Saturday, October 1, 2011

Mantel...Yes, No, Maybe So

Mantel question for you,

I took this mantel down to...
  1. paint it
  2. fix it, because it was loose
  3. and to also see if I even wanted it up any more



This was the mantel at Christmas last year.


and a little autumn a few years ago.


This is the support board that was loose. To remove this mantel, all you do is unscrew 2 screws on the top that screw into this board.

The mantel itself has a hollow back, so it slides over this board.



This was the loose screw. It needed a new sinker in the brick.


Tah Dah!!! I loved it as soon as it came off.

The pros of having it off...
  • I like the clean look ( well not clean as in there isn't a boat load of soot all over it lol)
  • I don't have to think about how to decorate it
  • I don't have to paint it or fix it now!
The cons of having it off...
  • no Christmas decorations up there any more
  • the 2 candle stick lamps I always have up there gave a little light to that side of the room
  • I need to find something each season to put up there



Here is an autumn wreath I just put up.


Here's the question...
  • do I center the wreath over the fire place opening (like it is here) or center it across the whole width of the brick area. There is another chimney off to the right that juts out about 18 inches creating a definite end. 

I also painted one of those large cardboard letters you buy in a craft store. Kind of looks like wrought iron up against the fireplace screen. This may be my go to decoration when I don't have a wreath!

The only thing is, it looks empty off to the right over the basket of wood.



What would you do?
  1. mantel off or mantel on
  2. if it is off...center over opening or center in the whole brick area
Thanks so much for your help,
~Karen~

67 comments:

  1. Mantel on! Decor centered over the opening if mantel is left off. What a decorating maven I am! If you could just see my house, ha!

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  2. I think you can have the mantel off most of they year but at Christmas your display was beautiful so I would keep it up then and perhaps at thanksgiving.

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  3. I vote for mantel on -- and I think I would center over whole area. Either way it looks great.

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  4. I vote for the mantel staying up. You have great lighting in the day, but might miss those lights at night. Are they battery operated?

    You have a great spot to add a seasonal touch by keeping the mantel.

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  5. I like it with the mantle off. And I'd get a tall, skinny basket or something to put on the wall to the right. Or maybe hang a tablerunner there, like a tall skinny wall hanging. Just a thought, as I like the wreath/letter centered over the fireplace itself.

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  6. Mantle on for sure. I miss having a fireplace and mantle since we moved to this house. I just like the extra touch it gives a fireplace. If you decide to leave it off I'd center the wreath over the fireplace.

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  7. I love mantels, so I have to vote for mantel on!

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  8. We have a mantle over our fireplace and all the problems of the world are sorted out leaning on the mantle and talking or just thinking in the warmth . Whatever you decide it will look fantastic!

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  9. Mantel on, mine has been off for a while was broken and I have one on order from a friend but as you might know friends are the last. LOL I can't decorate and it's so bare!!!! Can't wait to get mine. Gonna call my friend today!!!!

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  10. My vote is so for the mantel to be on. Its like the frostin on the cake. The cake is still good, but taste so much better with frosting. But as long as the room is filled with family friends and love, that is all that truly matters. Have a blessed day.~~Cherrie~~

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  11. My vote is on. On provides more space for your inspiring creativity. Happy quilting.

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  12. I vote mantel on. It's so much easier to dress up that area with a mantel. You could paint the mantel a different color too if you want a change that way.

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  13. Mantel on.....unless your house is leaning toward modern decor, then leave it off and clean the brick and don't hang anything at all.Less to clean and less to worry about.

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  14. I love the look of a mantel however. I do agree that it looks nice and clean with it off. If you keep it off leave the wreath in the center of the fire place and put some long birch branches in the space where you have the wood now or right behind that! It would Bring height and texture to break up the brink on that side. Oh and at Christmas you can always put the mantel back just for that month! Oh what options you have!! Lucky duck!! lol

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  15. I vote to leave the mantel up but then I love mantel! Wish that I had one to decorate! Kim

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  16. I like it off or make a bigger statement with it?

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  17. I like it with and without the mantel (I'm all about changing things around) so....Why can't you have both? You still have the holes in the brick put the mantel up for Christmas and leave it plain the rest of the year. I think you should center your decorations over the fireplace. You could maybe be get some taller branches or a really tall candle and holder or a tall lamp to fill in that empty spot. It's so much fun decorating...isn't it?
    Enjoy your day, Leanne

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  18. A fireplace needs a mantel otherwise it is naked! Clean the front and replace the mantel with a new coat of bright stain! Check out HGTV for ideas of color for mantel

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  19. centered over the opening, in my humble opinion. Mantel for Christmas gives more deco ideas, tho.

