8 Items Perfect for Decorating Any Fireplace Mantel

8-items-perfect-for-decorating-any-fireplace-mantelIf you’re lucky enough to have a fireplace in your home, don’t let it go to waste. Spruce up your living room with some must-have items for your mantel so you can show off your excellent taste to your friends and family. Even if your fireplace isn’t functional, a stately, elegant mantel can still tie a room together. Here are eight items you need for the best decorated fireplace mantel anywhere:

  1. Overlapping Artwork.  Above the mantel is a natural place to hang your favorite paintings or photographs. Sometimes, choosing the one that will dominate the look of the whole room can be a tough call. Instead of only choosing one, why not choose three or four pieces of art for the mantel? Overlap differently sized pieces of art for a complex, layered effect above the fireplace. Be sure to choose relatively simple pieces of art so that the area doesn’t become too jumbled.
  2. Mirrors.  Mirrors expand the room. Place one above your fireplace mantel and transform the wall and the area into a cleaner, more muted vibe. Mirrors have the advantage of being mostly colorless, unless you spring for a showy frame. Mirrors capture the color scheme of the room in their glass, and look great bracketed by a couple of tasteful vases or sconces to really set the room off in a new direction.
  3. Shelves.  A shelf above the mantel is a perfect place to show off your decorative painting skills. Attach a shelf above the mantel and paint it a color that complements the room. From there, the possibilities are endless for things to place on the shelf when it is installed. Tasteful picture frames, marble or ivory bookends, or your favorite knick-knacks are great ways to decorate the fireplace mantel.
  4. The Candle-Vase Combo.  By attaching two decorative candle holders on either side of a photograph, mirror, or painting, you are artistically framing the centerpiece of the mantel. Draw attention to the beautiful mirror you just got for your mantel with decorative candle holders. Add to this symmetrical look with a couple of elegant vases. The combination of the vases and the candle holders accent the shapes of both and add a sense of order and artistry to your mantel.
  5. Hidden Television.  Flat screen TVs are perfect for a home above the mantel. Since much of your attention will be focused on the TV anyway, why not incorporate into your decoration scheme? You can add to the decorative power of a flat screen by hiding it when you’re not using it. Recessing the TV into the wall above the mantel and closing it off with two decorative doors gives you the ability to change your mantel’s look at the snap of a finger.
  6. The Expanding Mantel.  If you have the wall space, consider expanding the mantel by installing cabinets attached to the mantel that extend wide and cover the whole wall. This gives you more storage space and increases your decorative space. Add some personal knick- knacks to increase the flair and personality of your mantel and your whole living room.
  7. Molding.  Paint some molding pieces the same color as the wall behind your mantel and create a large rectangle or two. These large shapes will fill the empty space behind your mantel and draw the eye to your beautiful decoration and style.
  8. Color Block.  Make the space directly above the mantel pop by making a section of it one color. This contrast will be instantly eye-catching and revive the empty area above the mantel stand out and dazzle.

10 Ways to Create More Storage in Your Bedroom Closet

10-ways-to-create-more-storage-in-your-bedroom-closetStorage space is one of those things that never feels like you have enough of in your home, no matter how much of it you have. If you feel like this is you, though, it may be time to get better organized. Organizing your storage space better is one of the best ways to maximize what storage space you have.

Here are ten tips for creating more storage space in your bedroom closet.

Install hooks.

Having a few hooks in an easily accessible place, such as on the back of your closet door or on the wall just inside of your closet, is a good way to put bulky items or things you use frequently, such as your bathrobe, within easy reach.

Go container crazy!

Keeping things in organized containers, rather than in a jumbled mess on the floor and shelves of your closet, is the best way to maximize your storage space, not to mention it makes everything easier to find. There are many different kinds of containers to choose from: clear plastic containers so you can see what’s inside, attractive baskets and fabric bins, and compartmentalized containers to organize smaller items like jewelry.

Think vertically.

There is generally a lot of space between the top shelf of a closet and the ceiling, most of which gets wasted because people don’t use it efficiently. Use this space to stack plastic bins and boxes, or put shelf units in to help you utilize this space better.

Utilize your floor space.

The floor of many closets is wasted with nothing but a mess of shoes and a laundry basket. By utilizing organizational aids such as shoe shelves, plastic bins for storage, and baskets for accessories, you can actually make much better use of this space, and keep it tidy to boot.

Hang your accessories.

You can store accessories like belts, scarves, and purses in a bin or basket, but that takes up much more space than if you were to just hang them. You can hang shower curtain rings on your closet rod for hanging scarves and purses, or buy a hanging organizer designed for accessories.

Install shelves.

If you own your home and can make changes, you might consider installing custom shelving so that you can decide for yourself what best fits your storage needs. Even if you rent, though, you can use inexpensive shelving units, such as shoe shelves, to expand the available shelving in your closet.

Hang your shelves.

Do you have an excess of space for hanging things in your closet, but not enough shelf space? Try a fabric hanging shelf unit for storing things like towels or bins full of accessories.

Double your hanging space.

Two sets of rods for hanging clothes, one above the other, can double your hanging space. This is perfect for hanging things like shirts, skirts, and pants, but you should also have one single clothing rod on another wall for hanging longer clothing, like dresses, long coats, and suit bags.

Use available wall space.

If you have empty wall space in your closet, such as right next to the closet door, use this space by installing hooks or an organizer for jewelry or accessories.

Don’t forget the door.

The back of the door is another source of storage space that is easily forgotten. Hanging organizers here provide pockets that are perfect for storing shoes and other accessories.

Don’t feel limited by the size of your bedroom closets. Good organization can open up more storage possibilities than you even knew you had!