It’s White, It’s Black, It’s White Again?

Thank you guys for all the positive response to the painted fireplace yesterday! There’s no question it’s changed the room for the better. But one thing I noticed after turning the bricks white, was the huge dominance of the black mantel. Then I went back and looked at all my inspiration pictures (from this post), and realized in every picture I loved, the mantel was the same color as the brick….white.

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If you recall, the whole purpose of painting the (originally white) mantel black, was so it would give the knot mirror more of a visual base.

So why am I thinking I need to paint the mantel white?

white mantel?
No laughing and pointing at my weak photo-editing skills!

white mantel

To further confuse the situation, I stumbled across a too-good-to-be-true mirror at Home Goods recently. I’m not a big fan of the silver trim, but that’s easily changed (like I did here). I’ve always wondered if the knot mirror were too heavy for the Living Room, so I thought I’d try out the new one.

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I will actually hang the mirror if I decide to keep it.

I swooped it up, A) because it reminded me of the Portico mirror at Z Gallerie,

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and B) it was only $39! One thing I’ve learned from shopping the discount stores is to buy first, think about it later! Doesn’t that sound like solid financial advise? If not, it’s sure to be gone when you return. I guess this is why I earned the nickname, Rita Return.

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And again, with a white mantel.

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I know I’m opening a can of worms, but you guys have proven to be terrifically opinionated! Please weigh in your thoughts on the black or white mantel, as well as your choice of mirrors (if either).

mantel/mirror collage

For larger reference, here’s a shot of the other side of the room.

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I’m excited to read what you have to say!

Leave a Comment

75 Comments

  1. Ashley wrote:

    Portico mirror with the white mantel. I really think that this will finally pull the room together exactly how you want. I kind of agree that the knot mirror just felt to heavy for your "light" room. I love the Portico esq mirror.

    Posted 9.20.11 Reply
  2. Elizabeth Behnfeldt wrote:

    I seriously think we should be sisters – you are just like me and can't decide! Ha ha! That's why you are awesome though and fun to follow! I have to say though, I am loving the black mantel and the knot mirror. And the white brick just makes it all stand out perfectly. The black mantel adds the depth you need, I think everything would get lost if there was too much white. Having said that, I am a big fan of contrast, so that's why I like the black mantel. Hope that helps.

    Posted 9.20.11 Reply
  3. I'm loving where you're going with this room! I like the white mantle and portico mirror, I think it has a lot of class and lightness. Good luck!

    Posted 9.20.11 Reply
  4. So, I'm confused. What color is your mantel exactly? πŸ™‚ Just kidding. It's all a process until it just feels "right." Good work, Rita!

    Posted 9.20.11 Reply
  5. AGohl wrote:

    As you have black picture frames and black lamp shades on the other side of the room, I think it might be best to keep some black on that side of the room. I think I like the new mirror and the black mantle base the best.

    Hope that helps. πŸ™‚

    Posted 9.20.11 Reply
  6. Katie wrote:

    I love the portico mirror with the black mantle. The black mantle will balance with the black on the opposite side of the room.

    Posted 9.20.11 Reply
  7. Simply LKJ wrote:

    Definitely keep the black mantle. It balances out the room, and having something black anchors a room as well. As for the mirror, I prefer the black because the other looks too similar to the one in your hall just off the family room, and the gold accents pull from you newly painted gold tables.

    Posted 9.20.11 Reply
  8. I love the black mantel…but by chance…if you choose the white…can I buy the gold mirror from you? Lol

    Posted 9.20.11 Reply
  9. MomtoKate wrote:

    I also like the portico mirror and black mantel. The white on the mantel would not stand out or balance the room like the black does. The new mirror is soo much lighter than the other mirror which is more fitting for your living room design.

    I think returning things should be a sport!

    Posted 9.20.11 Reply
  10. MCherie wrote:

    I was just reading your blog yesterday about your newly painted mantle and thought a) I love the painted brick and b) I wish she could find a lighter mirror for above it, ha! Let me say that I love the knot mirror, just felt a little heavy for your cheery room. I say painted brick, black mantle and new mirror to balance the room..but find somewhere else for that knot mirror because it really is pretty!! Love the updates you've been doing πŸ˜‰

    Posted 9.20.11 Reply
  11. Nicole wrote:

    black mantel and new mirror please

    Posted 9.20.11 Reply
  12. Anonymous wrote:

    knot mirror, black mantel pls!

    Posted 9.20.11 Reply
  13. Since I just commented yesterday that I loved the mantle black I'm sticking with it and saying keep the mantle black. Also, the new mirror is fantastic. They pretty much know me at Home goods because I'm always buying and returning.

