Summer Mantel Ideas and Inspiration

Summer Mantel Ideas and Inspiration

Summer Mantel Ideas

Summer mantel ideas and inspiration were on our minds as Sophia and I went to our local Homegoods store.  I asked her to help me find some new items to add to the mantel.  These two large shiny gold pineapples caught her eye.  Yes, I had noticed and admired them but this nine-year-old was adamant that they were the very pieces needed to brighten the mantel.

You might have realized that my style is a little more subdued, as a sweet young woman once described it, ‘quietly elegant‘.  Whether that is true or not, I like the description!  Thinking that the rather large shiny gold pieces might be a little bit of a challenge to incorporate into our muted decor but what the heck!  They were purchased along with a pair of blue glass candle holders.  The blue and gold look nice together and they repeat the colors of a few of the throw pillows we already have.

Summer Mantel Ideas and Inspiration on

Before we left on this little shopping expedition, I had been toying with the idea of using a couple of white lanterns that we have had for a few years.  In my mind, they were larger than they actually are and weren’t quite as tall as I remembered either.  Blue, white, and the shiny gold make a nice color combination though.

The round black clock was the only item which remained for this makeover.  The gold Roman numerals on the clock was another gold element.  Everything else was removed.  The shiny gold pineapples were placed on the fireplace and yes, they were pretty much of an attention getter!  As I looked at the subdued colors of the room, the realization that more shiny gold was going to be needed.

The lanterns were retrieved from the basement, cleaned up a little, and placed on the mantel along with the pineapples.

If you introduce a new color to a room, it looks more intentional and at home, if there are little pockets of that color placed all around the room.  Your eye follows color and you can use that to your advantage.  There is gold in this room but not the bright shiny gold in these pineapples.  The blue glass candle holders were placed on the mantel, too.  No problem there, blue is also on the throw pillows and the blue and white Chinese vases, bowls, and knick knacks.

Summer Mantel Ideas and Inspiration on

At this point, there was a debate in my mind about whether the lantern should be between the pineapple and the blue candleholder or if the candle holder should be in between the lantern and the pineapple.  The easiest way to decide is to do both and take a look.  The straight lines of the lantern between the rounded shapes of the candle holders and the pineapple won out in the end.

Another gold item needed to be placed in the center of the arrangement.  Looking around, the brass pedestal bowl was spotted.  It seemed a perfect centerpiece.Summer Mantel Ideas and Inspiration on

Although I had white candles which were a little taller, these candles wrapped in gold wire carried on the golden theme and seemed perfect.

Summer Mantel Ideas and Inspiration on

Yes, but the brass pedestal bowl seemed to need a little more height.  So, a blue book was placed under it.

Summer Mantel Ideas and Inspiration on

Summer Mantel Ideas and Inspiration on







The blue book adds more of that color to the mantel but it seemed to need more weight, too.  A black book was placed underneath the blue book.  Yes, it needed that.  Then, it seemed something was missing from the ends.  Right?  Something blue to carry the color throughout the whole arrangement was needed.

I recalled seeing two little ceramic blue birds at the local craft store.  That was my plan.  Well, circumstances kept me from getting to that store but I did make it to another and these little birds caught my eye.  At the time, I thought they would have to make do for now.Summer Mantel Ideas and Inspiration on


Well, don’t you know they were perfect?  The little birds not only pulled the blue together but also carried the white throughout the arrangement.  In fact, they seemed to bring it all together and completed the triangular composition.  The little birds also repeat the blue and white patterns of the Chinese vases and bowls placed throughout the room.

Summer Mantel Ideas and Inspiration on

   Using shapes to create a triangle is one of my favorite compositions.  The simplest of all polygons, the triangle base down, gives a visual impression of stability.

   Decorating your mantel can be an adventure.  With me, at least, you can see it is trial and error.  A bold triangular composition was in my mind from the beginning and this time it was also the end product. Fear is a road block to creativity.  Fearlessly plunge into it and see what is pleasing to your eye.  You might be surprised at what you come up with in the end.

Summer Mantel Ideas and Inspiration on


Maybe these ‘Summer Mantel Ideas and Inspiration’ will help you create a beautiful mantel arrangement, too.

Summer Mantel Ideas and Inspiration on

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Do You Have A Paint Color Mistake? How To Fix It!

Do You Have A Paint Color Mistake? How To Fix It!

