Fireplace Decorating Ideas

A few weeks back, I stumbled onto a blog called Nibs…

It’s written by a gal named Martha and when I saw the mantel decorating series she’d been blogging about, I just had to write and ask her if I could feature her photos here on TLC!

In a nutshell, she thought it would be fun to challenge herself to do a collection of posts on mantel decorating ideas and the fireplace she used for the series is part of an 1800′s addition to a colonial era house. It was boarded up when the house was converted to coal (as indicated by the floor grate in the photo below) and later to baseboard heating. All the original millwork has been preserved and the fireplace & woodwork are painted bright white with walls in a contrasting apple green. Here’s a black and white photo of the area before she began her series

And here are the twelve vignettes she had fun creating over the past four months…

#1- Coming Up Roses

#2- Be A Kid

#3- Desk Set

#4- Eat, Drink And Be Merry

#5- Dedicated to Chip

#6- Sailing Away

#7- In The Pink

#8- Florabunda

#9- Dedicated to Mom

#10 – Christmas Portrait

#11 – Inside/Outside

#12 – Christmas In The Pine Tree Slate

How neat! I just love seeing folks have fun with their houses!

“Be A Kid”, “Desk Set” and “Sailing Away” are my three favs. Which one(s) are you most drawn to?

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  1. says

    Martha could style for Pottery Barn!
    I thoroughly enjoyed this delightful post and her delightful vignettes!
    Coming Up Roses, Eat Drink and Be Merry, and Inside/Outside are my faves.
    You know this post is gonna get some serious Pinterating, doncha?
    Thank you, Layla for introducing us to Nibs!
    HUGS and blessings to you!

  2. Beverly Palmer says

    Wow – she’s good! I absolutely love sailing away and be a kid. I about to redo my 9 year old sons room with a beachy/sailboat theme. Her sailing away mantel gets me inspired. Thanks for sharing, Layla!

  3. says

    I love these. I could look at them all day. Roses and Desk Set are my favorites. Desk Set makes me crave an old typewriter. Remember the way they smell? I guess it’s the ribbon. Very inspiring.

  4. Sophie says

    Wow, they’re all absolutely gorgeous, but Sailing Away is my favourite. I LOVE the idea of using a boarded up fireplace like a headboard for a single bed. Genius!

  5. Kirsten F says

    I love the topsy-turvy picture that makes the Desk Set so believable; also Dedicated to Chip, Dedicated to Mom, and Coming up Roses…fun!

  6. says

    Wow! Genius! I love them all but I’m especially drawn to Dedicated to Mom. It has a vintage look about it, as well, but all the old jars and cooking utensils are sucking me in too since those are two of my favorite things!

  7. Katie says

    I’d really like to meet the guy who lives in ‘Dedicated to Chip’ – looks like he’s a fun time.

  8. says

    Hi Layla-

    What talent! What a stockpile of decorating items to use to create all the looks. I think I like “Be A Kid” the best, but they all are amazing. Is she a photo stylist? If not – she should be. Clever blog name, too.

    My best- Diane

  9. Laura says

    Wowzers Uncle Gadget! That is impressive! I really like “Sailing Away”. Between that and your beachy posts, I feel like taking a road trip to find some ocean!

  10. cindy r. says

    Love them! Eat, drink and be Merry is my favorite. I went over to her site and was dismayed that she is taking the summer off! She is so creative-I will tag her as a avorite and look over her older posts.

  11. says

    My favs are Dedicated To Mom and Eat, Drink, and Be Merry. What a talent she has! Thanks for letting us see the pics.

  12. Jessica says

    I like Desk Set, Dedicated to Chip, and Dedicated to Mom. Also, In the Pink, mostly because I love lanterns and vases of twigs with buds. How creative Miss Martha is!

  13. says

    I like Desk Set and Eat, Drink and Be Merry best. Such a great set of totally diverse ideas for a single space. She did an amazing job of breaking out of the typical fireplace-as-living room-centerpiece rut.

