I know, I know... it's the middle of summer, why am I even talking about fireplaces?!
Well, first of all - half the world is entering winter... so lets not forget them - and because I feel like it. Good enough. Here we go:
My first advice for homeowners who have an ugly brick fireplace:
That's right... you won't bring a curse upon your home to stick paint on brick... your eyes will even thank you for it. To see how we transformed this piece of nasty you can look here.
When it comes to your mantle, I think it good to anchor the space with a large centre focal piece: seen here is a large storm window, mirror and comically modern clock (I don't recommend the clock... but we need to know the time!). You could use a large painting, photo, or wagon wheel on your mantle.
I also think it's good to have a theme for your mantle decor. Ours is generally a 'nature-theme' and more specifically: birds... what with the nests, feathers, bird cage and all.
If you can cluster like-minded objects together it creates a sense of 'story' to your space.
And here's a quick d.i.y idea: wrap birch bark around an old soup can for a 'natural vase' (seen above).
Speaking of stories, this is also the reading-corner in our living room.
Azriel's books are all crammed into the fireplace (though I wish it was a working fireplace... it makes for a good storage spot).
I used to have an old mirror tucked back behind her books... but recently I opted to use that fun tapestry again and cover a back-board for the space.
Other decor options for this spot:
cut birch branches
cluster of large white candles
whatever reflects the personality of your home!
Hope that helps your cozy up your corner of the nest.
What's on your mantle?