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My mantel needs help...
Gwen H
January 6, 2013 in Design Dilemma
I'm going for a simple look but I feel like its too plain... Should I add more? Or just rearrange?
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elklaker
I'm not crazy about the height of the guitar pic. May be too tall. However, try moving it to the right. Remove the plain red candles. Group the three white vases together near the pic. Find something to elevate one of the black candleholders (maybe a book or two) and see how that looks.
2 Likes   January 6, 2013 at 12:20PM
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elklaker
Sorry. At closer look, it's a violin.
0 Likes   January 6, 2013 at 12:22PM
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keller521
take the mirror the down.
7 Likes   January 6, 2013 at 12:28PM
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cypress
Hi there, I think your mirror needs a frame, or beef up the frame on the Violin picture, including a mat. Loose the red candles, group smaller vases to one side, add a larger vase or object on opposite side.
3 Likes   January 6, 2013 at 12:30PM
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Gwen H
Is this better?
0 Likes   January 6, 2013 at 12:37PM
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Gwen H
Or with some red
0 Likes   January 6, 2013 at 12:41PM
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lastera
lose the mirror, mount the picture and add a couple of smaller, acquire some color to the mantle by using colorful vases, etc. a bit larger than the ones you have. A decorative fireplace screen would be pretty.
4 Likes   January 6, 2013 at 12:45PM
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elklaker
How about some other pictures of the rest of the room? That might help us help you.
0 Likes   January 6, 2013 at 1:06PM
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rtist9
No! turning the violin did not help. Take it down and hang it at the door entry way. If you want put a real violin there so when ever you want, you can just play it. Or a antique violin would be better. Leave mirror and add battery candles for light.Also you can add track lighting on the sides. That will add a dramatic feel.Add some gold or silver mirror pieces from homegoods or zgallerie to your mantle for more style. Or roll up a white faux fox blanket or runner and lay it across the mantle then add your glass pieces to it for a really Marilyn Monroe esque feel.
2 Likes   January 6, 2013 at 1:31PM
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Gwen H
This is the other side of the room
0 Likes   January 6, 2013 at 2:06PM
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elklaker
Let's start over. What I see is a pottery vase with some branches (birch or similar) for some height on one side. Bright red doesn't seem to be working. Again, you could use the black candle holders together but with some varied height. One other accessory for good measure. Do you have anything along those lines?
2 Likes   January 6, 2013 at 2:25PM
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elklaker
Something along these lines.
8 Likes   January 6, 2013 at 2:33PM
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Barby
I think one of the issues is thew scale of the mirror. It way overpowers the scale of the fireplace itself. I am a big fan of an antique clock softly ticking on a mantle and some propped up pics or even photos. also the scale of the small items are too small....I LOVE the pic that elklaker just posted...that is a lovely arrangement. I think a framed mirror that is much smaller is the first step and nice antique looking frame too then contrast with some more modern accent pices.....laeger scale accent pieces but less of them...hope that helps!!!
1 Like   January 6, 2013 at 2:41PM
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PRO
A New Look Interior Design
I like violin! I would keep it standing up bbu move it to onside. Then get a pair of heavy,wooden,dark brown (pottery Barn) similar in color to the frame...pillar candle holders...with white/cream pillar candles. When the candles are standing in holders they should be about 1/2 to 3/4 of the height of violin pic.. Put the vases etc someplace else!! Also group those two prints over one sofa and place a candle sconce on either side to create a larger affect (pier I). Place two patterned pillows together and get 3 other solid pillows to the other end of sofa, hope this has helped :)
2 Likes   January 6, 2013 at 2:41PM
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AMN
Put something tall and bold on the left side of the mantel (like big, chunky candlesticks or elklaker's idea of a vase filled with branches). Skip some space in the middle. Put two or three shorter accessories toward the right of the mantel. Make sure accessories overflow the side edges of the mirror (i.e., don't fit the accessories within the confines of the mirror's width). Your fireplace, mantel, and mirror already look narrow and compact. This placement will give a more expansive, formidable look.

