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Tabletop Mantle Clocks
Historically, the hearth—the fireplace, surrounding floor, and mantel—was regarded as the center of the home. It was where meals were cooked and stories were told. It was where everyone gathered for on cold nights and it was almost always in the most centrally used room in the house—the main living area. Nowadays, we have family rooms, theater rooms, dens, and game rooms, and all too often, the hearth is forgotten in favor of the television. Yet, most homes, new or old, contain a fireplace of some sort. Because so many people rely on natural gas and electric for heat, now, the fireplace is regarded as a non-functioning structure. But in decorating terms, a hearth is a rich opportunity to create a true focal point in the home. With some basic accessories such as a statuette or two, a candelabra, and a mantel clock, your hearth can be transformed from a dust collecting area into a magazine-worthy picture of warmth and originality.
The accessories you choose to outfit your hearth with depend almost wholly on the mood you wish to evoke. Work with the inherent design elements of your fireplace and mantel and try to get rid of anything that doesn't speak directly to viewers. Do you long for a return to the parlor-era, when guests were brought in and seated by the hearth to take tea? Seek out Victorian or romantic objects such as cherub statuettes, porcelain figurines, and a carved wooden mantel clock that chimes the hours. If you must have family pictures on the mantel, frame them appropriately in gilt, and try to use only black and white photos. Is your fireplace a purely decorative fixture in your home? Then don't just let it sit there! Open up the doors and place pillar candles, statuary, topiary, or other unique objects in the firebox and illuminate them either with a small light hung in the chimney or with candles. If you long to bring the outdoors in, try outfitting your mantel with birdhouses, dried gourds, cast iron animals, and simple ceramic pots of fake grass. A white, antiqued mantel clock or a whimsical cuckoo clock will complete the picture. Finally, don't forget that you can flank either side of the fireplace with tall sculptures, topiaries, or urns filled with peacock feathers, old umbrellas, or willow twigs, just to name a few ideas!
Don't let your hearth become nothing more than a gathering place for dust bunnies and cobwebs. Revitalize it as a space for people to meet, greet, and be amazed! Look at your hearth as a blank canvas ready for your artistic touch, and hit the stores and Internet in search of great buys on whatever strikes your fancy, be it an Art Deco mantel clock, a Michelangelo reproduction painting, or a Bohemian candelabra, or a one-of-a-kind artifact from a yard sale. Buy things you love to look at, and you won't regret restoring the “heart” to your hearth and home!