April 6, 2017

  Do You Have A Paint Color Mistake?  Have you ever taken someone else’s advice, knowing full well that it wasn’t right, yet you went right on and did it anyway?   In your gut you knew it and as you beat yourself up, you ask, “I knew better.  Why did I do that?”


  Well, I did not follow my own advice when I painted our master bedroom en suite several years ago!  A well-known person with her own signature paints offered chips with coordinating colors on them.  I brought one of them home and decided to paint my ceiling a bold gold color and the walls a green from her color suggestions on that chip.  Even though I had reservations, she was way more famous than I and all of her experts knew better than I, right?

    Don’t get me wrong.  They are both beautiful colors, but the saturation of color in the paint on the ceiling is more than the paint on the walls.   It has always felt a little wrong.  For an earlier post click here► For a foolproof way to choose your Paint colors.  Or click here for another post you might like ►No Fear Paint Selection.

     Seriously, the rest of my home is painted with beautiful colors following this method.  I would not change one of them!  If I have to paint again, I would probably choose the same colors.   Do you love your color choices that much?   If you choose your colors from something you love, how can you go wrong?

     I have loved the way the afternoon sun poured in the half round window at the peak of the vaulted ceiling on the west wall and illuminated the golden color.   I loved the green on the walls more.  It’s kind of like being enveloped in a meadow.

   The two colors ‘together’ have bothered me for a long time!   You could see the ceiling had a lot more saturation of color and at certain times of the day, it was unsettling.  It’s amazing how different the colors on the walls and ceiling look at different times of the day.

      The photo above is a relatively good representation of the gold color.  (It’s hard to get a perfect match with a camera and the computer.)  It is a little garish next to the softer green and the paler color, isn’t it?

   Don’t you love vaulted ceilings?   Physically painting vaulted ceilings is not something I particularly love.   So I lived with it for awhile.

   When we were working on the bathroom/dressing area, I finally decided to fix the problem.  The paint color we chose for the bathroom, Autumn Blond from Sherwin Williams, is the new color for the ceiling in the bedroom and the dressing area, but in a flat finish.  

    You may be thinking that the Autumn Blond color is just a neutral.  It is, but I could have chosen any color on the fan with that same depth of color and it would have looked better than that stark gold.  You can see that the green and the wheat have white added.  They have a softness about them.  Clearly, the gold doesn’t.

 Paint Color Cross-Pollination

    Remember in an earlier post how we cross-pollinate adjoining rooms by painting the wall color on the ceiling of the adjoining room and vice versa?  Please don’t tell me you still have all white ceilings!  If you have color on the wall, you will love the color on the ceilings!  You can paint it the same color as the wall and it will look a shade lighter.

   If you want the ceiling to look even lighter, you can skip up or down one, (depending on your fan), on the same card to a lighter tint of the wall color.


   If you want it to look darker, you will have to skip up or down, (depending on your fan), on the color fan and choose a step darker paint.  If you have tall ceilings and want them to look a little lower, you can visually bring them down with paint.  It will seem a little cozier, especially, if your ceilings are stark white!

    In the picture below, from an earlier post, you can see that the ceiling is the original green color and the walls are the Autumn Blond, which is a color pulled from the new ceramic tile on the bathroom floor.

  Yep, I love the new color!  The garish gold is gone.  I no longer look at the bedroom ceiling and wish I had painted it another color!  The whole house is in color harmony.

    This is an easy way to choose a perfect color for your next paint job.  Would you like more posts on paint and color?  Do you have a paint color mistake?



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Spring Mantel Ideas – Simple and Understated

Spring Mantel Ideas – Simple and Understated

Spring Mantel Ideas – Simple and Understated

March 7, 2017

    Spring Mantel Ideas – Simple and Understated.  Perhaps that is my mantra – ‘understated’.  If it is yours, too,  you’ve come to the right place.  If not, you can always embellish with more.  These ideas will give you a good foundation upon which to embellish.


   Last year, I found this adorable bunny at Hobby Lobby.  I loved it so much, I decided to go back and buy another one.  Wrong.  They were all gone by the time I got there!   Don’t you hate when that happens?


   This year, when I saw these bunnies back again at Hobby Lobby, I purchased another and a smaller version, too.  Aren’t these the cutest bunnies?   I could just imagine them on the fireplace mantel.

    Contemplating removing the clock again, I decided against it.  I love that it is black and loving those little black touches throughout the house, I couldn’t…   (Rationalizing.)  Besides, the tips of the bunny ears show up nicely in front of it.