I played around with pencil and paper. The accessories I sketched don't have to be what you use. They're just to show size/scale and placement.
6 Likes   January 6, 2013 at 2:41PM
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smburmei
It seems that the mantle needs to have some weight and be a focal point. You can add beveled mirror framing for not much $$$ or have a frame shop make a custom frame for it. You can also buy some wooden "decals" for lack of a better word, to add detail to the FP and paint it the same color. If budget allows, adding sconces to either side of the mirror would impressive. An inexpensive thing to do is add some old books of different heights--place both vertically and horizontally--and add a vase, bookend, something to ground them. Don't make it too busy--just add some weight to make it pop! A little black and red or orange accents, a plant/topiary add great colors, too.
0 Likes   January 6, 2013 at 2:47PM
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orko14
I think that the mirror should not be touching the mirror if you know what I mean and then buy a mirror. With a nice antique looking frame and hang it around 10 inches above the fireplace and take away the violin and add some fake flowers on the left side in a bigger vase if you have one then on the other side put all the candles and little cases all together
1 Like   January 6, 2013 at 3:02PM
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orko14
OMG I mean I don't think the mirror should be touching the fireplace haha
0 Likes   January 6, 2013 at 3:03PM
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loriyreed
Personally, I would take the mirror down and put the TV in its place.
2 Likes   January 6, 2013 at 6:24PM
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Betsy Hartman
I would take down the mirror or if you like that look, place a mirror that is framed - and hang it above the mantle. I think once you did that, you could have a lot of fun with that space. I have a large piece of artwork over mine, along with tall candlesticks, short fat vases and other favorite things. A friend of mine bought 16 small black Ikea frames and framed wildflower photos she took and arranged them in a 4x4 pattern - also looks terrific. Just remember rule of thumb for decorating: odd number of pieces on your mantle.
0 Likes   January 6, 2013 at 7:15PM
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chelseabeagle
It's too formal and uptight. Perhaps spacing the objects a bit and having either side asymetrical. Adding something to soften the feel with a plant or some tall dry grass in a vase. The picture sadly doesn't work at all.
0 Likes   January 6, 2013 at 7:24PM
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Gwen H
We may take the mirror down, I've never liked it - it was here when we bought the house. Thank u everyone for all your suggestions - I will keep playing around with what I have and repost tomorrow. And I've hung the violin picture at the end of a hallway :-)
2 Likes   January 6, 2013 at 8:28PM
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charro534
paint the brick another color
0 Likes   January 6, 2013 at 8:35PM
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thislittlehouse
Found this on Pinterest - a general rule for how to style a mantel!

Also, you may consider changing out your art on the other walls - they look very lonely all alone on the huge expanses of wall!

Take them down to start with a blank canvas. You may even end up layering one of them on the mantel, to break up the size of the mirror and add some interest and movement as shown in the diagram. You can keep most of the ornaments you currently have, but you need to space them out more comfortably - they look like they are clinging to each other for dear life! ;)

I find it helps to rearrange things a few times, taking photos each time. Then compare the different pictures side by side. You will eventually settle on a mantel arrangement you really like.

