How to decorate this mantle for staging to sell?

Mantle has a break in it above fireplace. I can't make any structural changes or change paint colors. Should I add color above the mantle? Pull over the blue or pull in the beige from the kitchen? I'm not allowed to touch the white brick. Thank you.
  23 answers
  • Michelle Leslie Michelle Leslie on Jun 08, 2016
    Hi, I would put a large picture on the mantle (over the break) that has touches of blue and creams in it. I'm not sure what kind of look you want to convey (classic, modern, shabby chic etc.) but if you hang a large ornate mirror in that gap it could also work. Does putting nails in the wall count as changing the structure?
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Jun 08, 2016
    In my opinion I would continue the color as the room looks unfinished.
  • Jen R Jen R on Jun 08, 2016
    I would add varying heights across the mantel. I agree, something big in the center for a focal point (picture, mirror, etc) and perhaps some vases, plants or candles sticks in groups on the outside. Or lean some frames against the mantel instead of hanging. I did a google search for long mantel decor and found these as examples: or even as simple as this:
  • Dawn Gagnon Dawn Gagnon on Jun 08, 2016
    One thing I always try to do when staging a home, is to make sure I do not use too many accessories, which is tempting with these large mantles. I am thinking a group of framed art work in the center, in various sizes sort of layered in front of each other but not blocking each piece would be nice as well as some chunky candle holders to flank the art work would be nice.
  • B J  Alexis B J Alexis on Jun 08, 2016
    Looks like the color scheme is gray and white, on the shelf place alternating heights of black and gray or white glass, candle sticks, vases etc. Glass is easily found at Goodwill or Salvation army or garage/yard sales. Clear glass could easily be painted by swirling some paint inside. A painting or favorite photo enlarged and framed could be placed between the shelves, along side the fireplace a FEW large pillows, with punches of your favorite bold color. Just a thought.
  • Mary Mary on Jun 08, 2016
    If it was my project I would make a full length mantle that would slip over the existing mantle like a floating shelf is made. It could b rough stained wood or painted white. A larger mirror with fun frame shape over fireplace and add some candlesticks in staggering heights on farthest end. Maybe a large lantern on the lower brick edge. Patterned vases with twigs would also work. Less is more when staging. Good luck.
  • B1doyle B1doyle on Jun 08, 2016
    If I'm understanding this correctly, the mantle shelf is actually broken out and is missing a piece. Cut the other side of the shelf off to make the open distance equal on each side of the fireplace. Hang a picture on the wall in that opening and accessorize the shelves on both side with candles and flowers.
  • Connie Connie on Jun 08, 2016
    You might want to try a big picture of a beach scene with similar colors. Just make sure it is a scene devoid of people. Potential buyers may want to picture themselves in the scene. Add a few beachy touches such as sea grass and shells. Hurricane lamps with fragrant candles would help to invoke a peaceful feeling.
  • Rita Rita on Jun 08, 2016
    Keep it simple. Layer old windows or picture frames. Nothing with photos are artwork of any kind. The idea of staging is to get the potential buyer seeing their things in the space...empty frames or Windows give the illusion of artwork with out any personalization!
  • Each stager has their own style of staging a home. I personally like to use color or make it calm depending on the location and the style of the home. I would either go with a large color that pops depending on how else the room is staged, or a relaxing beach picture again co-ordinating with how the room is staged and the connecting rooms as well. I hope that helps
  • Loretta Loretta on Jun 08, 2016
    I agree with pics and some candles plants. Keep it simple and don't try to cover bad spot
  • William William on Jun 08, 2016
    I agree with everyone's comments. Don't paint. It would look really off. If you could just cut the mantle on both sides even with the frame of the fireplace it would give balance. Decorate with colors.
  • Phyllis Downing Phyllis Downing on Jun 08, 2016
    I would get a piece of rustic wood and bridge the gap by putting it on top of the mantle. Just sit it there and use old picture frames of all sizes in a group with some interesting objects in some to bring in the color of the fireplace
  • MN Mom MN Mom on Jun 08, 2016
    It might be the photo but it doesn't appear that this is a mantel as much as its two separate shelves. If you have the time and funds, I'd have something made to slip over the two and make it one long shelf mantelpiece. Adding a stained wooden mantel might help break up the expanse of the wall and would also add a natural element which is completely missing from the entire room. Hang a horizontal mirror above the mantel area. Play up the raised hearth. By adding a couple patterned pillows and some large candlesticks you'll help prospective buyers see the area as a great relaxation spot for conversation.
