Mantel Makeover and Room Rearranged

(Pssst…. did you know you can spell it mantle OR mantel?  Which way looks right to you?)

I don’t know what came over me.  Perhaps because we were having a grown-up party and I wanted to have a grown up house to go with the grown up party.  Or perhaps because it was just time.   I was inspired by two things.

1)  My meeting with Jen at Feng Shui Jen’s Way (thanks again, Jen!)


2)  Seeing this and this from my blog-friend Brenda at Peek at My Paper made me realize that I had this whole mantle thing all wrong.

First things first:  I acknowledge that we need a full fireplace/mantel makeover.  This whole house needs one in several areas, but seeing as how we’re lacking the thousands of dollars to do a complete refurb right now, I’ll take what I can get. 🙂

Here’s where I started.  This is a horrible photo, but I started a few months ago by cleaning up the look with a cover I made on my own with some home-decor fabric.  It helps immensely.  And it has a secret pocket– who doesn’t love a secret pocket?  But I realized there were too many photos and not enough color.  And, following the advice from Brenda and company, I need some different shapes and levels going on, too.  So on a recent trip to Ikea… I splurged.

If $30 is a splurge, then yee haw!  I love Ikea for that.  They really help a lady out.  I bought a pretty vase, some reeds, and a round mirror.  Jen and I talked about how angular our house is- it’s full of straight lines.  So I thought a round mirror would help us out a bit.

Then I narrowed the photos down, pulled some other things out that I found during my Operation Organization time, and voila!  A new look.  I think it looks much better.  The only thing I have left is to update the photos of the kids.  Yikes!  The black rectangular piece is an etching of St. Cecilia, who is the saint of music.  My mom gave that to me- no idea where she got it, but I love it, and love having a place to put it.

Here’s a close up of the vase on the right.  It’s made of magazines from all over the world.  It really is a vase- it’s lined with resin- so in the past I did put flowers in it. But I loved the reeds from Ikea- so fun.  I had to trim them way down, though, or they would have hit the ceiling.  My sister (who inherited the most amazing gift-giving genes) gave us the vase for our anniversary (I think #1- paper)- it’s from a very fun site called Uncommon Goods.  I just checked and they don’t carry it anymore, but they do have tons of cool vases if you need something different.

During this whole process I realized that I hated the way the room was arranged.  It started to bother me when I had some girlfriends over a few weeks ago.  Everyone gathered in the kitchen, and no one would come sit on the comfy couches.  I mentioned this to Jen, and she said that having our brown couch where it was sort of closed everything off.  So while they kids were asleep I started shoving things around.  It makes a HUGE difference!

I removed the baby gate from the entertainment center.  Jack is almost 18 months, so it’s time for him to learn to leave things alone.  (We’ll see how that goes.) What I love the most is that the whole room is so open now- it’s a big room and it feels big now, but in a warm, “sit and stay a while” kind of way.

I’m curious, if you’ve read this far (thanks!) what you would do, if anything, to the mantel.  We do plan on getting a flat-screen TV someday, as well as a sectional, L-shaped sofa.  I’m in the market for a new coffee table, too, but not until we’re done having kids.  This one is too small, but it will have to do for a while!  Thanks for reading!


3 Responses to “Mantel Makeover and Room Rearranged”

  1. 1 Brenda @ PeekatMyPaper August 2, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    Yay! Awesome! I am so glad you went for it! 🙂 It looks much better. I also think the way you repositioned the furniture helps open the room as well.
    If you are still interested in changing up the look of the room with a new coffee table – I would recommend checking out Craigslist. I love searching Craigslist for used items because you can get great things for really cheap!
    One other thing I may suggest is your lampshade – Ooh – you could stencil some really cool pattern on that. It would really stand out. You can also spray paint lamp shades too. Try a different color than the reds – like Sage Green or Teal! and go ahead and spray paint the lamp itself – something darker like black or dark brown. It would make it pop off the light colored walls. 🙂

    Okay – I will stop there.
    Looks great!
    and thanks for linking up Peek at My Paper!

    Did you see the project I did today?

    Talk to you again soon,

  2. 2 Jane August 2, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    I LOVE the room arrangement! Next time I will sit on the couch and watch the kiddos play in the playroom. 🙂 Just had to add also that I love Uncommon Goods-I actually just ordered something from there yesterday-crazy!! I get the catalog and it is always so tempting!!

  3. 3 Kelsey August 3, 2010 at 8:18 pm

    I love this post, and have to warn you about 18 month olds. They do not listen. Neither do 2 1/2 year olds. Sigh. Our beautifully designed living room, while my daughter was just learning to crawl, is now FILLED with toys. And my glass cabinet? Views random objects thrown in carelessly by toddlers as Mommy comes running into the room screaming- DO NOT TOUCH!


    I’m impressed you made the move to word press (love your under consruction notice). Right now? Up to my knees in tech garbage and contemplating putting my lap top through the window. The problem is? The glash smashing would wake up the kids.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Blogging Challenge!

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 4 other followers


Twitter Updates


%d bloggers like this: