Restyling our Mantel

When we signed our rental agreement for this house, I was excited to decorate the fireplace mantel since it was our first one ever.  Almost immediately though upon moving in I realized that this whole mantel thing was going to be a struggle.

Our mantel has this odd cutout thing above it which dwarfs anything you put in there.  Additionally, the fireplace itself is huge and cement so it just looks really visually heavy.  It needs something large and weighty on top to balance it out.  I wanted to buy a great big mirror (something like this) but those are hard to come across.  In the meantime, our mantel has looked like this for the past five months:
Definitely sad. 

I came across this picture online though (here) and decided to take try a little harder to make our mantel work for us now.  
After a variety of arrangements, this is what I landed on:
And I've been loving it.  There are so many different, interesting things to look at and it is just very visually stimulating.  It's not perfect and a larger mirror to replace the black frame mirror would definitely help, but for now it works!  

Maybe the best part of this all though is that I just shopped around our house for all the pieces.  
The large mirror was given to us by my mom years ago, the jug was in our kitchen holding wooden spoons, the branches were from our backyard tree and the small brown frame I already had from Home Goods. I found the large Yosemite print ($6!), brass rocking horse and brass trumpet candle sticks at thrift stores.

I did this all quickly while Eleanor was napping.  It was such a fast and easy fix that has made me really happy.  I'm kicking myself for not doing it before! 

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