A graduate of the University of Southern California, Kennedy began her career as a hard news newspaper reporter, covering events such as the LA riots and California’s wildfires. After a few years she discovered she could combine her hidden interior design talents with journalism. In addition to her work for Better Homes and Gardens, Kennedy co-wrote New York Times bestseller “Trading Spaces: Behind the Scenes” and has written for publications such as Traditional Home, Decorating, Quick & Easy Decorating, Window & Wall Ideas, Bedroom & Bath Ideas and Do It Yourself. A native of Portland, Oregon, Kennedy recently moved from New York’s Hudson Valley to suburban Boston with her husband, two children, Great Dane, two cats, sewing machine, pile of paint decks and about 340 linear feet of books.
We're heading into holiday entertaining time, when you want your home (and hearth) to look their best. The Wayfair editorial team had the fun task of starting with one typical mantel and decorating it six different ways. See the story here: Mantels Six Ways. We tried to hit on a variety of styles, so hopefully you'll find at least one scheme that goes with your room. Over six posts we'll highlight each of the mantel schemes in more detail. Today we focus in on the fetching clocks and books mantel.
Mirrors or art are more expected above the mantel; we wanted to try something different. Wayfair has a great variety of wall clocks, so we decided to use that as a basis for a "collection." Repeating the clock motif means you can mix new purchases with clocks you may have stashed in the attic or basement. We chose clocks that have a feeling of age, so the ensemble looks collected over time. Distressed clock faces or old-fashioned style clock housing works well here. And we loved the quirky little propeller clock.
When arranging the clocks, the expected thing would be to put one big one smack in the middle of the wall, but an asymmetrical arrangement is more dynamic. This one works because the biggest clock is on the right, while the two next biggest clocks are on the left for balance.
Combining the clocks with vintage books from around the house (or a thrift store) contributes to a library feel. After removing all book jackets, we left some of the elegant cloth covers exposed. In other cases, we covered the books with decorative paper in a limited palette to achieve a cohesive look. Covering books with paper allows you to customize the mantel display so it matches the color palette in your room. You can use multiple patterns as long as you stick to just two or three colors.
The vases of flowers almost act as bookends for the mantel top items. The unusual vase shapes, banded in metal, go with the mantel's vintage vibe.