Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Dressing The Mantel

There's a war going on in my living room. I always think I want to be minimalist. You know, that modern clean farmhouse style that seems so practical and liveable and pretty?

But I love so many more vintage things than grain sacks and ironstone. My brain sees in vignettes, and my heart still loves little vintage German sheep, old French books, and a beautiful Victorian lady photo button in fall colors.

I actually don't change things up that often. but when I brought this crochet valance home from the fleamarket recently, I wondered how it would look covering my dark wood mantel.

I liked it right away. The transformation from dark to light was instant, and since the light has changed in this room, with mostly northern exposure, the mornings are a bit gloomy in here.

There are running gaps on one long edge for this piece to hang from a rod in a window. It would look lovely there.

But a bit of crocheted lace lifts my spirit like sunshine. So it will stay in here awhile longer.

I keep my mantel pretty clear most of the time, both because it is narrow, and because I don't like a cluttered look. I didn't give much thought to what I placed here this time. I just wanted what was handy to keep the cloth in place and then went from there. It changes the entire character of the room! (There are a couple more versions of this mantel at both extremes (empty and full) that you might want to see down on my sidebar.)

A basket and a demijohn at each end, and a few sea stars and a an old stair knob to balance everything out. . . .

A bit of the mirror detail. . . . (This wall is plastered adobe brick which has a softer character than regular brick does.)

The tin tile insert covers the fireplace opening when we are not using the fireplace, and one of my favorite chippy old  picture frames that I feature in autumn with its little gold leaves.

I have thought of painting it a French grey or white. (I would leave the leaves gold.) But I never do. 

 I am enjoying home and being settled after an especially active spell. Fall nesting feels so comfy. We have been trying out a variety of one dish soups and stews. And I'm ready for the warm smell of something lovely baking in the oven. A good book. A soft wool throw. Home and hearth just feels like the best place for me to be this first week of November.


Is it getting cozy for you too?

It's time to keep those home fires burning!



Deb said...

It all looks beautiful. Your home is so warm and comfortable looking.
My favorite piece...the wee German Lamb. Deb

Katie Mansfield said...

It is so pretty. I love the dark peeping out through the lace. The little lamb is adorable. I'm trying to nest with throws and cozy socks but it is hard to do when the ceiling fan is on and flip flops are still the best footwear. It is Texas, after all. Have a great week.

Sarah said...

It all looks beautiful. Love the look of your cozy abode, Jacqueline.

Salmagundi said...

I'm nesting big time!! Mostly cleaning, putting things away to make room for the Christmas explosion. I would like to cut down the Christmas stuff a little, but the grandkids said, "One more year, please." They are 13 and 19, so guess I'm in it for a couple more years. Love your sheep - is that another accumulation we have in common??? Sally

Little Farmstead said...

Your home is so full of character and beautifully decorated! It is a room I would feel very comfortable and inspired in (who wouldn't?! :). Such a great idea to use that valance to change up the mantel. I bet it really brightens up the room (though I love the bare wood too!). Happy fall nesting! ~julie

Vintage Girl 901 said...

To me, having a farmhouse would just mean more space to fill it with the things I love, well worn fabrics, linen and quilts, mostly white and neutral bowls, plates and pitchers, a scrap of tin turned into art. That's what I call a Farmhouse and you do it very well.

Marilyn Miller said...

Your mantel is lovely.

KathyB. said...

The lace covering the mantel DOES make a huge difference. Interesting how just placing lace there can transform a whole room. I have a very dark mantel too and keep wondering what I can do without permanently altering it to brighten the dark fall and winter hours and now I know.

I had to laugh at your intro because I am always frustrated with my minimalist desires but so many fine old things to show. Some days I want to clear off every table , shelf, and counter top and keep only a jar or vase of greenery and a candle for display. In January that is usually what I do because the clutter of Christmas is almost suffocating. ( But I love that to ! )What's a gal to do...keep changing it around and enjoy the experience.

Michele @ The Nest at Finch Rest said...

