Styling Our Mantel

We've been in Raleigh for a couple of months now and, as expected, the house is still in complete chaos. It comes with the territory when deciding to renovate slowly. But I wanted just one area to feel finished.

I took an afternoon and styled the mantel in our dining room. Even though I have plans to rebuild the mantel, that won't happen for a while. For now, adding personal elements and creating a balanced composition in the room felt like a great accomplishment. I made this little video to give you a peak into my process. 

A few tricks I use when styling:

-Collect object that work together by color. material, texture, and theme. Here I started with the white, tan and black already present in the dining room. Wood was a natural choice to compliment this color scheme and I just had to work in the two vintage ceramic funnels. (they were made by Coors!) The orange book brings an unexpected color to the arrangement so it isn't boring.

-Work around a single, large piece. The framed map is super special to me. I found it in my parents attic a couple of years ago. It's from when my father was a commercial fisherman when we first moved to the United States. It has all his markings and I love that he cut the top off so it would fit on his table on the ship.

-Consider heights of elements. The collection of books and the small box with the paper house on top (also a very special piece made by a friend of mine's artist mother) are of similar scales both vertically and horizontally. The candle sticks and the glass vase are the tall elements that balance out the composition. The low wood bowl gives the composition asymmetry. 

-Work from side-to-side being sure the composition is balanced. If you notice in the video I place elements alternating on each side of the frame.

-Layer elements  from back to front. Having elements overlap give the composition depth. Also, each element is placed in a different position from back to front and not in a straight line.

I love creating beautiful little compositions that make me smile. I'm a big believer that every detail is important. Happy styling!