:) Elise
7 Likes   January 6, 2013 at 9:26PM
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cdpearman
The mirror would look nicer if it had a beefier frame around it and if it were the same shape as the fireplace, or large round or oblong. The curve of the mirror seems dated., the print would be lovely somewhere else, it really doesn't suit the space. A friend of mine with a similar white fireplace put a tied bundle of white papery birch logs in the fireplace and put a large mirror over the fireplace. I believe she used a wide dark mahogany frame, and it looks great. There were also 3 large vases in earth tones to complement her room colors and it really popped. I have also seen beautiful large groupings of candles on a tray in same color, but diff sizes and they also look great. Good luck.
0 Likes   January 6, 2013 at 10:18PM
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springchicken41
The mirror and the picture are not in scale with the small mantle and fireplace. The Pinterest drawing is great for helping with scale. We just bought a house that had the TV over the mantle and took it down. I don't know the size of your room but ours is small and the TV dominated it. It will be in a corner leaving fireplace mantle for more personal expression. I want to paint the brick white like yours.
0 Likes   January 6, 2013 at 10:23PM
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carolestrydom
The pictures above the sofa's must be grouped together on one wall, you could then move the mirror to the other wall, mirror will look better if it was framed.
1 Like   January 7, 2013 at 4:41AM
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PRO
Joni Koenig Interiors
create an over mantle by installing a frame or the mirror. otherwise, take the mirror down. You could consider painting the brick black.
1 Like   January 7, 2013 at 5:34AM
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Gwen H
The problem is I don't have any money to spare so I have to work with what I have in my house
3 Likes   January 7, 2013 at 8:46AM
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PRO
A New Look Interior Design
All of these suggestions are things to keep in mind. Do the best you can with what you have and just keep in mind what you would like your mantle to look like...then...if you are at a yard sale,flea market or Home Goods you will know what to look for!
4 Likes   January 7, 2013 at 10:12AM
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alicekevin
I think we often try to hard with mantles and over do them. Simple is best. Take down the mirror and the violin pic. Use a grouping of three interesting vases or two vases and a candlestick .... Don't go too small here. Just be sure all three items are different heights. Put them off to one side so to the left or right of the middle of the mantle. I have a collection of pottery vases and they look awesome with leather furniture. Gives great texture to a room/space.
0 Likes   January 7, 2013 at 10:42AM
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PRO
Posh Home Designs
I like the mirror over the fireplace. It refects light. I thnk the red/black candles are better than the white because they are bigger and more to scale. Place them all the way to the left. Then place one thing on the the right... The white objects are too small to scale. Weed out the violin art. Even if you took down the mirror you will still have the problem of what to put above that is large scale to replace the mirror. Wait until you can shop around and find some pretty bold candle sticks on one side grouped in 3 (1 large, then graduating down from smaller to smallest), then find a beautiful decorative plate with a stand and place on the right, nothing in the middle. This will give you a clean pretty and simple design without overstating the decorations. Please post pics when you are finished. I am sure it will be pretty.
0 Likes   January 7, 2013 at 12:55PM
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pearlgirl4022
Remove the mirror or have it framed. Don't hang the TV over the FP - nothing decorative about TVs. Use larger items on the mantle. Group of big, chunky candle sticks with battery powered candles, books laid horizontally with vase of twigs. Try some of that. Also, use bigger pictures or large grouping over sofas - what you have now is way too small. Just a few suggestions. Play with it until you hit on the right look - it takes time to decorate.
0 Likes   January 7, 2013 at 1:22PM
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PRO
Interiors International, Inc.
Yes it does. Loose the mirror and get a good painting that will be a good start. Later on I would design an entire new mantel. First I would searched this sight and looked at all the great fireplaces.
0 Likes   January 7, 2013 at 1:25PM
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Gwen H
My update. I'm using what I have while I save up for some new stuff :-)
3 Likes   January 7, 2013 at 1:38PM
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pearlgirl4022
Certainly looks better but too much stuff and still too small since your mirror is so tall. If you took the mirror down and found a large piece of art at HomeGoods, you might have a better make-do situation. Also, look for art on Art.com - might find something inexpensive there.
0 Likes   January 7, 2013 at 1:52PM
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Gwen H
Do you think framing the current mirror like this would help the space?
8 Likes   January 7, 2013 at 2:30PM
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PRO
COASTROAD Hearth & Patio
I don't know how you feel about going this far, but a little black paint might ground it well enough:




It wouldn't hurt to have a nice black screen in front of those old Monessen DLX24PMAS gas logs either.

P.S. I don't hate the mirror, but only because it looks right to me in a house that was probably built in the twenties or thirties.
1 Like   January 7, 2013 at 2:52PM
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tennisanyone
Is the mirror clipped on or is it glued? I thought I saw clips. If so, I would take it down. I see nothing but the fan. I would take away the bird cage too and take down those two small pictures over the couch. I like your couch. You could use some colorful pillows. I like blue as an accent with brown.
0 Likes   January 7, 2013 at 3:26PM
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smlm
The white trim and light wall paint color give you a lot of freedom. My overall suggestion would be to move away from trying to be symmetrical, on both the mantel and the walls of the sofa. I once heard a designer suggest that mantle arrangements should vary in height and weight and mimic the shape of your hand, with fingers straight and touching. I've tried it and it works! good luck
0 Likes   January 7, 2013 at 3:40PM
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groveraxle
Please lose the mirror. All if reflects is a ceiling fan. Here's an Ideabook on styling a mantel:

0 Likes   January 7, 2013 at 4:02PM
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lastera
As I commented before, and other comments said--get rid of the mirror. Also another good idea that somone mentioned above is to paint the bricks a dark color for contrast.
0 Likes   January 7, 2013 at 4:25PM
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Gwen H
The mirror is coming down tonight ! I took the clips off but can't lift it myself. I found a different framed mirror to mount instead. What do you think
6 Likes   January 7, 2013 at 4:59PM
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charro534
That mirror looks much better!
1 Like   January 7, 2013 at 5:58PM
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PRO
Ingrained woodworking Inc
I personally am distracted by the mirror. I think a painting or photo framed hanging a bit above the mantle would help a lot.
0 Likes   January 7, 2013 at 8:16PM
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Gwen H
I tried to switch out the mirror but I still see the fan! Should I skip the mirror all together?
1 Like   January 8, 2013 at 6:29AM
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Gwen H
Or what about this
9 Likes   January 8, 2013 at 6:44AM
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groveraxle
Yes. Skip the mirror altogether. Seeing the ceiling fan over your fireplace is not ideal. Part of the problem, I think, is the items you're using are too small for the space. You need a canvas about the size of the framed mirror.

Here's an idea for something you could make with some paper and a thrift store frame. Pair it with that tall red martini glass, your tallest red candles, and a black plate.


