A dramatic way to bring attention to a mantel is painting the wall a deep, rich hue. Then you can leave much of the mantel blank by balancing out the ends with white sculptural accessories or candleholders, which are used in this metro Atlanta model home.
On this wall, designers used some of the homeowner's keepsakes (including vintage candleholders) as the starting point for a pretty display. The salvaged shelf on the radiator was sanded, clear coated, then embellished with gold foil. The little glass bottles on top were dipped in white paint, the embellished with gold foil as well.
Designers with Pop Custom Homes, based in Atlanta, used a pair of wire candleholders on each side of this fantastic piece of colorful art that dominates the mantel. You can find candleholders for less than $20 per pair new, or if you pick up a steal at a garage sale, spray paint them to match the frame or a dominant color in the artwork.
Use lanterns (with their glass panels removed) and hanging candleholders to show off vining plants, suggests floral designer Angela Darrah. This 'Neon Pothos' Epipremnum aureum thrives in low light conditions and pops against the red accent wall. When hanging plants, weight is a concern, so Darrah suggests using a decorative moss sheet to disguise a plain plastic container.