Your mantel looks awesome, such wonderful textures - really like it, J.

It's in mid 70s here- deep blue skies and sunny - honestly it is paradise lately - best autumn I have ever lived EVER! I don't want it to end!!!!

Jeanie said...

So beautiful, Jacqueline. I especially love the look with the starfish behind. The lace is perfect.

I think I am incapable of being a minimalist. I feel so good when I visit others who are online and off. But I can't seem to pull it off myself. There is part of me that wants to be surrounded, wrapped by things I love. I think a lot of us have that feeling. I just seem to have a lot of stuff to wrap in. So, thank you for the calm. It's most needed!

lala said...

I recently purchased a long crochet valance very similar to yours. I was going to use it to edge some pillowcases, but your idea of using it on the mantle is much better. It looks lovely and adds a soft, charming effect to your vignette. Love the sweet little lamb.

Roosterhead Designs said...

Oh Jacqueline, Your posts are so ethereal and lovely~
I've enjoyed the mini tour thru some of your vignettes.
And BTW, if your living room has a "war" going on? - -
then mine is a nuclear disaster!! LOL I often 'think'
minimalistic but have too much I love and want to leave out~
*Sigh : ) Have a great rest of the week~ Karen

Pamela Gordon said...

The valance is really pretty and perfect for your mantel. I like the faded portrait of the lady. So interesting. I haven't changed a lot in my decor but went from fall touches of orange to more neutral colours for least for the next week then I may be starting my Christmas decorating. I don't have to wait for Thanksgiving to be over with here. :) A bonus if you like Christmas. Have a great day!

Teddee Grace said...

I cannot go minimalist. There is just too much eye candy to enjoy and I so enjoy yours as well as the combination of white with darks and wood.

Betty from My Irish Cottage Home said...

I just adore that room and the mantle is so pretty. I could see myself sitting in that comfy chair reading a good book.

Kathy Moreland said...

Elegance at its best! So beautiful!

June said...

I love how pretty the valance looks on your mantle. Like it was made to fit just for you! I love seeing this cozy room and all of it's beautiful touches.
I think I am ready for some comfort food as well, but oh, I'm dreading already what Thanksgiving is going to do for my hips :))
I loved your previous post and the beautiful autumn photos you took. It's the best thing about Fall to me.

Thank you so much for the dear comment you left for me, I always love it when you come by.

Liz@ Infuse With Liz said...

I always love seeing what you come up with. The softness of the whites is so inviting. I like the color of these dried hydrangeas- they pop in a nice fall feeling but still keeping with the soft touch like you always do. The crocheted mantle piece is a treasure. Seeing your Santo's Doll on the hearth reminds me to use mine again. It's definitely getting cozy here- we've had a fire going a couple of times to take the chill out.

Betty Sneeringer said...

The crocheted Valance looks like it was made for your mantle. You do everything so well.

Kay said...

Jacqueline, your room is so lovely! I cannot ever imagine it being "gloomy"!!! I am glad I am not the only one that has that war between minimalist and well, not minimalist! Especially at this time of year, I do inner battle because I love the Christmas décor, but it involves many trips to the attic, lugging heavy stuff, and I am about done with having to do that. However, the cheery decor surely helps brighten these Oregon dark, rainy, gloomy days. I envy people who are still in flip-flops and have bright, sunny, blue skies! I draped lace over my dark china cabinet top a long while back, and every time I look at it, I smile. Lace is always a cheery brightener! As is your blog! Thanks!

Pat Cantwell said...

A perfect selection for your mantle, dear friend!!!
We settled in front of our fireplace last night,
but didn't light the candles. Soon, very soon!!!
Thank you for sharing your lovely home!!!

The Charm of Home said...

Your mantel is indeed cozy!! We have been cozying up here and I have to admit after a trip to the nearest garden center with their trees on display today, I am ready to decorate for Christmas! My mind is buzzing with ideas! Lovely Jacqueline! Thanks for joining Home Sweet Home!

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