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  20. I liked the mantel but feel that it's positioning and size were not proportioned correctly. You needed a little larger mantel and it needed to not slice that area exactly in half. That said I like what you have done with the area without the mantel (and the items need to be centered over the fireplace opening) but wonder if those items will be damaged by the fire. You said that the old mantel was sooty and now there will be nothing to stop that soot from travelling up the wall to your decorations and ceiling.

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  21. Mantel on. You can always still have a large ornament over the mantel, and then have a draped decor on the mantel instead of having items sitting on top of the mantel.

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  22. For years we lived in a home with no fireplace. Last year we moved into a newer home which had a very plain fireplace with no mantle. One of our first projects was to build a hearth and add a mantle. I LOVE it! I think it adds so much warmth to the room. So my vote is to paint the mantle and keep it up. I love decorating it for the Fall and Christmas seasons.

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  23. I like the mantel on. I love the decorations you displayed on it.

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  24. I vote for on, but then we had a fireplace with no mantel and added one,. I love the decorating possiblities and I loved the ones you showed also.

    I notice we all love to give our opinions too!

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  25. I love it with the mantel on! I have wanted a fireplace and mantle for soooo long! So many ways to decorate it each season, and I think it looks a bit too empty without it. If you decide to leave it off, I think the wreath should be centered over the fireplace the way you show in theh photo.

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  26. Mantel off...or build a new mantel that is larger and has more substance to it...the old one just doesn't make a statement. Have fun!

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  27. I would enjoy the change, leaving the mantle off and centering wreaths and decor over fireplace. I think the table runner idea is cool, you could change as often as you wanted! Or find a floor lamp in your style to add some light and height to the corner : )

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  28. 1. Off
    2. Centered over opening -- you can use something tall on the right for more balance...but it has to be centered over the opening .... in my humble opinion!

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  29. Looks easy, so I would have the mantel up for Christmas .. the rest of the year I like the look of it off. Definitely center the wreath or letter over the fire opening.

    Nice ...

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  30. I prefer the mantel on; however, either way looks fine. I would center the wreath over the fireplace.

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  31. Hmmmm......Put the mantel up Labor Day weekend thru New Years then do the wall decor the rest of the year. And I would center it to the fireplace, not the wall. This allows you to have the little lamps up there for light during that part of the year. Those of us without mantles envy you!

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  32. I'm with Terry.....mantel OFF! It looks very nice.....I like that clean/not fussy look. Also, she mentioned a tall skinny basket or a wall hanging in the corner....I like that too! Or maybe a lit wall sconce, to get back some of the lighting you gave up. And centering over the fireplace is good with a single thing....but you could do a bit of collage items, then spread them out more.

    I love it....it looks awesome! Change is always good!

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  33. How about mantel on but painted and distressed like you did the letter? Otherwise, mantel off and wreath centered over the opening. Your home is beautiful no matter what you come up with. You are a very talented lady.

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  34. I had this same dilemma!! I hung the wreath over the fireplace and found an antique copper pot with a long handle that I hung on the right side. Looks great! I leave the pot up all year and change out the wreath with the seasons. I have never had a mantle so I don't know what I am missing...
    Paulette

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  35. Mantel on and decorate with the seasons . . . If you are putting up a wreath I think it should be centered over the fireplace opening.

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  36. Mantel ON! It looks kinda empty without it.

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  37. Mantel off, decor centred over fire, tall floor lamp to the right where the basket is standing, providing the light you need on that side of the room.

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  38. I think mantel off. Floor lamp to the right.

    but if you decide to keep the mantel, I'd make it larger.

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  39. I like the mantel and I think having it on the entire fireplace would be great. The wreath, although large seems small on the fireplace.

    I wish we had a mantel....

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  40. I vote for a mantel

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  41. I really like it on. But having other things displayed makes up for it if its not there. A bare wall looks yukky. Hugs Vicki x

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  42. Looks like I'm against the majority but I like clean lines so I vote for the mantel off. I would center the wreath, etc. over the fireplace opening. You could do some branches (tall, without leaves) in a tall vase on the right if it feels naked to you.

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  43. One thought is mantle off, but a corner shelf to the side, if you can do that? Love the big W on the wide open brick - very striking.

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  44. I like mantels so that gets my vote. However, I would put a bigger one up, beefer. They don't have to be decorated but with it up there you can decorate when you want. Good luck with your decision.

