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Decorating is hard. I don’t care what JoJo says on Fixer Upper, its hard. And you don’t always have the help of peppy HGTV personalities. Good decor is really about finding the right balance of color, shape, size, and texture. Seems easy…but it’s not.

Take me for example, in our current house we have 2 beautiful fireplaces with fairly large mantles that needed to be decorated. The added wrinkle to my decorating dilemma is that this house is temporary and we are moving soon. I couldn’t (shouldn’t) buy new stuff for the mantles. I needed to find the right balance with things we already own.

I’ll admit it. I wasn’t completely successful.

Let’s start with the good. In the living room, I started with a large Kentucky Derby poster (from my first one to attend) and used that as the anchor. It isn’t too big or too small for the size of the mantle. Then I filled in on each side with taller pieces such as the candlesticks on one side and the large candelabra on the other. I then filled in space with photo frames, champagne bottle from our engagement, and smaller candles. The heart garland is temporary (wasn’t ready to take it down just yet). This mantle works.

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Now to the mantle that’s not so great. The balance is all off. I have a giant mirror that works with the size and scale of the fireplace but it’s all down hill from there.

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On one side I have giant gold initials and photo. I think the size of the letters is a good balance to the mirror. The problem with this mantle is the hodge podge of little things that are on the other side. It just doesn’t work. 20160216_163531

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The good news is that I have a little bit more time to get it right. I may try splitting the letters and having one on each side and then filling in around…or maybe I add a taller vase and fill it with flowers to balance out the big letters. I’ve got 3+ months and then I am on to a new challenge (house)!

So for now, I will just have to be content with being 1 for 2 (not bad)!

If you have suggestions on my problem mirror, I’d love to hear them!

~Emily