I know why people put fake mantels in their homes, because they are so homey and ground a room. The mantel is the best part. A ledge to change with the seasons. I googled the original purpose of mantels was to keep smoke out of the room. I guess they helped the air draft into the fireplace.
Before - It really didn't seem that boring... till I took this picture.
I started the change by removing the Italian restaurant picture and replaced with a print that I love, but my kids hate. I can't wait for their reactions when they see it over the mantel. It is a black and white called Morning Meditation, by a New Orleans photographer, Johnny Donnels. I can just see the priest heading out for morning mass through the mist. (My kids just think exorcism)
Then kept adding layers.
Candle true color is cranberry. See below pic.
Happy Fall Y'all