Monday, March 26, 2012

Mantle Maintenance

Confession: For approximately 1 year and three months, this is what my mantle/fireplace looked like...

...the shame. The winter berries are leftover from Christmas (please don't judge me) and the rest of the tchotchkes were placed there with no method to my madness, other than to have something on the mantle.  It became one of those decorating projects that just kind of hung over my head. I thought about purchasing a mirror at Home Goods once or twice, but I never found anything I thought I would love. And so it remained, the blank, unstyled blemish of my living room. 

Enter, my bestie, an incredibly talented artist who gifted me with a gorgeous print from a woodblock series she did in college. I had the print stored carefully for years, and much like styling my mantle, meant to have it framed, but never seemed to have the time/funds to have it done nicely. Luckily, Santa let me pick out a beautiful, antiqued frame with a textured linen mat, gorgeous fillet, and museum-quality glass and backing to protect this beautiful work of art for years to come. 

People. She carved this into wood.  In three separate layers. And pressed each layer (in a different color) to the paper. It's based off a photograph she took while in Venice. As you may have guessed,  this photo of the print doesn't begin to do it justice.  Ah-maze!

I planned to hang it in my bedroom (Yep, I've got a second blank wall where good decor intentions go to die) but then decided it deserved a more prominent display in the house, where more people could enjoy it. Since I spend most of my time in the living room of my rental, above the mantel was the perfect choice.

Tim would like me to tell my readers that safety goggles (as he is pictured wearing) are very important! 
 Luckily, Tim the Tool Man Taylor and his good looking wife Jill (i.e. my awesome parents) were up for the task of helping me hang the print in my solid cement walls. A quick trip to Ace Hardware and $5 later, I had a new drill bit for cement (it's very important to use the correct drill bit, so I'm told) and we measured, marked and drilled. (I pretty much held the picture up, gave my opinion and watched, but I can say "we" because it was a collective effort, right??)  

The mantle still needs to be styled, but the biggest hurdle had been jumped. I am so happy to have this beautiful work of art framed and hung where I can enjoy it every day! Now I am just looking around the design interwebs for some gorgeously styled mantles to serve as inspiration!

*I was hopelessly (and happily) disconnected this weekend, so there are no weekend snapshots to share this week. Back to our regularly scheduled programming next Monday.


  1. Very nice...Tim and Jill. I was like, hey that looks like...OHhhh! LOL! Looks lovely.

  2. Awesome print and mantle!! BTW, Did you pick the paint color on your walls? I love it--it's the perfect yellow/ beige that I'm looking for. If you know what it is, please share.

    1. My landlord is responsible for the paint color, but I will ask him! We were very lucky to have great paint colors throughout our place when we moved in!

  3. Gorgeous!!! I really do love the print and I love myself a before & after