslist.  I drove about 100 miles to pick it up but she sold it for $75.  Perfect.
 I love this mantel; distressed and all.
This mantel is in pieces in our barn.  An old inn sat on our property at one time but was moved to a new location many years ago.  It's rumored that this mantel was part of the inn.  I will eventually find a great spot for it.
This mantel has yet to find a permanent home.  It's been leaning here for over a year and seems to be a spot that collects other things without a home.

Have fun and use your imagination when decorating!

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