July 29, 2011

Mantel Makeover

This has been frustrating internet week. Wait, aren't they all? I am cursed with internet at home - it's slow, it hates my computer, it drops the connection. 

(Insert heavy sighing here.)

Often I try and try and then just give up.

So here I am.

I have today off. It's a super long weekend for me. Hurray!
So here's post one of what I've been up to!

I got the latest edition of Real Simple last week. I like Real Simple because I try a lot of things they suggest - recipes, clothes, makeup. They have a great approach. It's, um, simple.
 I was inspired by the "Mini Makeovers for Every Room" article. In particular, this:

I don't particularly love the mantel, or even the objects on the mantel.
What I loved was the organization, the placement of it all.
(And to me, this is the best kind of puttering of all.)
I think sometimes you focus so much on certain things in your home
(furniture, basement purge, vacuuming and dusting)
that you can lose sight of the "appearance" of things.
I know that sounds silly - especially since so many of you love home design and devote a lot of time to this exact thing
but for me - I'm not great with "vision". I have a hard time visualizing something- how it's going to be - and it makes me freeze. 
I also don't have a lot of time so the time I have is usually devoted to larger projects or laundry.
However, enough excuses and on with the fun!

I was inspired by the article because it said to use items that you already have in your home. Look in your bedroom, kitchen, bathroom - everywhere!

I like this because, well, it's free.

So here's what my mantel looked like before:

Nice eh?

How about a different angle?

Nope. Not any better.

It's a mish mash of items that have been put here because we put them down here and stopped seeing them as we walked by.

Here's what we had:
- items that need to be returned to MEC
- dvd
- valve (I don't know what this is for)
- small yarn balls in a jar
- picture of my mama
- picture of fella's childhood home (courtesy of Google maps)
- anvils of various sizes
- small dish filled with old watch faces 
- pieces of wood
- casket paperweight
- clock
- old candy 

You get the idea.
It wasn't good.
But like I said - I stopped seeing it. 

Now - on to the makeover!

There is a huge mirror over our mantel that we are keeping until we come up with something better. 
It's not a nice mirror but it reflects the light and makes the room feel more open. 
So it's staying (although it would benefit from a swipe of a rag and some windex)

I have a couple of pieces of art that I put in frames temporarily until I can afford to get them properly framed (which begs the question - do any of you know where you can buy decent frames that aren't from IKEA and aren't ridiculously expensive? Do share!) 
I figured it was better to be able to see them than have them tucked away in envelopes.

The other thing Real Simple mentioned was this:

"Leaning and layering pictures and post-cards creates a casual, unfussy quality, inviting investigation rather than scaring people"

I like leaning and layering.
I like unfussy.
But most of all, 

I like not scaring people.

So here's what I came up with:

This is Lenni. She has a story which I will share with you another time. 
I love her.

I think it looks much better.
The room needed a focal point.
I know that the fireplace isn't a lot of people's
"cup of tea"
but we kind of like it.
It doesn't work, it's a fake
but we still like it.
I would like to have a big piece of art to hang in the living room
but it hasn't found us yet.
For now I'm happy to be able to look at the Lenni and the Austin Kleon
and other items we love.
The other thing I like is that it's so easy to change it up. 
Nothing is permanent so it can come and go with my moods.

When fella first saw it he said.
"that's a lot of stuff".

It is. But I still like it.


Shannon said...

I love flipping through a mag, or a blog, and spotting something that makes me act! Moving this, moving that...I love it!

It reminds me of the fireplace with lots of stuff from the kings speech...I forget what part of the movie, i just remember thinking 'so thats how they used to do the mantle'

Bee said...

Yes, new, because the rearranging makes it look like a completely different, sophisticated and grown up space. Love love love. And pfft to fella saying it's a lot of stuff. It looks like just the right amount.