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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A Country Chic-Inspired Farmhouse Update

This cozy farmhouse has been in the homeowner's family for generations. See how a few simple updates helped preserve the traditional character while still incorporating contemporary comfort.


    Everything in this slideshow

    • A Family-Friendly Farmhouse

      Catherine Bartolomei-Smith and her brother, Joe Bartolomei grew up gathering at what is now the Farmhouse Inn. Previously a private dwelling, owned by their great-grandparents, the siblings returned to this beloved corner of California’s picturesque Sonoma County, to continue their predecessors’ legacy of hospitality. They turned the family farmhouse into an inn, which is just up the road from their 85-acre family ranch. From cozy furniture to country-inspired decor, the home is the picture of hospitality and comfort.

    • Signature Staples

      Large sliding barn doors are a defining feature of this comfortable inn, as are comfortable furnishings and varying of shades of white. The timeless color makes decorating easy and ensures the spaces won't look dated in a few years. To prevent an all-white room from looking stark, make sure you steer clear of whites with blue hues, which will come off as cold. Mixing in texture will also add visual interest.

    • Super Slipcovers

      Slipcovers offer a quick and easy furniture updates. White slipcovers like the ones on these comfy chairs work the best because they can be easily bleached and pressed. Plus, the clean look blends with any number of accessories.

    • Country Chic

      In one of the bedrooms, an airy four-poster bears white linens and a throw made from local sheep's wool. Simple Shaker-style wainscoting on the walls adds undeniable farmhouse character. A riveted metal desk and an old weather vane used as artwork lend the space a subtle industrial-chic vibe.

    • Wild for White

      A round paned mirror serves as a contemporary backdrop for large antique accessories. By keeping the walls simple and white, the homeowners had free reign to experiment with dramatic shapes and sizes of furniture and other decor.

    • Bathed in Style

      Even the bathroom is drenched in farmhouse character. Rather than using a standard countertop, the homeowners opted for an antique-looking table that was fitted for a large sink. A vintage metal bucket, reminiscent of a barn trough, stores towels and washcloths next to the sink.

    • A Welcoming Entrance

      In the foyer, a large metal lantern-style light fixture conveys the inn’s simple aesthetic. Beautiful molding around the front door -- as well as thick trim at the top and base of the walls -- is characteristic of old homes and adds to the traditional farmhouse character.

    • A Job for Everything

      While it might be one of the darker rooms in the house, this living space is no stranger to farmhouse hospitality. The furniture is cozy and oversize, and even the pillows are placed with purpose. To avoid “gumdrop pillows” -- throw pillows that are eye candy only -- make sure they're big and filled with down so they can serve as cozy arm- or footrests.

    • The Great Escape

      Placed right next to the fireplace, a cushy chaise longue becomes the perfect spot to curl up on a cold winter night. The light paisley pattern blends perfectly with softly patterned pillows and a textured area rug.

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      Bring On the Drama

      The inn’s interior designer found this enormous lantern at a garage sale. After cleaning it up, she found the perfect home for it above the farmhouse dining table. The oversize detail adds to the farmhouse charm and looks undeniably stylish and dramatic.

    • 11 of 14

      Simply Stunning

      Surrounded by woods and beautiful gardens, throwing together  a beautiful centerpiece or flower arrangement is never a problem. Here, a large bouquet of wildflowers placed in a sturdy metal bucket looks effortless resting atop a barn coffee-table book.

    • 12 of 14

      Antiqued to Perfection

      This antique dining console provides the perfect place to display vintage pitchers and dishware. The look is enough to make anyone crave a home-cooked, farm-fresh meal.

    • 13 of 14

      History Lesson

      Rather than replace the old farmhouse mantel, it was simply refinished it. The nicks and scratches preserve the story of their family's history, while a new coat of stain blends it into the rest of the space. By keeping the mantel decor simple, the focus remains on sentimentality of the mantel.

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      Next Slideshow Add Farmhouse Style to Your Home

      Add Farmhouse Style to Your Home

      Today's farmhouse style is airy, orderly, collected, nostalgic, and, above all else, welcoming. These countrified interiors handily illustrate design strategies and decorative details that you can use to cultivate farmhouse looks.
      Begin Slideshow »



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