Decorating a Fireplace Mantel

Unfortunately we don’t have a fireplace, or a mantel.”Next house” as my husband and I say. But those of you who do, I hope you’re taking full advantage of the styling opportunities! With fall and Christmas coming, it’s a perfect time to be on the look out for seasonal decor for your home. I did a Christmas mantel post here for ideas.

The key to decorating a mantel, shelves, a table, dresser, etc. is to vary and layer. Start with large items, vary their position and size, then layer in smaller items. Be sure to vary colors and textures too, while still keeping the overall theme of your home in mind. Mix shiny glass objects with woven baskets or natural plants.







For inspiration I popped into Pier 1 Imports (you all know that place is impossible to stay out of this time of year!) Here are a few items to look for:

Focal Item

Start with this, something larger to catch your eye. Great ideas for this is a piece of art or a mirror.

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Tall objects

Next add tall objects: vases, bowls, lanterns, sculptures, etc. It’s great to mix different textures and heights.

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Filler/Small Objects

Last add smaller objects: frames, collectibles, as well as natural items like branches and plants. The key here is balance. Don’t go too overboard or it will look cluttered.

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The #1 rule for styling anything is that there is no rule: just PLAY with it! Once you place something, step back and look at it, move it or don’t. Just go with your instincts. I recently unpacked my decorative items to restyle my living room shelves and moved probably every item on the shelves before they found their final resting place. And then I came back the next day and rearranged a little more just because. Have fun with it and don’t over think it!

Other great sources for decorative items are Target, Homegoods, and of course you can always score unique finds at thrift stores.

Renovation Updates

We’ve been back in our house a couple of weeks now and finally unpacking and organizing everything we had in boxes to clear out for the renovation. Thankfully we haven’t purchased a lot for the twins yet because that room is still under construction.

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Charlie was sanding down the doors so they’d shut better (*sigh* old houses) so we were trying to contain the dust. 

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This is where the old closet used to be.

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Can you believe it used to look like this:

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The floors are still covered up in plastic but we replaced the old boards with new ones and sanded/stained to match the existing. It looks flawless, you’d never know! I’ll show you pictures once we get it cleaned up in there.

The walls are done (thanks to my amazing Aunt Tracy for painting!), but when we went to paint the ceiling, we realized that the paint is cracking and chipping more than we thought because of the humidity of the washer/dryer that used to be in that room. The previous owner put a textured treatment on the ceiling to mask it and it looks pretty bad, especially  now that its peeling (note to self: when only ONE of the rooms in the house has a popcorn ceiling, ask questions before buying). Our house was built in the 50s so we know there’s lead paint chipping off which isn’t going to work for our babies’ room. After talking with our contractor, the best option is to drywall over the existing ceiling, so that’s what we’ll have to do. Guess those cribs will have to wait a little longer to be set up.

The office is done (pictures coming once I get organized!), as is the new laundry closet, and we have been using the new room to its full advantage. We also have storage above the closet for luggage, clothes, and baby gear that we don’t need to get to often but don’t want in the attic.

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There’s a nice shelf in there to keep us organized, but not camera worthy. Who hasn’t seen the inside of a laundry closet?

Here is what the room looked like before: 

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There is still a little work that needs to be done outside of the house. We are having new siding put up, so that needs to be finished as well as new gutters and shutters.

I just realized this week that we have 17 weeks left (maybe less) before the girls are here. There’s a possibility with twins that I’ll end up on bedrest so we’ve been tackling our to-do list in full speed lately, just in case. There’s not a whole lot I can physically do as far as construction goes, but I do want to be able to decorate and organize once everything is done.


Nursery Fabrics + Thoughts

I’m knee deep in the girls’ nursery design and kind of having a blast. There are so many cute girly things out there! We’ve painted the walls Benjamin Moore White Dove (same as our bedroom), so it’s a perfect blank canvas now. I can’t even begin to tell you how much bigger it feels in there without the ugly closet. Now we can finally fit two cribs in there, but there’s still really only room for the cribs and a dresser that will also be a changing table.

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Oh hi cribs…I can’t wait to set you up! Who am I kidding, more like Charlie will be setting you up and I will be hovering telling him where to place you, per the usual. :-)

I’m not a huge fan of the standard “nursery pink” but I think our girls’ nursery has to have some shade of pink. And to make it even girlier, I’m looking at floral patterns, I mean why not? I’ve been browsing fabrics as a jumping off point for the design and I’m planning on using something colorful and floral for the drapes. There aren’t many other places for patterned fabrics besides the cribs and I can’t bring myself to spend hundreds of dollars on designer crib bedding when A) they’ll only use the sheet and B) their nice sheets will probably be in the washer half the time so I’ll need extras which equals more money. So drapes it is, and mom has agreed to make them, I really had to twist her arm to make custom drapes for her first granddaughters’ nursery. She was just a little excited to hear we were having girls. ;-)

I’m looking at fabrics that will be able to grow with them so more traditional patterns are catching my eye. I’d also like to make them more “little girl-like” by adding pom poms on the edges like these:


So I’ve started my search…

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I seriously could spend all day in a home decor fabric store…it’s my happy place!

Here are some that I saw at a few local fabric stores…


And a few online that caught my eye…

Online Fabrics

Cost is obviously a factor and some of these are out of our price range unless I can find them on sale. Which is your favorite? I originally thought I’d like a white background but 1, 7 and 9 are pulling me in. I also love #6 as well. I’ve ordered a few online swatches that should be here this week so I can narrow down my choices.

I’ve started a board on Pinterest so you can see what I’m thinking for the overall design. Once I figure out which fabric to use, it will all come together!