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

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Popular in Decorating

Small Traditional Home

Flexible furnishings, clever storage, and a space-expanding color palette make this tiny Victorian home feel just right.


    Everything in this slideshow

    • Savvy Space Savers

      Bigger isn't always better, even for the owners of this 850-square-foot Victorian home, who are avid collectors of French linens, vintage canning jars, and stacks of beautiful books. To make the most of their home's limited space, the owners settled on a smart paint palette of off-white walls, warm gray floors, and pale blue ceilings to give the illusion of more height.

    • Double Duty

      The small dining area doubles as a workstation with the help of two built-in bookcases and hidden electrical outlets. A banquette squeezes in a few extra seats and conceals storage for table linens and seasonal decorations. The burnished surface of the light fixture blends well with the home's antique aesthetic.

    • Stylish Storage

      An antique china cabinet houses infrequently used serving pieces and table linens. The unit's airy construction keeps the small dining space feeling open and inviting. The top of the hutch offers display space for a collection of small decorative items.

    • Attention to Detail

      A 13-foot-long sewing cabinet salvaged from a nearby convent serves as the base for a wall of living room built-ins. Painting the backs of the shelves a darker color gives the illusion of depth. The vast array of books and collectibles also blends better against a darker background and prevents the wall from looking too busy. An antique apple picker's ladder leaning against the built-ins adds a layer of collected charm.

    • Speedy Clean

      In the kitchen, a plate rack above the sink speeds the cleanup process, making it easy to put away clean dishes. Although it's new, the farmhouse-style sink blends perfectly with the home's antique character. A beaded-board backsplash also nods to years gone by. Even the cabinet hardware takes a turn back in time: an antique spoon makes a charming door handle.

    • Optical Illusions

      Pale gray walls and lots of creamy-white woodwork give the small kitchen character without a cluttered feel. The insides of the cabinets are painted a soft apple green, a happy leftover from the kitchen's previous look. Narrow shelves mounted above the windows display a collection of vintage Mason jars, repurposed into lanterns and vases, and draw the eye upward, making the room feel taller.

    • Smart Moves

      Warm off-white paint lessens the impact of a brick wall in the master bedroom and makes the space feel a bit larger. With such limited space, the homeowners had to get creative with storage solutions. A bed skirt allows them to conceal roller bins filled with coats, shoes, and seasonal clothing under the bed.

    • Clever Closet

      Eliminating an ultra-tiny second bedroom made room for a spacious master bedroom walk-in closet. A pullout drawer system keeps smaller clothing items, such as socks and undershirts, contained and within easy reach. Handwritten labels placed on the pullouts and storage bins throughout the closet can be easily switched out as items are moved around.

    • Bathed in Style

      A new marble countertop and hardware added to an antique dresser created the stylish bathroom vanity. Mounting a bowl-style vessel sink on the top of the unit and notching the top middle drawer's interior made room for plumbing but ensured the drawers below remained functional. As in the master bedroom, the homeowners painted the bathroom's brick walls to lessen their impact.

    • 10 of 11

      A Pretty Patio

      A patio area just off the kitchen was outfitted with a dainty furniture set to provide the homeowners with a calming outdoor oasis. Similar to the home's interior, the patio is filled with antiques and vintage-style decor.

    • 11 of 11
      Next Slideshow Home Tour: Decorating with the New Neutral

      Home Tour: Decorating with the New Neutral

      A stately Victorian home morphs into a warm, laid-back space with a family-hub kitchen at its center.
      Begin Slideshow »



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