Friday, March 4, 2011

Mantle Sort-Of-Solution

OK... it might not be a "solution", but it's at least an "improvement"...

Several weeks ago I got tired of winter and jumped straight ahead to spring.  I wanted a fresh feeling on my mantle after the chaos of Christmas.
 So, I skipped the typical "Winter White" I normally gravitate toward, and
brought a little spring into the house.
But something was.... off.
I've blogged about the Giant Mantle of Doom before - well it's still challenging me.  Things felt a little... like I kind of vomited a bunch of tchotchkes onto the mantle. (can you tell it bugged me just a little? ;) )

I tried adding branches to the birch sleeve. 
I added grapevine balls to the cloche and moved the apples to the hurricane.
Got rid of the candles.
Better, but still not what I was going for.

So, I started over. I wanted a more natural feel with texture and classic neutrals.
I swapped out the branches for some willowy seagrass, and added a couple lanterns for some weight.
I added plain white pillar candles, and some sand in the bottom to complement the seagrass. 

On the opposite end I added sand to the large hurricane for balance, and recycled the fat white rocks I had in with my paperwhites earlier this winter.

I covered a book with a scrap of drop cloth left over from my drop cloth curtains and used it to boost my picture frame.  I also added this small black frame to the mix, again, for a little balance.
I have found that when dealing with neutrals (my favorite), things can get a little "blah" or muddy if you're not careful.  The easiest way to ground and sharpen up a grouping in my experience is to add in a couple pops of classic black.

For the center grouping I wanted to keep cohesion between the ends, so I used a frame flanked by natural wood elements (a bundle of birch logs and a rustic candle set in reclaimed wood) to bring it all together.

My, who are those good looking people? :) 

Things inadvertantly ended up feeling a little "beachy", but I'm okay with that. 
It feels more "Nantucket" and less "Panama Beach", so I'm cool.
I still need another layer behind my frames for some depth, but those windows keep thwarting me.
OOOooooh, windows how I hate/love you!

Any suggestions?  You know I love it when you talk decorating to me. :)



  1. Awe...gotta love Pier 1...I have the EXACT same lanterns. Mine have green candles with black rocks in them.


  2. I love the updates you added and it does look more balanced... i said it last time and I still think it - you need something on the walls between the windows - mirrors, art, sconce, something :) Maybe something across the top as well, but for now just between the windows and then I need to see it to determine if you need more - LOL

  3. I love those lanterns, just stopping by from Follow Along Friday, I'm your newest follower and I hope you will follow back.


  4. you are pretty hilarious... and I think your mantle looks great in all it's incarnations!