The mantle should really have a rustic edge to it. If you have a traditional piece then try painting it a country kind of color. This would include a red or blue. Stay away from a stark white or black because this is too traditional and modern. You can even just sand down your paint job to really give it that rustic kind of effect. The wood of your mantle is also very important. In this case it should resemble an oak or a weathered kind of wood. Stay away from a more elegant cherry stain. It's also really important to consider what you hang over your mantle. This could be a humorous sign. You could also have a special family photo taken for the occasion. This could be a picture of everyone in cowboy hats. For more of an artistic flair you could just focus in on a line of cowboy boots. This is a way to get a totally unique family portrait that is also a conversation piece.
Another thing that's very important to consider for a country living room is the color of the wall behind the mantle. If you have a smaller fireplace that seems a little bit too modern then just try going with more of a country paint color such as a rustic brown or a natural looking green. Then you can hang a forest print over the fireplace for more of a natural feeling. This can also work well in small spaces because it's almost going to mimic a window but you'll always have a perfect view.
If you already have lamps then you can just change the lamp shades and this can affect the lighting. Lamp shades are a really cost effective way of doing things. Just keep it simple and experiment with different options.
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