That's it- what can I use for mantel decor that will show? I have an oak mantel resting on brick that sticks out and is all surrounded by brick. Being in a half-basement there is a window but the area is not that bright. Any ideas? Maybe I just err on the side of too small objects. I don't like to buy something big ($$) if I'm not gonna like it.
you could find a large oil painting at a thrift or goodwill with the colors of the room's decor in it, but step up the colors a notch in brightness, hue, etc. you don't need to put a hole in the brick although that is easy enough to do with a drill. i prefer a painting leaning on the wall. i also don't like paintings under glass. unless you invest in good, glare-proof glass, you end up not seeing the picture for the glare. sometimes even an unframed painting looks good, so don't rule one out based on a lousy frame.