I always struggle with decorating my mantel in-between seasons, when I just want something simple and less accessorized. I love the mantel in the Room of the Week. Two topiary + a large mirror = a simple, stylish and traditional mantel.
You can use the topiary to help set the mood of the room. If you want a more formal look try a clean-cut boxwood or a wily rosemary or lime for a more relaxed mood. And, I think topiary are the one time where fake versions actually look ok, but there are plenty of live versions if you have a green thumb.
Here are a few of my favorites:
Do you have any topiary in your house? What do you think of the fake versions?