    Posted 9.20.11 Reply
  14. Maury wrote:

    I love the black mantle and I dont think it's too heavy. I actually think the black mirror balances it out a little, but I LOVE the Home Goods mirror as well. I don't think you can go wrong with either. yes, I realize that was crazy unhelpful.

    Posted 9.20.11 Reply
  15. Karen wrote:

    I like the black mantel. I think it gives balance to that side of the room and ties in well with your black lampshades and the other black accents in the room.

    I like the black knot mirror the best. The silver one is pretty…. but it kind of fades into the wall. Plus… it reminds me of a hubcap. LOL

    I think you need some more color on your mantel. It seems rather blah next to the beautiful blue armoire and the orther colorful accents in the room.

    Posted 9.20.11 Reply
  16. Niki wrote:

    I prefer the black mantel with the knot mirror. I think it adds a lot of visual interest that the silver mirror does not. The silver one fades into the wall too much imo. I'd love to see the black stay and some more accessories put on the hearth!

    Posted 9.20.11 Reply
  17. Hey Rita!! Love that… I think I like the black mantel with the knot mirror as well. Love the silver mirror though… But I think the black mirror and mantel tie the other accents of the room together a bit better. I'm loving how you have a list and are making everything happen! This would take me forever!!

    Posted 9.20.11 Reply
  18. White mantel, portico mirror, it feels lighter…although all the combos look nice πŸ™‚

    Posted 9.20.11 Reply
  19. Silver mirror for sure. With the black mirror, you hardly even noticed the other things you had styled your mantle with because the knot mirror stole all of the attention. Everything looks so pretty with the silver mirror. The black mantle does balance the black on the other side of the room, but if you wanted to go white, you could always switch out the drum shades to lighten them up.

    Posted 9.20.11 Reply
  20. amber wrote:

    My vote is for the new mirror with the black mantle. I think the black mantle gives it a nice contrast; if it's all white it just kinda all blends into one with nothing really standing out. And I for sure love the new mirror! that is an awesome find, cant blame you at all for snatching it up!

    Posted 9.20.11 Reply
  21. Love, love, love the new silver mirror! The mantel could go either way for me with the new mirror. But I think I like the black mantel best just to balance the room.

    Posted 9.20.11 Reply
  22. Amanda wrote:

    I think you need the contrast with the black an it ties in your other black accessories. p.s. LOVE your blue sofa!

    Posted 9.20.11 Reply
  23. Meg wrote:

    Portico mirror, white mantle… I like the fresh, light look.

    Posted 9.20.11 Reply
  24. I agree with LKJ — leave it just as it is. Every room needs some black! Balance it out with something on the hearth — black chunky candlesticks or something awesome. And I feel ya — one thing leads to another, right?! πŸ™‚

    Posted 9.20.11 Reply
  25. lindley wrote:

    Definitely the black mantel and dark knot mirror. Without the darkness, heft of both, I feel the room loses it's warmth, looks a teeeeeny bit Model Home.
    The beautiful pastels in that room look new, elegant with the contrast of the black mantel, mirror; without that, the room might go a bit sweet…great for a child's room – no, wait – didn't you throw black into S's room to keep it from going sweet??

    Posted 9.20.11 Reply
  26. Mmmm, Portico mirror, definitely! I'd hang the mirror and live with it for a few days to see if you want to repaint the mantel (or maybe I'm just saying that because I can't decide which color I like more!).

    I definitely agree with Ashley, I think the knot mirror was a little heavy for the space, but the Portico look-a-like looks like it was made for your room.

    Posted 9.20.11 Reply
  27. New mirror for sure!Keep with the black mantel. Like others have said, it balances out the room. A white mantel with the new mirror might just wash that area out. The black mantel helps pop the white brick and the mirror.

    P.s. love the white brick over the old color!

    Posted 9.20.11 Reply
  28. Anonymous wrote:

    I like the new mirror with the black mantel!

    Posted 9.20.11 Reply
  29. Jen wrote:

    Definitely the Portico mirror. I agree that the knot mirror was a bit too heavy.

    I like the black mantle to tie in with the other side of the room, but I think the white would be light and airy.

    Posted 9.20.11 Reply
  30. I say keep it black, it does anchor the space and provides nice contrast. And keep the new mirror, it adds to the great combination of accessories you have going on.

    Posted 9.20.11 Reply
  31. LeeAnne wrote:

    I say keep the mantle black! I like the new mirror but what if you paint the outer-most triangles on the mirror black? Just a thought…..I may be way off my rocker…lol!

    Posted 9.20.11 Reply
  32. -R- wrote:

    White mantel and new mirror!

    Posted 9.20.11 Reply
  33. I like/love the new mirror with the black mantel, I think it goes so well with the black lampshades and silver lamps on the other side of the room.
    Your livingroom is gorgeous!

