Mantels are common in old Philadelphia homes that were originally built in the 1700s and 1800s. In the homes of those times, a fireplace was a necessary element for heating and cooking. If you have a mantel in your Philly home, don’t waste the space by simply putting picture frames on it — use these mantel décor tips to spruce up your living room this summer.
Image Source: WikiMedia Commons/Alex South
1. Use Fresh Floral Arrangements
You can’t go wrong with flowers. Make a commitment this summer to add a new fresh flower arrangement to the center of your mantel each week. Every spring, the Philadelphia Flower Show comes to town for about a week. This is a great chance to get some ideas for exotic and beautiful flowers to add to your mantel throughout the summer.
2. Display Colorful Glasses and Interesting Pottery
In South Philly, right on South Street, there’s a special “glass art” display that catches everyone’s eye. It was created by mosaic artist Isaiah Zagar, who used pieces of recycled glass and ceramic materials. Use this as an inspiration for decorating your mantel. Go on a hunt for interesting glassware and pottery in a variety of shapes and colors at flea markets or thrift shops, and polish them up and position them in an attractive fashion. You might also want to use thick glass pieces to decorate the wall behind the mantel. Let your inner “artist” out.
3. Set a Picnic “Table”
One of the most popular pastimes for summer fun in Philadelphia is having a picnic in the park. Here’s a way to bring the look of a pretty picnic table to the mantel in your dining or living room: Lay a piece of checkered red-and-white cloth over the mantel and then decorate it with items that you might put on a picnic table, like a basket filled with plastic fruit and a bottle of wine. Get creative.
4. Show Your Artistic Side
Who said you have to put something on top of the mantel? If you have a bit of an artistic inclination, use it as a canvas instead. Get your paint colors (again, use bright, energetic colors reminiscent of summertime), put on some tunes, and have some fun creating a unique paint design. Or if you have a friend who’s an artist, ask her to leave her “mark” on your mantel.
5. Mirror, Mirror, On the Mantel
Adding a mirror to a room can create the illusion of a larger space. Lean a beautiful French country-style mirror on the wall atop your mantel. Get a mirror that’s painted in white, tan, light yellow, or another attractive summery color. (It’s a smart idea put a hook in the wall at the top to ensure that the mirror doesn’t slide forward.)
If your mantel has just been collecting dust up to now, consider these tips for using it to spruce up the living area of your Philly home. Mantel décor may seem like such a small element of your home’s interior design, but decorating it can actually go a long way in beautifying a room.