  14. Elizabeth says

    Coming up Roses and Desk Set are amazing. My husband and I are both civil engineers and I do alot of GIS/mapping work and Desk Set is just what I envision our future office to look like. I love it. These are fantastic and so much fun.

  15. says

    Wow….those are incredible. I think the Eat Drink And Be Merry one is my favorite. Lucky for me, I have a similar sign :) Yay, I’m very inspired! Thanks for sharing this.

  16. says

    So hard to choose! I like the first five, especially coming up roses and be a kid. Number 11 inside/outside is great too.

  17. Janet Wehrer says

    Boy, has she inspired me. Thank you for getting these pictures for us. Wow! She is so talented and
    thank goodness for talented people that share. Since I am working on my summer mantels I loved
    seeing her beach vignette.

  18. Bambi says

    These are amazing! Who could pick a favorite! I agree with your choices, Layla, plus I really like Inside Out and Eat, Drink and Merry!! And love how she did the Christmas Portrait theme with the picture in the fireplace box and the bust on the mantle!! I’m so “original”, I probably would have had them the other way around!! Love how she changed around “the usual” way!!!

  19. Penny says

    Those are awesome pictures!! My faves are “Christmas in the Pine Tree Slate”, “Inside Outside”, “Dedicated To Mom”, and “Eat Drink & Be Merry”

  20. says

    A person after my heart! I love changing and mixing things up! It’s the old retail dog in me! This post is a treat!
    Thanks for sharing, Layla!

  21. says

    WOW, I wish I could be this creative with my mantel. She is so creative and talented! I got the creative bug for crafting but when it come to decorating my mantel or house I have mental block…lol

  22. says

    I like “Inside/Outside” and “Desk Set”! This girl could work in magazines or the movies as a set designer! Thanks for the inspiration Layla!

  23. says

    Wow…I just love them!! I especially love ” Be a kid”, “Desk Set”, and ” Inside/Outside”!! Thanks for sharing!!

  24. says

    Oh my gosh, that is so much fun! The Be a Kid and Inside/Outside are my favorites-love that wallpaper she used! Very striking!

  25. Sandra says

    Love them all but Sailing Away is my favorite. I have a thing for nautical decor :)

    Question for you Kev and Layla, when you have an off-centered fireplace in the room, where do you position the ceiling light? Do you center on the room or the fireplace? The reason I ask is that we are building and currenlty the plans call for it to be centered on the room, but I am thinking I may change it. I would like to get a designers take on this. Thank you for any input.


  26. Cindy Jones says

    #1 love was “desk set”, oh those globes. Quickly followed up by “dedicated to mom” and “be a kid”.

  27. says

    Maybe my favorite is Desk Set – but they are all terrific. If they were seen in separate posts they would look like different rooms entirely. What a creative person.
    – Joy

  28. says

    Wow, she is so wonderfully creative! I love Be a Kid, Dedicated to Chip and Sailing Away. But, my very favorite is Desk Set. I really felt pulled into this one and I just want (so badly!) to sit there and play with that typewriter! I love the crunched up papers falling out of the wastebasket. The maps, stacks of books and that mug full of colored pencils are so appealing! Thanks for sharing, Layla.

  29. says

    All are so creative but must say Coming Up Roses and Be a Kid are two of my FAVS!! Thanks for sharing!

  30. says

    Hard to choose just one, but I like the desk set. I have to stop by her blog because I am dying to see what Martha looks like. I picture her kind of Artsy with a ton of style and flair. Maybe red hair and some wildly cool glasses. Thanks for sharing Layla.

  31. says

    I LOVE the desk set and being a kid! I have a very, very similar fireplace (non working) in my living room. You’ve given me inspiration. I want to go change things up right now! Thank you!

  32. Kim in MD says

    How fun! I am drawn to the same three as you are, but they are all beautiful! That is just so fun! :-)

  33. Sharon L says

    I love this! We just moved into a home that has 3 mantles and this gives me some ideas! Thanks!

  34. heyruthie says

    wow. some people ooze talent. not me. i’d be so thrilled to come up with even 1 of those. but to have that level of creativity that spans so many decorating genres, no way….at least not during this stage in life with my 4 small kids….

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