I took some advice from the comments on my post about mantle angst and changed up my mantle decor. I actually did this way back when Tiana was here to help me, but then I broke my leg and basically forgot to take pictures.
Sarah suggested that I treat the long outside parts of the mantle like a bookshelf. She gets major points for even understanding what I was describing, since I didn't bother to provide you with before pictures.
I pretty much used every "pretty" book in my house, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy included. It's not perfect, but it's way, way better than it was before.
Any more good ideas to help my mantle out, ladies?