    Posted 9.20.11 Reply
  34. Lo wrote:

    I'm feeling that Portico mirror… with the black mantle. I love how the room is coming together Cassie!!!

    Posted 9.20.11 Reply
  35. I like the Portico mirror with the white mantel but I'm really liking your black mirror with the black mantel and it really makes sense with all of the other changes you've just made with your new lamps, etc. I think if you change the mirror and paint the mantel, then the lamps are going to look too heavy and you'll be creating a domino effect πŸ™‚

    Posted 9.20.11 Reply
  36. Rachel wrote:

    I love the portico mirror with the black mantel. Its a great contrast

    Posted 9.20.11 Reply
  37. White mantle with either knot mirror (the black rectangle of the fireplace kinda gives it a base) or the portico mirror with gold trim…not silver. But yes, white mantle! ps LOVE it all!!!!

    Posted 9.20.11 Reply
  38. Ingrid wrote:

    I like the black mantel to anchor that side of the room. I think you should add some rubb-n-buff or some of that gold paint to the mirror, a touch of gold over the fireplace would be beautiful! I love the knot mirror but think it is a little too heavy for your room.

    Posted 9.20.11 Reply
  39. Beesmama wrote:

    White mantel and new mirror! I love the lightness/brightness of the room!

    Posted 9.20.11 Reply
  40. Go with the white mantel and portico mirror Rita. P.S. I'm the Return Queen.

    Posted 9.20.11 Reply
  41. dcok87 wrote:

    portico mirror, white mantel!

    Posted 9.20.11 Reply
  42. Beth wrote:

    I like the new mirror with the black mantel. You lose the mirror when the mantel is white. It's so pretty, and the black mantel really makes it pop!

    Posted 9.20.11 Reply
  43. Trish wrote:

    New mirror with the black mantel . I think it grounds that side of the room

    Posted 9.20.11 Reply
  44. Unknown wrote:

    Yay! this post made my day! White mantle, new mirror. Keep it silver! I scratch my head every time I see your existing mirror– sorry–I don't get it. Have you thought about painting the space? A contrasting color would make the white & silver pop!

    Posted 9.20.11 Reply
  45. Katie Hale wrote:

    I love the black mantel with the Portico mirror! The black mantel helps anchor the room together because you have the black lamp shades and frames on the bookcases. I think white on white with a silver mirror would look too light and modern with the warmer furniture, gold tables and black accessories on the other side of the room. Just my opinion! Whatever you choose will be fabulous I'm sure πŸ™‚

    Posted 9.20.11 Reply
  46. Cassie,
    I know I'm throwing my hat in late on this but I think the mantle would look fabulous a light to medium matte gray color….gray would blend seamlessly with your whites, blacks, pinks, yellows and blues and lend an air of understated sophistication to your room (and who doesn't want to appear to be understatedly sophisticated?!) πŸ˜‰

    What do you think? Do ya' dig it?

    Posted 9.20.11 Reply
  47. I LOVE the new mirror! Definitely use that one, it is gorgeous, and I think the knot mirror just doesn't really fit with the rest of the room.

    Posted 9.20.11 Reply
  48. Jenna wrote:

    The new mirror and white mantel, for sure! I don't like the other mirror there.

    Posted 9.20.11 Reply
  49. Well gee whiz!:) tough call… I say portico mirror with black mantel. That's my vote but ask me again in 5 minutes and I may change my mind!

    Posted 9.20.11 Reply
  50. You've certainly received enough opinions! I'll chime in though πŸ˜‰ I like the black knot mirror. Every room needs a little black – but then again I'm a big huge fan of all things black and white so I may be biased.

    Posted 9.20.11 Reply
  51. White mantle with new mirror. Definitely. πŸ˜‰

    Posted 9.20.11 Reply
  52. Double yes to white mantle and the silver portico mirror!! I think the white mantle has the airy look you are going for. And, while I love the knot mirror, I just never felt like it really looked anchored with the other pieces in the room. It's a beautiful piece though and I hope you can use it somewhere else!

    Posted 9.20.11 Reply
  53. White mantle and portico mirror for sure! Love it!! P.S. So weird, but I have that same turqouise pillow, white antler, and mirror tray. Random? I think we shop at the same places πŸ˜‰

    swirlsofhappy.blogspot.com

    Posted 9.20.11 Reply
  54. Heather wrote:

    I love the new mirror over the fireplace and think you could keep the black mantel. The silver mirror relieves the "heaviness" of the black mantel and old mirror.

    Posted 9.20.11 Reply
  55. I don't like the white mantle at all with either mirrors, especially the black one. I think you should definately keep the mantel black with the portico mirror. And when you need a change or something more dramatic, I'd use the black mirror. Good luck!!

