Friday, February 10, 2017

mantels and windows

Having never had a fireplace mantel until recently, I've been playing around with decor. Why didn't anyone tell me it's harder than it looks?! There's a lot involved - scale, layering, color, balance and symmetry. I can't tell you how many times I've changed this up. This shall do for now. The framed photograph in the middle is one of Tim's from his BFA art show last year. I know it's hard to tell from my photo, but it's a photograph of a staircase and entryway. The shadowing and textures in this photograph are amazing.


There's just one little problem that you don't see in the above photo - but you'll see below. The mantel juts right up to the window trim. (Yes, we need new windows and trim, and we hope that will be coming soon.) So, that leaves the problem of hanging curtains. We obviously can't do so now, as the mantel is in the way.


The window is actually a double one and the room looks harsh without a soft window treatment. We can't leave the windows bare (if they were pretty) because a neighbor's house is right outside this window. So...any ideas? I thought of fabric Roman shades, but I still don't think that will make the room look soft enough, especially when the shades are down at night. There IS room on the left side of the window for fabric to hang down. I have some gauzy sheers that I was thinking of draping over a curtain rod above the window and then just letting some hang down to the left. Tacky? Silly looking?


View from the kitchen...here you can see the left side of the double window.


We're not the only ones that like the new pass-thru. Clementine loves perching there. So far, my glass pieces have been fine. Clem's quite dainty and has never broken anything.


I still haven't decided on any art or decor for the living room or kitchen walls, but I am loving the light that we now get in both rooms.


Happy weekend, everyone!

19 comments:

  1. It's fun thinking about what to do with decor, especially when everything is fresh and new. It looks like you are also taking in that any window treatments might need to be not so close to the fireplace flame / heat. We're having to consider that in our new place.I think your idea of using sheers sounds lovely, soft, and light but know whatever you decide it will be just right !

    What a pretty cat. I think cats add to any home and look lovely wherever they are , even better if they're graceful and don't break things.

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  2. Well, believe it or not--I have had a window just about like that. I put an extra long rod on extending it about 2 feet PAST the window on the other side. I hung sheers (you could use drapes) from it and pulled them all the way across (towards the fireplace and up to that wall) for privacy and then pulled them all the way back (off the windows) for daytime when we did not want privacy. With sheers it will let the light through even during the daytime. There are probably several other ways to do it--but that worked for me.

    Have fun-it really is fun playing with a mantle and the more often you change it up the more ideas you will come up with. xo Diana

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  3. I like your idea of the sheers, either draping them or using Diana's idea and just pull them to one side of the rod. The room is beautiful, Melanie, so much light!

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  4. The mantel decor looks really good - especially love you are displaying Tim's gorgeous photo. Like me, I see you are using books as stands, always a a great idea.
    Clementine is so beautiful - I might have to sneak in and bring her to my place, haha!
    Diana's idea for the drapery hardware extended on one side is good. I think plain natural color linen blend panels always work well in any room. I bought mine for living room and master bedroom at Target some years ago - they are machine washable and don't require more than a touchup iron along the top and bottom hems. I use the brushed nickel clips to hang, and I usually hang them back while slightly damp. They are always attractive and blend in with anything - heavy enough to hang well and will perhaps look more substantial than floaty sheers with your stained wood trim (which I have too!).

    All looking good there Mel - know the extra light must feel wonderful, especially on dreary winter days.
    Mary -

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    1. I forgot - I also have the same linen panels in the dining room too - so you know I love 'em!!!
      Mary -

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  5. It looks terrific, Melanie! All of it is really nice. I don't have a mantel on my fireplace; it's a brick one that goes all the way up to the ceiling which I like but it would be nice to have a mantel. Could you hang a valance on that window just for now? It wouldn't give privacy but it would soften the lines of the window a little. I have valances in my bedroom (over honeycomb shades) because I don't want to ruin my mountain view but I need something a little pretty in a bedroom. I love your pass-through, that's a very nice thing to have. I really like when rooms are open to each other. I'm very thankful that someone along the way in this house removed the row of cabinets hanging over the peninsula that separates the kitchen from the family room, making it all one big, open space. It was so nice when my kids were smaller because the family room was their main play area and I could cook and still see what they were up to. Your house looks very light and bright and I know how happy that must be making you. Enjoy it, my friend.

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  6. Lucky girl! I sure miss my mantel at the little blue house.
    Brenda

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  7. It is so pretty . . . and I love Tim's photograph . . . he truly has an eye. I know that you will be changing your new mantel all the time and having fun playing around with composition. It's a lovely mantel, I'm very happy for you. Enjoy :)

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  8. Your window/mantle problem makes you wonder about the person/people who planned it that way, doesn't it. My niece hates things symmetrical, from her house to her clothing and jewelry - wearing different earrings in each ear. She did the sheer on one side only and looped another sheer around the rod for an unusual valance. I do like Diana's suggestion. The only problem with pulling them closed at night would be if you are using the fireplace at the same time.

    Your mantel decor looks very nice. I like your use of empty frames. Mantels are so much fun to decorate and I am sure you can find some good ideas in magazines and on Pinterest. Love your pass through as much as the cat. They do love to sit above things so the ledge is perfect for keeping an eye on everything around her. ;)

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  9. Whatever you do in the end for the windows keep the light :) I like the mantel:)

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  10. Welcome to mantel decorating 101! I could spend hours moving things around and still not be satisfied with how mine look. Lucky you to have access to your son's photographs! Your rooms look so nice and bright with the light passing through your new kitchen opening, and your kitty sure seems to enjoy a new vantage point, too. I can see where you wouldn't want curtain panels on both sides of the windows blocking light when you just did major remodeling to create more light! I think I'd hang 2 panels on the left side of the window. It all takes time and it will come to you, sooner or later. Enjoy all the new changes!

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  11. The fireplace/mantel does look really nice but does seem to provide a curtain problem. Could you drape a curtain and at the "point of the mantel have a tie back and then drop down? I'm sure you'll figure it out. Love Tim's photograph and you can see a stairway at first I thought it was a mirror reflecting your stairway. Changing out the mantel is fun with each season one of my favorite's to do!

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  12. That's a tough one with the curtains! I'm like you, I love something soft at the Windows. I'm thinking a soft sheer that you tie back in a swoop to the left, perhaps? Can't wait to see what you decide!

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  13. It's just lovely, Melanie. I live Diana's idea for the window treatment. You could even add a swagged valance over the top of it...I am sure you'll end up with something lovely. Have a great time decorating.

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  14. I find mantel decorating very difficult as well... Maybe because I haven't had mine all that long either... If you have neighbour close by, you could have sheer curtains over the windows and maybe a roller blind to draw at night?

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  15. Tim's photo is wonderful, and I'm glad you found a special place for it on the mantel. Knowing you, you'll change up the decorations there regularly. It looks great so far! I would add one thing, something taller than the photo, probably at one end or the other. Just a thought. I think the curtains will be a bit more challenging, because you'll have to figure it out before you actually buy them! I do have grommet top curtains on my sliding glass door that I slide to one side every morning. I don't think it looks odd at all.

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  16. It looks wonderful so far, I think you have decorated beautifully.

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  17. Hi Melanie,

    Your mantel looks lovely! I see all the elements you mentioned that it should have. And, your hubby's photograph is beautifully dramatic and the perfect centrepiece for it. Enjoy!

    Poppy

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  18. The pass through opening really opens up both the kitchen and living room, making each look more spacious. I know you must be loving the changes. If you're like me, your mantel display will be tweaked and changed often. :-) But have fun with it!
    Mary Alice

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