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  45. I vote for mantel off, and I like the wreath centered over the entire wall. But if you center it over the fireplace, something either to the right of it to fill that space on the wall, like the W, dropped down a little, or something tall on the floor like someone else mentioned. If you get tired of how boring it is you can put the mantel back up!

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  46. I vote to paint the mantel black and leave it up. Decorate it according to the season ~ Fall colors on the garland with fall colored candles then spring colors, etc. Floor lamp in the corner behind the wood for light.

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  47. Everything you do is great, but, you are asking.....I would have a larger mantel : ) And, If I didn't, I would center over the fireplace opening : ) But, overall, it has to be what YOU want! Always enjoy your posts : ) Thank-you!

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  48. I love the mantel on...so many possibilities for the holidays and just here and there throughout the year. Might paint in though (black would be nice). If you go with mantel off, I'd centre wreaths and the like over the fireplace, but if you wanted to do something with the letter or other decor, I'd do a multi-piece arrangement.

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  49. Karen, I'm Pro Mantel. I like using mine a decorating element and changing out the items displayed on it during the year but I do wish I had the option like you do of taking it off. Mine's firmly affixed to the brick.

    Gail :)

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  50. Another vote for ON. I love the way you had it decorated for Christmas!

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  51. I think mantle on, but I think the proportion is a little off, it needs to be thicker, more of a statement, and I would love to see it painted black.

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  52. I vote with the mantel on group..but newer and bigger, perhaps with some brackets or larger making more of a statement.

    Pat

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  53. ok I have to say I like the firplace both ways, but I would leave the mantel up. But if you take it down I would center the wreath over the fire but the 'W' I would center over the whole fireplace.

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  54. mantel up ... love it; it adds the light ya'll need in that area ... my thoughts ... darlene, who loves her mantel

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  55. Mantel on for sure - I love my mantel, and like yours, great to decorate.

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  56. For a change, try it off for a while. But you could certainly add some dimension with some tall textural branches, rustic broom/rake, metal sculpture or even a funky floor lamp or hanging light fixture in the basket area and then your wreath, W or anything else would look centered. You could decorate that item.
    Just my 2 cents ....
    If you were going to add a mantel in the future, consider a bulkier, wider one to really make it stand out ???

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  57. The area is large and it needs to have something there...I vote for the mantel on...it fills it up and looks great...if you choose to leave off I believe that anything that is put on the wall I believe it should be placed in the middle of the wall...if not it seems to throw 1 side off...

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  58. Lovely of you to ask Karen!
    I say scan images on Google and see if there isn't a whole different look you like in a mantel or surround.
    You can always use a free program like paint.net to draw on your photo(s) different ideas.
    You can always install sconce lighting.
    Lovely possibilities. Enjoy! I'll look forward to seeing what you have chosen.
    Christina in Cleveland

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  59. mantle off.......centered over fireplace.

    add a few more elements to the wall


    Kathy S.......

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  60. It will be interesting for you to see how many pros and how many cons you received. Personally I love the mantel! Many more decorating options. Have fun deciding :)

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  61. I think it looks best without the mantel and I like the wreath centered over the fireplace--it's the fireplace that's the focal point, not the brick wall.

    If you choose to go back to a mantel, may I suggest a different style? The one in the first photo looks like the builder had some leftover molding scraps and married them together so he could check off the list. Something "beefier" would look nicer on that wall.

    Good luck!

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  62. I agree with the ones who say a different mantel with more substance and beef too it. The one that was there looked nice dressed up, but it doesn't look right proportionately. I think the look that you are going for is something that says "home", and without a mantel I think it looks like a fireplace in a business--stark and utilitarian; although the letter and the wreath did add something, I don't think it was enough to compensate for no mantel at all.

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  63. no mantel at all and nothing. that's my first choice. it gives a good, contemporary look. why do people think they have to decorate everything? the brick is a lovely texture in itself.

    if you have to have something, then in the summer you can hang a nice wall quilt and in the winter something that cleans more easily.
    definitely centered over the fireplace .

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  64. It's your house, but if you are asking for me opinion - mantel on! One thing I miss about our current house is a firsplace. And no mantel.

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  65. Mantle on. I do think the one you have is hung too high, and too small for the size of the wall. It needs to be wider and deeper. I would keep the decor centered over the fireplace. Have you thought about painting the bricks? I would paint them white with a deep espresso mantle, perhaps adding side pieces to frame out the fireplace opening. Then you could add some decorative tile to really make it a focal point. Ignore the side bricks, if they were the same color as your walls no one would notice it's asymmetrical. Good Luck!

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