0 Likes   January 8, 2013 at 6:50AM
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groveraxle
Just saw the latest pic. MUCH better. Hang the round mirror about 6 inches up and tilted slightly down (to get rid of the fan reflection). Then move your other objects in toward the center a bit.
2 Likes   January 8, 2013 at 6:54AM
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PRO
Posh Home Designs
I agree with groveraxle--but don't move the objects to close to the center. Good job!
0 Likes   January 8, 2013 at 7:10AM
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pearlgirl4022
The mirror above is much better but I think it's still too small. However, until you can find great artwork you could hang the mirror as suggested above. All the other stuff is still too small. Just start collecting some larger pieces if you don't have any in your house already. You'll get there - as I said before, decorating takes time as well as money. Good Luck.
0 Likes   January 8, 2013 at 7:25AM
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Beverly S
I would combine the round mirror in your last picture, the candle holders with light candles ..to add height I would put a couple of books or a basket upside down under your items, stager the height, if you have a tray try puting it behind the candle holders, Have you thought about painting the trim a darker color , it would so pop the beautiful stone.
1 Like   January 8, 2013 at 7:27AM
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charro534
Really love the round mirror much, much better.
0 Likes   January 8, 2013 at 7:31AM
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mschambers
The round mirror is so much better. Once you save up, i recommend updating the ceiling fan with a new fixture if that is going to be the reflection - it would also do wonders for the rest of the room. Use your own crafts to make artwork and buy some nice frames - quality, large artwork is typically costly. You can make some cool pieces by looking online for ideas.
0 Likes   January 8, 2013 at 8:08AM
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applejuice
Round mirror works well but need to be hang on the wall a bit higher up. It looks so much better!
0 Likes   January 8, 2013 at 9:07AM
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elklaker
Great! Your persistence has paid off. Very classy. You are on your way. Keep working on your home until YOU love it!
0 Likes   January 8, 2013 at 9:20AM
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tennisanyone
Odd numbers look best. I like the mirror but would use two other objects.
0 Likes   January 8, 2013 at 12:03PM
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Gwen H
Newest update
0 Likes   January 8, 2013 at 5:28PM
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tennisanyone
Too many small things. Do you have any books you can prop up the candles on the right side on. I would lose everything except the two holders for now. You need varying height. Maybe two books under one and let the other one sit on the mantle with one small red holder for now.
0 Likes   January 8, 2013 at 5:45PM
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Tammy Sprinkle
Hi Gwen, What a trooper you are with all of the changes and sharing of photos. I actually really like the photo above this one where you have the star burst mirror lower and the different textured accessories.
1 Like   January 8, 2013 at 5:52PM
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PRO
A New Look Interior Design
I totally agree with Tammy !!! Looks great! Quit while you are ahead and enjoy your new mantle!!! Great job.
1 Like   January 8, 2013 at 6:15PM
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ellelet
Like the Starburst mirror best so far, but I think you could consider layering it with your framed mirror (and maybe paint out the frame an nice deep brown black; and, as mentioned above, consider painting out the bricks a brown black). You would need to try it to see if you would still significantly reflect the fan this way, or if in the layering you could somehow lose that reflection. Perhaps group three of the smaller items in a tiered fashion on the left. On the right, add a talk chunky, textured wooden item (like a wooden candle base and pillar candle) and a stack of antique books on their side, which is shown in one of the pics above. Also, if you don't want to paint out the brick or the frame, is there any architecture to frame the wall its on so that you can paint the background of it a deeper colour to make the fireplace pop? Some inspiration below: http://simpledetailsblog.blogspot.ca/2011/10/im-no-amanda-talley.html
0 Likes   January 8, 2013 at 6:22PM
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PRO
CASTLE Design Studio LLC
Hi Gwen, thanks for sharing this evolutionary process. In each of your photos, my eye catches on the TV which appears to be in front of a window. Have you tested it above the mantle? Sorry to all those who hate TVs above a fireplace but it might be a good solution. :-) D
0 Likes   January 8, 2013 at 6:36PM
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Gwen H
I've been pushing for it to go above, but my husband is against it.
0 Likes   January 8, 2013 at 7:39PM
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CASTLE Design Studio LLC
Oh, bummer. I could picture someone reclining back, their head all comfy and supported by the back of the sectional, therefore their eyes rest nicely at the above fireplace height. May be time to offer something else that he wants (man cave garage? BBQ in backyard?)...negotiation time!
2 Likes   January 8, 2013 at 8:02PM
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Gwen H
Reprinted the wall and remounted the mirror! I'm still looking for some new stuff but I think it looks 100 times better than my first picture! Thank you everyone for your help!
1 Like   January 12, 2013 at 1:16PM
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Gwen H
Sorry I meant repainted!
0 Likes   January 12, 2013 at 2:01PM
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jodico
You might want to remove the gold framed picture with the grays/silver in the other things.....just take your time, and find a few things you like to,place there with height. When you are short on change, don't be afraid to garage sale...or goodwill.
0 Likes   January 12, 2013 at 2:26PM
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tennisanyone
Agree with jodico too. I would add books underneath one of the candle holders for height instead of just laying everything on the mantle and move them to one side. I know everyone has books and place one on the books and the other with nothing and then get a plant for the other side and remove the silver vases. The mirror looks good.
0 Likes   January 12, 2013 at 2:34PM
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lastera
Looks so much better Gwen. Agree with jodico, don't be afraid of garage sales, or thrift stores.
0 Likes   January 12, 2013 at 2:45PM
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PRO
the essentials inside
Beautiful job Gwen. Looks much much better! I think it still could use some tweaking and like the suggestions above. I agree too about garage sales and thrift stores. You might also look for tag or estate sales in your area. But take your time and get what really speaks to you when you see it!

Thanks so much for sharing your progress!

Lyvonne
www.essentialsinside.com
0 Likes   January 12, 2013 at 3:22PM
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PRO
CASTLE Design Studio LLC
Hi G, great photo! Pardon my sloppy sketch yet I'm throwing in the mix the possibility of floating a dark brown wood frame around your glam mirror to suggest you go for a ”rustic glam” style. It would merge the dark brown sectional with clean mod. Your pillows, throws could be silvery. Just a thought. Best, D
0 Likes   January 12, 2013 at 4:50PM
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CASTLE Design Studio LLC
Oops, sorry for the sideway sketch!
0 Likes   January 12, 2013 at 5:34PM
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