  • Accentuations! Accentuations! on Jun 08, 2016
    To me this is just too much white! If you can not paint the brick, you should break that up with some color or maybe some rustic wood. Because it appears to look like two shelves with galley rail, your could a) paint the galley rail to tie into the blue tone on the wall or b) how about you grab a pallet and remove the separate slats? Clean and stain a tone that you feel will stand out a bit better than the white, give the wood a coat of stain and attach it to the front nly of the mantle--under the galley rail on the flat front. Then ad some nice accessories...the room appears light and long--I would keep away from a mirror and find a large piece of art that you can just lean to the wall. I rather see something fun and that will provoke some thoughts of possibiites for the potential buyer.
  • Ann Ann on Jun 08, 2016
    What a beautiful room. I love the blue. Some bottles in blue, maybe a large picture with some blue in it.(water pictures usually have sand in them that would pull the kitchen color in). Maybe cushions on the hearth in a blue and tan print, on both sides of the fireplace.
  • C C on Jun 08, 2016
    If you have two tall table lamps place them each at opposite ends of brick sitting area, next to each wall. Set on the brick seat, not the floor. The taller the lamps the more elegant it will look. Place a stack of books next to the lamp on the right side, with a fat candle on a saucer sitting on top of the book stack. On other side place some board games or a basket of greenery or flowers. A long, dark runner rug (hallway style), preferably with a black background, laid in front of fireplace area will accent against all the white and the tan carpet. A good size mirror set on both side of mantel (just resting on the mantel, not mounted to wall) will show a prospective buyer they can hide the gap in the two sides without needing to rip it out and replace it. Place two large/tall black lantern-type candle cages on each side of mirror with soft blue or grey fat candles in them. Add some greenery - fake or real, in a couple simple bowls, along with a few smaller candles to the mantel area and it should create a cozy, inviting look. The trick is to accent with a black against all the white, which a throw rug can do, and then repeat the touch of black on the mantle with the black lanterns. Black is a great bold, classic accent to use because that wall of white might overwhelm a buyer and the use of B&W both compliment the blue walls. It also usually appeals to both male and female buyers of any age. The mirror not only covers the gap between mantels, it draws more light into the area, giving the illusion of more space in the room. It's also creates a mental boost when a buyer can literally "see themselves" living in the room.
  • Marilyn McCormick Marilyn McCormick on Jun 08, 2016
    I would add a large oval framed mirror above the fireplace. Have the frame match the metal on the fireplace (brass, or whatever) On each side of the mirror, I'd place assorted sizes of both candle holders and candles mixing shades of blues, tan and white and maybe a couple of bright colored candles for accent, such as a rose color. Below, next to the fireplace, I'd put a large antique coal bucket filled with fireplace sized wood on the right side, and on the left side, I'd put two smaller baskets--one filled with pine cones, and one filled with handmade balls of grapevines or other dried vines & colorful berries.
  • C C on Jun 09, 2016
    To bring a room to life..... you need natural elements. I would start with a large piece above the break {see photo of large script} then start adding nature & color. Natural {dark} woods..... flowers, branches.... and some black metal pieces to provide some weight. The photo of painted mason jars is a great example of adding color & nature & wood all in one! A tall wood crate on one side of the hearth {see last photo} Maybe a couple pieces of firewood too
  • Nancy Gramm Nancy Gramm on Jun 09, 2016
    Interesting fireplace. What's the wall above the brick made of? Sheetrock? It carries under the mantels so if you paint the wall above the brick, the mantels would really stand out. Even so, I think carrying the blue over to that wall would make the room more cohesive. You've gotten some brilliant answers already. Good luck!
  • Dawn Gagnon Dawn Gagnon on Jun 09, 2016
    I was wondering also, can you paint above the mantle?
    • See 1 previous
    • Dawn Gagnon Dawn Gagnon on Jun 10, 2016
      @Caroline Tofflemire Hobbs Sorry about that, I somehow missed that in your post. Good luck and can't wait to see how your mantle comes out :D
  • Jeani Jeani on Jun 13, 2016
    This would be lovely!!
  • This is how it turned out. Thank you for all your input!
    • See 1 previous
    • C C on Jun 19, 2016
      Wonderful job Caroline :-) THANK YOU for sharing the after photo!!!