Thursday, June 16, 2011

Decorating tips and a summer mantel and armoire

Before I started blogging, 
the decor on our mantel stayed the same
for years, except at holidays when our daughters
were young and, of course, at Christmas.
But, thanks to you, that has changed :).
Now it gets redecorated for each season.
This week I did a little cleaning (needed)
and redecorated our mantel and armoire for summer.

Both are in our family room, 
so I kept a similar theme for both . . .
white, silver, birds and flowers.

Of course, I used the snowballs 
from our snowball bush. 
[Some of you have asked about the 
snowball bush in my last post;
the Latin name is Viburnum opulus.]

Here's the top of the armoire.

I started with a vintage table runner 
placed on the diagonal,
on one corner and a tall vase for height.
I looked around the house and shop to find
more whites that would coordinate with the theme.

Added some alabaster birds,
a white covered dish, 
 a vintage book stack
(went with red, white and blue for the 4th of July),
Decorating Tip: Use books to add height to an item.
a vintage button covered ball, 
which was part of a giveaway
I won from Arbor House Lane,
just because I like it, it's white
and seems to look good with all seasons,
a Scrabble wood letter holder painted black
with Scrabble tiles to spell 
'fleurs' ~ flowers in French,
and a piece of silver to tie in with the mantel
(it's a sugar bowl, but I like its trophy shape).

On the other side I put a wood birdhouse 
 I've had for years that has been
out of the decorating cycle for awhile,
a set of alabaster birds and
one of my shredded paper bird nests,
a small urn I filled with moss and an egg,
a little bird seed lavender sachet I made from canvas
(which will be available in my etsy shop)

I like the way it turned out.

Some Decorating Tips that I use:
 ~ Use odd numbers in vignettes,
~ Keep items in a similar theme or color, and
~ Divide large areas into smaller vignettes.

[On the armoire, you can see a different vignette
on each side using groups of 3 ~ 
on the left, the bird, vase and button ball;
on the right, the 2 birds and the urn;
and the 3 books in the center.
Almost everything is white with similar items: 
birds, bird house, nest and an egg in the small urn.]

Here's the mantel

A picture in the center with vignettes on each side.

3 piece vignette ~ teapot vase, bird with nest, and silver basket
filled with fleur-de-lis dominoes to add a French touch,
and black to match the picture frame.
I felt like it needed a little something more,
so it may be a little random, but I put a picture
of The Captain's grandmother and brother behind the basket.
I like the sentimental touch.

In the center I added a large 
black toile picture we purchased
at an estate sale last year. Love it.
It is very old with a black gesso frame.

For the vignette on the other side, I added
a plate (I like decorating with plates and it has a flower design)
a hydrangea covered ball and a bird.
A vintage book stack under the teapot 
(used red, white, and blue again).

Hope some of these tips are helpful 
with some of your displays.
Just some things I've learned along the way 
that work for me and give me the look I want.

Have a great weekend!
Thanks so much for all of your comments.
I am working on visiting your blogs.


  1. Julie, I'm exactly like you in that the mantel stayed unchanged for years (except Christmas) until I discovered blogland. Now, I am so inspired. Both your mantel and the armoire are just lovely. I just love that teapot you used. It has such a colonial look to it.

    Thanks for the tips, too. I need all the tips I can get.

  2. very pretty you have nice taste and a lot of nice things to work with.

  3. Oh how I wish I had a firplace mantel to adorn, I would want it just like yours! So elegant and pretty.

  4. That looks so lovely! That framed print is amazing and the snowball flowers look outstanding!
    Love those!

  5. Your mantel is beautiful. I love all your treasures and the way you've arranged them. Love that painting in the center. I'm looking at one of my mantels, and it sure needs some work. Thanks for the inspiration.

  6. I loved your blog.
    I invite you to visit mine.

  7. Hi my dear Julie! Lovely, lovely decoration! I think the right word for your work is lovely! Absolutelly lovely! I'd like to have a fireplace like yours to decotate in so many ways. I have one but it's a bit different. I'm planning to open another blog with only decoration, handmade and vintage things. When I do this I'll post my fireplace. Who knows you have a lovely idea to decorate it. :):):) Kind God bless, dear Julie! :D

  8. Love your decorations!! Your mantel is gorgeous!

  9. Girl, I was the same way about changing up my mantel. I never hardly ever changed it up before blogging came into my life. Now, I am switching it up often. (and having so much fun doing it)

    Love what you have done with all of your vignettes. Love the picture on your mantel, the big one and the family one.

    Hope you have a great weekend.

  10. oh, I love your mantle, its beautiful, I need to change mine, I sometimes get into a

  11. That is so funny because I was the same way about my mantels until I discovered blogging! Your mantel and armoire both look absolutely lovely all dressed up for summer. Thanks so much for sharing this with us at Inspiration Friday this week!

  12. Julie,
    Your home is lovely! I like what you have done to your mantel. That black toile picture is fabulous! Thanks for linking it to Home Sweet Home!

  13. Hi Julie!
    We won't be doing anything special at the shop for Harvest Days this year. Say hi at the flea market on Saturday! Lisa ;-)

  14. p.s. I love the picture on top of your mantle!

  15. G'morn, Julie ~ What beautiful treasures you have shared on your mantle. It is gorgeous & inviting. Your art is just beautiful & I love those snowballs.

    I still can't bring myself to change our mantle until Christmas. I just love how I have it with our nativity scene that stays up all year.

    I am originally from Chehalis, where is your city located.

    Have a beautiful week, Julie.
    TTFN ~


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