Balance Is Key
It's okay to move things away from the middle of the mantel. You just need to keep proportions balanced. Here, a large photograph with a simple black frame sits comfortably off-center, while a pair of vases (that don't match) complete the composition.
Fill one of the vases with a few branches from the yard. These flowering twigs give the arrangement a soft pink hue and fill the empty wallspace. A trio of short amethyst vases adds a pop of color to the scene and draws attention to the artwork.
This article is from the January 2005 issue of Southern Living.