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Seasonal guide to dressing up to fireplace and mantel

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Seasonal guide to dressing up to fireplace and mantel

If your family or living room boasts a fireplace – thank your lucky stars. You’re blessed with the perfect focal point to accentuate that room year round.

Whether it’s an active fireplace during the winter or a totally non-functioning accessory, your options are endless. And don’t forget the fireplace’s trusty sidekick – a well-appointed mantel will strengthen your focal statement.

Here are some seasonal ideas to add the right flourish to your home.

Spring fever

Let the season inspire you with freshness. First make sure to clean out the chimney and dust the hearth. If you’re a gardener, trim off some forsythia or witch-hazel stems from your backyard, pop them in a rustic white jug filled with water and place your spring offering in the cleaned out fireplace. Enjoy as the buds open. Silk flowers will work just as well and, as an added bonus, will last all season.

Now, you’re ready to dress up the mantel with some more spring elements like bird’s nests stocked with painted eggs or birdhouses (‘tis the season for yard sales and flea markets). Re-paint them in pastels or fun colours. It’s up to you and your sense of fun.

Summer fun

Sure, you’d rather be soaking up the sun in the great outdoors, but this is a great time to exploit an empty and unused fireplace by transforming it into an indoor gardener’s delight. Showcase a large container of leafy ferns, or a shallow collection of succulents and change that dark recess into a summery feast for the eyes.  Rotate plants on a bi-weekly basis to ensure they have plenty of light.

Tie the flower/plant theme together by lining the mantel with small posies of summer blossoms like roses or lavender in shallow dishes filled with water. Your living room will look beautiful and smell wonderful. Or, preserve the outdoor theme by flaunting your favourite beach photos on the mantel. Cluster them in groups for an informal look.

Fall comfort

Show off the vintage treasures you’ve collected during summer flea markets by displaying or storing them in an unused fireplace. Stack antique suitcases in an artful design, or exhibit you’re your decorative flair by flaunting that wrought iron gate you purchased as an ingenious mantel prop.

Mantels topped with Halloween decorations are always trendy during this time of year, but clusters of small and large decorative gourds, clear jam jars of fall-painted leaves, and trios of Indian or calico corn will add to the seasonal texture.

For a slightly different fall visual, fill wooden bowls of various shapes with nuts, berries or any other offerings of the season, like dried hydrangea or a selection of assorted pinecones. Throw a log on the fire and enjoy the cozy warmth of autumn.

Winter

‘Tis the season for the fireplace and mantel! Everyone has plenty of ideas for Christmas decorating, but here are a few decorating ideas to span the time between the end of the holidays and spring.

Using the fireplace is great for heat and ambiance. But if you have a non-functioning hearth transform it from a useless hole in the wall into a work of art. Here’s how. Enhance the winter motif by stacking white birch logs in the centre. Or, heap it with a collection of books. If vintages are more your style, trade books and logs for a wine rack filled with your favourite bottles of merlot or pinot noir. Empty or full bottles - that’s your choice. The look will remain the same.

Bestow a dramatic impact or add some romantic ambiance by grouping different sizes and widths of candles in the fireplace. Then accentuate the look by lining the mantelpiece with a row of tea-lights.

Who knew warming up your home could be this much fun!

By Beverley Burgess Bell

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