Christmas is all packed away, but though the Holidays are over, winter remains.
And that means another round of decor updates!
By the time Christmas arrived, I was more than ready to box up the stockings and take down the tree.
(and as of 8:46 a.m. December 26th, that's exactly what had happened!)
I wanted to transition my living room mantle into a nice white-themed, yet warm, winter vignette.
But the winter "blahs" got ahold of me and what do you know, we fast-forwarded right to spring!
So sue me.
Here we go:
Other than the tree, my living room mantle holds the most noticable change after Christmas.
And my mantle has always been a bit of a problem child for me.
It is HUGE.
It's roughly 15 feet long. And about 2.5 feet deep.
Basically double a typical mantle.
This is a picture from the model home we looked at when deciding to build our house.
The mantle covers not only the fireplace, but also the (equal-sized) built-in cubby for the TV.
I know this isn't everyone's style, and that's okay.
I firmly believe that this entertainment center/fireplace combo saved my marriage from certain death ;), by allowing a somewhat decorative solution for housing an obnoxiously large TV.
I had suggested putting the big screen in the [unfinished] basement, and making it a "man cave".
I got the biggest and fastest "YouGottaBeKiddingMe - IT'S FOOTBALL SEASON!" look and lecture from Mr. V. It was at that precise moment I learned the true meaning of "pick your battles".
So, long story short, we have a giant mantle. :)
This [awful] picture was taken just about a week after we moved in 3 years ago.
Please note that the actual size of the news reporter on the TV is the actual size of the reporter.
It's well made, and I do love a rich wood grain, so it's not a terrible thing. It's just challenging to decorate at times. And those 3 square windows, while I love them,
sometimes make it impossible to create any visual depth.
I started with these branches I found on clearance at Pier 1. Witch Hazel, I think?
Whatever, for $0.98 each I really didn't care what they were.
I liked the branches, and the fact that they were bendable yet realistic was a plus.
I didn't love the severe gold color, but I didn't hate it.
My original plan was to spray the branches a nice winter white, and add them to a birch 'sleeve' I picked up at Pottery Barn a few years ago.
Long story short, that didn't really work out.
So I tried the branches as-is, but I wasn't feeling the color of those blooms.
I just yanked 'em off.
:::sigh of relief:::
That's more like it.
A lot more "winter" than before, but by leaving the buds,
I was left feeling a little more inspired for spring.
So I went with it.
I moved a few of my paperwhite bulbs to a glass hurricane and placed it next to another hurricane with birch logs, to help balance the wood elements from the other end of the gargantuan mantle.
A few scattered pinecones throughout still keep things in transition for winter.
I wrapped the bottoms of a couple neutral candles in jute to give the center of the mantle some height.
I kept my frames up because we are ridiculously good-looking.
On the other side, I propped up a glass cloche on a couple thrift store books and filled it with green apples to give things a pop of color and bring out the green buds on the branches.
I think I'm on the right track with the branches, but they definitely need some "oompf" to fill things out a little.
In fact, like me, this entire mantle is still quite a work in progress.
It needs more depth (again, because it's giant) - a couple more layers, and some texture.
And maybe the birch isn't the right vessel for the branches? It might need something slimmer.
But overall, I'm pleased.
And besides, when have I ever been one to leave well enough alone?