Project Design: How To Style Your Spring Mantel Two Ways

Hello and welcome to the latest Project Design.
This is where Cindy Hattersley and I ask interior design bloggers to share their talent with tips on design projects.
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Here is the process that I use to decorate mantels.  
(This is my own mantel.  I didn't want to buy anything new, 
so I played with what I had around the house).

1. Start with the big items (like this mirror) first.

2.  Then, the next largest items....
like this large French crock on the left with fresh branches 
(you may be able to grab something from your garden)
 3.  Balance it with something on the right.  For some reason I always start left to right...

Books are always fun to add texture and height.

4.  Then, fill in with smaller items like the coral and shell.  I like the texture.
5.  Finally, I put a fern (any houseplant works) on an little stool to fill in the black hole.  We will probably be having fewer fires with the warmer weather.

And now for version two... 
this one has more color and again...
I didn't want to spend a lot.

I've had these ivy topiaries in my office window where they were thriving.

1.  Put large items up first. (That painting was $50 at a flea market--I love it).

2.  Fill in with smaller items like this black Asian box and
vintage flea market bottles.

 Have you done this for a change of pace where you gently fold the tulip petals back?


Now check out how these ladies
style their mantels....

And we want to see YOUR spring mantel!
Please post a photo on Instagram


  1. Mary Ann,
    Both of your mantles are wonderful! I love the classic touches on the first mantle, and it definitely feels like "spring" with the natural branches in the crock. The second mantle is so pretty with the painting and the soft colors of the bottles coordinate beautifully.

  2. Both are lovely Mary Ann! Your topiaries are thriving!

    The Arts by Karena

    1. I know, Karena...they came back strong with lots of new growth.

  3. You make it look so easy Mary Ann! pinning it now! Thank you!

  4. I agree with Vel. You do make it look so easy! My steps would include "step back and squint at to see if it looks right" (over and over again! LOL) Both versions are lovely. Your topiaries and the coral are both beautiful! My favorite is the first one with the spring tulips, but I would be happy with either version. Off to work on mine today!

    1. Right now its a combo of the two, Kelly!

  5. They are both fabulous of course, but I think #1 is my favorite. I am a sucker for long branchy things. I love the combination of that with the pencil drawing and the tulips. You make it so simple!

  6. Yes I too prefer #1, but they are both lovely. Thanks for the inspiration. I'll have to see how I can adapt ideas like this to my wooden framed mantel.
    Enjoy your weekend.

  7. Mary Ann,

    Love both your mantels, but especially the first. The coral really reads "spring/summer" and it's so pretty (and you know I LOVE your mirror!) But I love symmetry, so the second one speaks to me as well. Both are lovely!


  8. How do you do it Mary Ann? I love both of your beautiful mantle designs and would love either one in my house. You are always changing up things in your house, something I never do, you are always so inspiring.
    They both have a spring feel to them and could go into the summer as well. Thank you for all your wonderful tips!
    xoxo Gail

  9. Hi Mary Ann... I can't pick which mantel that I like more. Wish you could come and do mine!! Have a great week.

  10. Love the arrangement with the mirror and old pottery! xo K

  11. I can't decide.....love both! Your shells are beautiful!

  12. I'm so in love with that Anthro mirror!! You did a beautiful job on both of them!! So pretty!


It's SO nice to hear from you!