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I was given a planked wood print from Photography.com in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.
I have to admit that having a mantel to decorate has been a bit of an obsession of mine for the last couple of years. Now that I finally checked that DIY off the list, I absolutely LOVE it, yet at the same time, it brings out my decorating ADD like no other project! I think I have decorated and redecorated this mantel about fifteen times!
I purchased a couple of prints several months ago, before the project was even finished, but just couldn’t quite get it to work together. I’ve swapped photos in and out, candles, books, plants and nothing seemed to quite work. I’ll let you in on a little secret, one of my biggest decorating pet peeves is things that are not symmetrical! It might be a little OCD thing because I just can’t handle asymmetry.
Hence my Christmas mantel…perfectly symmetrical on each side.
In the search for my perfect mantel decor (I finally found that last piece to tie it together, keep reading!), I learned a few tips on decorating a mantel to achieve balance and help pull your look together. At the end of the day, we all have looks we love, so do what YOU love, but these are the things that make me happy and feel like my decor works together.
1. Get Centered
Yes, zen is important but not the center I’m referring to. 😉 In designing the mantel, I think it works best to start from the center and work your way out. The center should be the piece that anchors your fireplace.
This is why you often see mantels decorated with a large mirror (or nowadays, a large television) or like in my Christmas mantel above, a large picture. The anchor should be the focal point of your mantel. Not to say that you can only have one picture, mirror, or whatever you choose, it’s all about layering.
2. Add Some Weight
The next step is to visually balance your fireplace. Add items of similar visual weight to each side of your anchor piece. If you aren’t crazy like me and in need of perfect symmetry, you can use different items on each side, as long as they are around the same size. For example, one side could be candlesticks and the other could be a plant as long as they are around the same height and width.
3. Filler Up
The last step is to add items of varying heights or sizes (but still smaller than the weight you added above) to create some interest and break up just a little of the symmetry, so it’s not overly perfect. Being that it was a holiday mantel, I probably could have added more filler above but wanted to keep it simple. The filler I used was the eucalyptus stems, pine cones, and the garland. Filler helps to break up the horizontal lines so as not to compete with the horizontal line of the mantel itself.
Add A Personal Touch
As I mentioned above, after a few weeks of swapping items in and out, I finally found the piece I needed to complete my mantel decor, satisfy my need for symmetry and add a little personal touch!
I recently received a print from Photography.com. Take a look at their website and you’ll see that they have a HUGE selection of various types of prints from canvas to wood to metal (and everything in between!). I decided to try out a print on their 16 x 20 planked wood as I thought this would compliment my existing home decor.
I have to say, I’m super impressed with this product. The photo is printed directly onto the wood and yet the quality of the print is fantastic. You know how sometimes when you blow up a photo, it just looks a bit grainy or pixelated? This print is perfectly clear.
I also didn’t expect the colors to be so vibrant. I actually chose a photo with a pop of color, so I was very pleasantly surprised by that. The planked wood print also comes ready to hang so no need to deal with attaching your own picture hangers.
Styling My Mantel
I chose to use a large print for my center anchor above the mantel and then layered it with a couple of other pictures to balance out the width. When I received my print from Photography.com, it just happened to be the perfect size and width, so, up on the mantel it went!
I added a little weight using the same candlesticks from my holiday mantel and then used this cute gold bell and some antique books I purchased a few weeks ago as my filler. I shared a photo of one of these books on Instagram a couple of weeks ago. I found this diary from 1943 at an antique store in Boise. I’ve loved flipping through it to see little glimpses of the past, like a list of bills including a $1 doctor’s visit! Such a cool find.
Putting It All Together
I could probably add a few more filler items, but for now, I’m liking this simple look and love how this picture of the girls and I stands out due to the vivid colors. Plus, this photo is perfect with the other prints since nothing makes me happier and there is nothing I love more than my kiddos.
How do you like to style your mantel? I’m thinking about some fun Valentine’s Day decor but not sure I’d want to change this look up so soon. Do you change it up for every holiday or keep it the same year round?
Be sure to check out Photography.com to see all the great options available for your prints! The Photo Tapestry was my second choice and something I still plan to look into for another room. Also, use my link below and get 50% off your purchase!