Tuesday, May 8, 2012

How to fake a mantle… when you don’t have one.

mantle button
how to mantle close full

I don’t have a mantle.
Nope-no mantle.
I do have a heater that looks like a mini wood stove.
That’s as close as I get.
I got to thinking, I can’t be the only person that has this problem.
I thought that I would share what I do to “fake a mantle.”

1. Find a piece of furniture to be your “mantle.”
I found this most fabulous oak dresser at the thrift store a couple of years ago.
**Sidenote-my husband really wants me to paint it & I won’t.
A piece of furniture I won’t paint, there’s a first for everything. **
I love my dresser! It holds a whole bunch of stuff and looks pretty too.
Gotta love double duty furniture pieces.

2. Lighting
I used to not be a matchy, matchy lamp girl, but when you are decorating one piece of furniture,                         you need  2 matching lamps.

how to mantle 5

Good news though. You don’t need to spend a lot to money to get great lamps. Anytime I go to the thrift store, I look for matching lamps, even if I don’t need them. This would be why I have a lamp shelf in my garage. You know, just in case. You will be surprised how often you will find matching lamps. Yard sales are always a great place to find matching lamps.  If you find the perfect lamps, but they have the ugliest shades-head to target, or wal-mart. I can’t believe that I am telling you to go to wal-mart. They have great shades for under $20.  I am a target girl usually, but if I can find a drum shade for $14 instead of $25, I am going to get the cheaper one. That way I can buy a new pillow too! Priorities people, priorities.

how to mantle-lamp

If you find your lamps and they are not tall enough, pull out your books. I love to use old books, but if you don’t happen to have a shelf in your garage that holds old books, new hard back books work too. Just take off your dust jackets and you’re good to go. If you want to add a little more interest to your grouping, put your lamp on a decorative plate on top of some books.

how to mantle-owl light

3. 1st layer-tray, frame, mirror etc.
When you are putting together a grouping, you need to go for layers. This will add interest. For my first layer, I decided to use an old frame that I had painted and ended up not using for another project.

how to mantle frame

Truth be told, I don’t go for perfection when I decorate, so the frame still has it’s random statue of liberty poster in it. No one can see it, so I am good with it. It adds character, right?

how to mantle -frame2  

4. Greenery
When you are doing a grouping, you want to try and add some type of greenery to soften everything. You can add live or fake. If you need to do fake, please, please make sure that it is a real looking and not plasticky, dollar store greenery. I love the Dollar store, just not for greenery. IKEA is a great place to find inexpensive greenery.

how to mantle-owls 

how to mantle 3

I found the large, white pitcher at the thrift store as well. It was already white so the only thing that I had to was add the green. The green is the leaves from a Costco bouquet. I buy all of my live flowers from Costco. You can’t beat their prices and they last forever!

4. Different heights
When you are putting together a grouping, you want to make sure that you have different heights. This is where the books, the decorative balls and the nest come into play. I am sure that you can guess where I picked these up. Actually, I bought the nest at a real store.

5. hmmm…it needs 1 more thing
I know, that is a totally lame name for a step, but I didn’t know what else to call it. When you do a grouping, you want to make sure that you have an odd number of items. 3, 5, 7 etc. You get the idea. I needed another item. That would be where the basket came in. It was just the thing to finish it off.

how to mantle 4

Who said that you need to have a fireplace to have a mantle display? With a little bit of luck and ingenuity, you can have a beautiful, inexpensive, “non” mantle.

how to mantle close full

Happy Decorating!

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  1. Love those tips, Tausha!! I have a dresser that I use as a "mantle", too, and I love it. If I don't style the top of the dresser it quickly fills up with my kids' crap. I like it better with my "purposeful crap" there. Hee hee. Have a great day!

  2. I am so inspired to go rearrange by sofa table into a "mantle"! Thanks for the great tips. I love the idea of adding height to a lamp using books :)

  3. Why don't we live closer to each other? I mean seriously! I have a whole house, that could use your expertise! I am stumped...

  4. SUPER cute!! Great job. LOVE the lamps. :)

  5. This looks great! I don't have a mantel so I use a dresser!
    Love those lamps!

    I would love to have you share at my party! Hope to see you there ; )


  6. Hi Tausha,

    Love your fake mantle. It's so chic. If only more fake things in life could be so great. . .

    Thanks for sharing,

  7. Gorgeous! I love designing vignettes, and I'm working on a post with a list of rules like yours! One of my rules was the "odd numbers" but now I'm having trouble...When looking at my example pictures, I've realized that for me, the books kind of don't count if they're used to raise something up...instead, the "something" they raise AND the books together count as one object. Do you count funny like me? I tend to kind of follow the rule, but really just go by what my eye tells me is best.

  8. Love your fake mantle...or should I say "fantle"? :) I have 2 fireplaces in my home, but only 1 mantle...so I use a sofa table in front of my family room windows to add decor. Great tips, thanks for sharing.

  9. After leaving a house with 2 fireplaces I now find myself with none! I have tried to use the corner of my breakfast bar but more times than not, I haven't been happy. Thanks so much for a step by step so maybe next time it will turn out better. This is why I look at blogs!

    Robin Flies South

  10. Lovely and great info!! Thanks for sharing!

    I've pinned this and shared on my FB page!

    Emily @52mantels.com

  11. Hi there! I am enjoying your post so much, and anything sassy I have to read :) Your new reader, creating over at http://twelveoeight.blogspot.com/

    Tanya :)

  12. Very creative! I'd love for you to add it on my link party at: http://printabelle.com/?p=3717 Thanks!

  13. I was searching for best subject for living room decor. I come to know about your blog by Decorating or Dentistry post. Love your post and quite eager to re-publish this blog post to my blog. >> Vista Stores

  14. I love it! HAHA yes, a girl needs a mantle, so you gotta do what you gotta do : ) Thanks for sharing yours with me!


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