    After placing the two larger bunnies on the mantel, it seemed something was missing.   They needed something nestled between them.  The thought of a little nest with the antique-looking eggs I made earlier this week came to mind.  A trip to Michael’s and the Dollar Tree was necessary.  Michael’s had the little 7-inch nest and Dollar Tree had inexpensive moss.

    Have you ever heard of ‘reindeer moss’?   Turns out reindeer moss is actually a lichen of the genus Cladonia, which the reindeer eat.  Who knew?   Regardless, I liked the green color of it and picked up a bag for a dollar!


    Although the reindeer moss-lined nest with the eggs looked okay, it seemed to need a little something more.

   So, a couple of pieces cut from a spring floral bouquet were gently bent to curve around the nest.    While that looked nice, the thought to add a little ivy to this to give it a little more interest came to mind.

    You see the workings of my simple mind.  While the flowers added a different color and texture, there was still something missing.  The little pieces of ivy added that little extra understated touch.   Subtle, but isn’t it perfect?


   A few weeks ago, the two orchids in the picture were purchased at the local grocery.  Although they are still blooming, it seemed replacement flowers a little more indicative of the season were needed to welcome spring.

    So at Sam’s Club, there were more orchids but as I was reaching for a white one to put in the cart, the thought of spring tulips popped into my head.  Yes, white or ivory spring tulips just seemed right at that moment.  

   Stopping at two local Kroger stores on the way home and searching in the floral departments, I couldn’t find an appropriate pair of tulip plants.  Where are the tulips now when I need them?  

    Totally disappointed, I headed home.  Looking at the mantel again, I contemplated using a different set of vases.  Setting one on the mantel, the idea of using some of the silk floral stems leftover from the nest came to mind.  

     Isn’t the big vase on the right beautiful?  Yes, but you know what?  I think the smaller vase actually looks a little more delicate and spring-like.  Don’t you?  


   Using little wire cutters, the stems were cut from the bouquet and placed in the vase.  When the stems were first placed in the vase, they were too short.  Wine corks do come in handy.  I just piled some in the vase and voila!  Perfect height!

    Notice that I also switched the birds around.  With the smaller vases, it seemed the one on the right would now draw the eye back to the mantel.  I like the negative space all around the elements.   You can definitely see the triangular composition in this one, which is always pleasing to the eye.

    Notice that in this triangular composition there are multiple secondary triangular compositions, as indicated by the blue and red lines in the picture below.  Although each of these triangular compositions has almost identical items, you could create a similar triangulation with completely different items.

   Typically, liking something a little understated, this is very appealing to yours truly.  More elements could be added but sometimes restraint is a good thing. Don’t you agree?

    Hope this has helped motivate and inspire you to create your own spring mantel decor!  Spring Mantel Ideas – Simple and Understated.





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DIY Spring Wreath Ideas With Tips and How To

DIY Spring Wreath Ideas With Tips and How To

DIY Spring Wreath Ideas With Tips and How To

February 20, 2017

|Part 2 – Victorian Wreath

   “DIY Spring Wreath Ideas With Tips and How To” resumes.  

Click here ► if you missed part 1.



   After the accessories had all been duly decorated with tulle, beads, ribbons, and roses, attaching everything to the wreath began.   The stems of the flowers were attached with floral wire in a couple of places to hold them securely to the wreath.

       The ribbon for the bow was 2″ ribbon and I felt that it was perhaps a bit small.  More weight needed to be added there.   Taking two of the flower stems, I pushed the lower leaves up to the base of the flower spikes and cut the stems shorter.

   Here’s a tip.  When you are making a wreath, take pictures.  For some reason, anything that is out of place, or blank spaces, etc. seem to be magnified in pictures!  They seem to be so much more obvious.


  The first picture above has most of the items loosely pinned or lodged on the wreath to get an idea of where to put them.  You can see what I mean about the bow lacking some weight.  The picture on the right shows the bow attached a little higher and how the added weight of the spiked flowers adds the needed weight.

 (The ribbon tails will be manipulated and attached after the other items are attached.)

    Noticing that the metal hook of the hanger was so dark it wasn’t even visible, I thought spraying it with white paint would be a quick fix.  A can of white spray paint was found and I wrestled with the stupid thing and then threw it in the trash.  I think it was so old, it came out in oily drops.

    Undaunted, I pulled out the craft paint and painted the hanger white.   I painted about three coats of white acrylic paint onto it and used a piece of brown grocery bag to lightly sand between coats. (The brown grocery bag trick works great with acrylic paints.)

