Mantel Styling Tips

We challenged bloggers to style a mantel in 30 seconds. See what they did and get their smart tips for decorating a mantel.

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Our Innovation Home

Have you ever wanted to unlock your door with a fingerprint? Control the indoor and outdoor lights with your phone? You can do those things and more with a smart home. We show you how to get a home with connected technology and remote-operated devices that are designed to improve and simplify your life. We sift through the many options, including smart appliances, new apps, and smartphone and tablet innovation, and only bring you those that can make your life better. We give you tips and tricks for navigating the new home technologies and help you with buying decisions.

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House Tour: Elegant Home with a Twist

In post-Katrina New Orleans, homeowners restore the grandeur of their uptown home with Italianate architecture and antique treasures.


    Everything in this slideshow

    • Handsome Italianate Style

      Built at the turn of the 20th century, this handsome New Orleans home had been "modernized" in the 1920s and '30s and stripped of its exterior and interior details. Now, after more than 15 years of renovation and construction work -- and despite Hurricane Katrina -- the home has been thoughtfully returned to its Italianate origins.

      Arches once again grace the front of the home, along with a wrought-iron fence and gates. The New Hampshire slate roof was repaired, and the exterior walls stripped of a stucco-and-pebble mixture that had covered the original masonry.

      To achieve the circa-1900 look of the original house, homeowners added smooth-stucco columns to the front veranda.

    • Luxurious Living Room

      With help from interior designer Gerrie Bremermann and architect Michael Carbine, the homeowners now enjoy the home of their dreams. The private rooms are comfortably suited for their active family, and the public rooms are elegant enough to entertain the gatherings they frequently host.

      Fabrics in the living room include lush silks and damasks that echo the gleam of the gilded furnishings.

    • Ball-Gown Curtains

      Sumptuous curtains in iridescent orange silk give the formal living room a sense of elegance and glamour. Generous amounts of silk damask with double inner linings create the trademark ball-gown fullness. Drapes were made 6 inches longer than the actual measurement so they puddle on the floor for additional fullness.

      Two green-and-melon-striped Louis XV chairs flank the fireplace, which is adorned with an antique marble mantel topped by a gilded French mirror.

    • Color and Architecture Details

      Shimmering silk draperies complement the golden highlights on the antique console table and accessories.

      Extra-wide base molding has long been the choice for protecting plaster walls. It also gives the electrician a place for installing outlets, while easily hiding the wiring.

    • Formal Dining Room

      The living room's vibrant colors are echoed in the adjacent formal dining room.

      An antique French crystal chandelier graces the dining room. Louis Philippe chairs are upholstered in an orange-melon hue to complement the curtains.

    • Dazzling Details

      The octagonal dining room features a dazzling hand-applied gold leaf ceiling. The antique rug was discovered rolled up in the homeowner's mother's attic.

      Painting flourishes give a lift to what would otherwise have been unforgettable cabinetry. Built-in corner cabinets are a space-saving way to provide the dining room with storage for table service, linens, and other items used to serve guests. New windows, including the bank in this room, were installed throughout the house.

    • Exquisite Antiques

      The homeowners, both history buffs, understand and appreciate the cultural importance of architecture and art. Exquisite antique furnishings and a collection of period art fill the home, including Chinese coffee tables, pre-Columbian art, very early French period pieces, heirloom antebellum plantation furniture, and a few pieces so significant that they are catalogued by the Smithsonian Institution.

    • Sitting Room

      The right architectural embellishments can give even a casual room a touch of elegance, as seen in this sitting room. A simple doorway here is surrounded with molding that borrows its look from classical entablature most often seen on exteriors.

    • Beautiful Bedroom

      In the master bedroom, a pre-Civil War bed in the American-English style was inherited from the homeowner's great-grandmother. The canopy was designed in shades of rose and melon to match the rest of the house.

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      Stylish Sunroom

      Extending off the master bedroom, the adjacent sunroom is all windows and little else. In place of architectural trim that might have added some character, the room was given visual interest by installation of a valance treatment that acts as crown molding, and the ceiling was covered in striped fabric. This stylish treatment defines the sunroom as a separate sitting area and hides its deficiencies.

    • 11 of 12

      Explore Another Beautiful Home!

      Tour a gorgeous country French home in Atlanta, Georgia, filled with 19th-century French antiques and a host of rustic architectural details.

    • 12 of 12
      Next Slideshow Mini Makeovers to Add Farmhouse Style

      Mini Makeovers to Add Farmhouse Style

      Use rural references, weathered finishes, vintage farm implements, and barnyard imagery to introduce farmhouse rhythms to your home. Here's a look at 16 welcoming spaces that creatively put homespun harmonies into play.
      Begin Slideshow »



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