    Posted 9.20.11 Reply
  56. Beth S wrote:

    Black mantel and knot mirror. I would possibly like the portico mirror if it wasn't so big. I think there's too much shininess going on. LOVE the new look of the fireplace. Amazing difference!

    Posted 9.20.11 Reply
  57. izzy57 wrote:

    Black mantle and portico mirror. I was never a fan of the knot mirror, it is too heavy for the room.

    Posted 9.21.11 Reply
  58. Heidiopia wrote:

    Don't you love options/dilemmas?? πŸ˜‰
    My vote is either knot mirror and white mantle OR portico mirror and black mantle.
    Just my two cents!
    Heidi @ Show Some Decor

    Posted 9.21.11 Reply
  59. JenMarie wrote:

    New mirror, black mantle!

    Posted 9.21.11 Reply
  60. emily wrote:

    Such tough decisions here! My vote is to paint the top of the mantel white and keep the black mirror. I like a hint of black on that side to balance out the lamp shades. But if you decide on the new mirror, make sure you get another awesome pic of Mr. SP hanging it!

    Posted 9.21.11 Reply
  61. BLACK Mantel NEW mirror, DEFINITELY!!
    No no no…
    White Mantel OLD mirror, FOR SURE!!
    Nope.
    I can't decide.
    I do know I love your sofa pillows, keep them!

    Posted 9.21.11 Reply
  62. Anonymous wrote:

    I love both mirrors and have been looking for the knot mirror for a while myself. From looking at the 4 choices, I really think the knot mirror, black mantle, and blue cabinet all compete with each other. The new mirror, white mantel, and cabinet are easier on my eyes and have a better flow. Can't wait to see what you decide.

    Posted 9.21.11 Reply
  63. Unknown wrote:

    Definitely the black mantle with the new mirror! The black balances your lamp shades nicely. Love the old mirror, but love the new one more!

    Posted 9.21.11 Reply
  64. Carolyn wrote:

    What you have now is best! Painting the trim around the new mirror, though, could lessen the metally-ness of it and really be quite fab.

    Posted 9.21.11 Reply
  65. I love the Portico mirror with black mantle!!

    Posted 9.21.11 Reply
  66. I like the white with the portico mirror, but I bet you already knew that!

    Posted 9.21.11 Reply
  67. Tracy wrote:

    You MUST go with new mirror, black mantle. No question about it! Love your blog.

    Posted 9.21.11 Reply
  68. Anonymous wrote:

    The new mirror and white mantel, please… it would look much happier!
    The insert and black accessories is enough.

    Posted 9.21.11 Reply
  69. Jay wrote:

    I love the Portico mirror so much better! Love….. I like it with the black mantel. Very nice.
    J

    Posted 9.21.11 Reply
  70. Whew, so much input! I'm sure you're less confused now πŸ˜‰ My two cents? black mantle (maybe a softer black?), since you want to keep the lamp shades tied in to the whole business. And go with the new mirror – it looks so amazing in there! Your living room is really coming along, Cassie!

    Posted 9.22.11 Reply
  71. Definitely the white mantle with the portico mirror. I am heading to my homegoods tomorrow hoping to find one just like it.

    Posted 9.22.11 Reply
  72. Wow, I feel like it's a bit useless adding my opinion to the 71 (!) before me, so I'll start by saying go with your gut! I sorta love the all white with the new mirror and I love it leaning just like that! hehe, good luck making a decision.

    Posted 9.22.11 Reply
  73. I like the knot mirror with the dark mantle. I feel like the dark mantle works with the dark color in the knot mirror. Although I do like the new mirror, it doesn't have as much depth and richness as the knot mirror. That's just my two cents. Of course, we can't see the whole room as one package online, so I'm sure you'll make the best decision!

    Posted 9.23.11 Reply
  74. Anonymous wrote:

    I've followed your blog for a long time, and have always thought that the knot mirror was wrong for your room. Too big, too clunky, too brassy/gold. There is just something about it that does not uplift the rest of your lovely room.

    I vote for the new mirror (get rid of the knot lamp and see how much better you'll feel about the room!), and the black mantle.

    Next on the list will be to replace the rug.

    Love your blog and your fashion sense. Sorry to leave an anonymous post but I can't get logged in under my google account. Don't know why; it's been giving me trouble for several weeks now.

    Riley πŸ™‚

    Posted 9.23.11 Reply
  75. Ok, so i haven't read all the comments yet, but as with a few, I have to agree I have always thought the mirror a little heavy, but honestly with the new white fireplace I don't think it is anymore. I think if you bring something down to the hearth that is black will even things out – I think you need the black mantel still and just something down around the ground – candle sticks, vase, something on the hearth – it can be black or gold/brass, just something to break up the white πŸ™‚

    Posted 9.26.11 Reply