    Then hot gluing the elements onto the wreath began.   The little box at the bottom of the wreath was the first element to be glued.   I tried to be cognizant of where the little rosebuds would be seen on the hat, the fan, and the parasol.  I also added a couple of buds on the hanger.

     It seemed the bow needed some pink so a little open rose was tucked into the bow.  It seemed perfect!  Then, I began to add more of the pink roses around the wreath.  

    Since the little shoes didn’t have pink on them, I considered adding a little rosebud to each but decided to add an open rose right in between them.  More rosebuds were added on either side of the big blue bow and another between the box lid and the parasol.  The pink color helps your eye move around the wreath.

    Notice that ivy leaves were tucked here and there around the wreath.

    Oh, my gosh!  Isn’t this the cutest little wreath you have ever seen?  I love the bright blue with the pink rose accents!   It definitely ended up looking like a very fresh feminine spring wreath.



“DIY Spring Wreath Ideas With Tips and How To”    Has this inspired you to make one of your own?





DIY wreath


Home decor

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DIY Spring Wreath Ideas With Tips and How To

DIY Spring Wreath Ideas With Tips and How To

DIY Spring Wreath Ideas With Tips and How To

February 18, 2017

Part 1 – Victorian Wreath

     DIY Spring Wreath Ideas With Tips and How To.  These wreath ideas are decidedly feminine and would be perfect for a little girl’s room.  What little girl wouldn’t love one?  

    Although I love Victorian decor and the opulence of that era, my preference is a Victorian look with a little restraint.


    The wreath in progress here and the wreath in the picture above were planned a few years ago!  The one with rose accents above was made and quickly sold.   The little Victorian dresses were made from a pattern, which I have been searching for in the massive pattern collection in the storage room in the basement! 

    That pattern seems to be elusive.  This week, the search has resulted in organizing patterns and sewing supplies, tossing some things, and putting the remainder in proper places, which includes some new clear bins!  (I am beginning to hate all of the opaque bins!)

     The wreath made a few years ago included dried roses and some dried tiny flowers, but I want this wreath to be more ‘Springlike’.  It needs brighter, fresher colors.  Aside from the sphagnum moss, there won’t be dried items.

    The wreath above has a little box and a heart-shaped frame, which were both handmade but I don’t think I will be making them for this wreath.  The little Mary Engelbreit box is the perfect shade of blue and it has the pink rose color in it, too.

   Often, when I am starting a wreath, it will look like the picture above.   The items being considered and the ones planned to be used will be loosely laid on the wreath until a design begins to take shape.  It’s my process.  Out of chaos, order begins to take shape!

    A wired blue ribbon was used as a base and layered under a lace covered blue ribbon.  Together, they were shaped into a bow to be used at the top of the wreath.  Ten loops were gathered in the middle and a floral wire was wrapped around the middle and secured by twisting the wire.

   Sphagnum peat moss was laid on the bottom and gently squeezed around the grapevine wreath.    A little bit of Tacky glue was used to hold it in a few places.

    In one of the bins I was searching through, I came across a silk rose candle ring.  The roses were tiny and I thought they would be perfect on this wreath.  After popping the buds off of the plastic stems, the hollow stem at the bottom of the rosebud was snipped off close to the silk sepal.  (They would not lay as flat when glued if this wasn’t done.)

    The little 1/4-inch blue ribbon was tied around the parasol handle in an overhand knot and then, tied into a bow.  Then, the ends were cut.  A tiny rosebud was glued at the bottom of the bow.

    A silk three-leaf piece was glued to the parasol and then two more of the rosebuds were glued on top of those.   The same process was used to add the leaf and bud to the crocheted fan and a ribbon was woven through the wide end.

    When you purchase a bouquet of stems like these blue flowers, the stems are usually straight.  Cut the stems at the base and manipulate them into a curve to mimic the shape of the wreath.  These were great to use because the stem had wire in it but the whole length with the little buds also was wired!

    The little hat needed to be spruced up, too.  I found some tulle in my stash and cut a small piece, which was fashioned into a cute little bow.  Of course, another little rosebud was attached to the bow.  After attaching the hat to the wreath, it will be decided how long to leave the tulle ends.

   Monday will be the big reveal of the finished wreath and the remainder of DIY Spring Wreath Ideas With Tips and How To.  See you then!  

Click here ►for part 2.





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