Monday, July 7, 2014

My Mantel and Hearth 15 Different Ways

I did several mantel groupings in preparation for Haven 2014,
that I left in my phone until today.
My bad.

This is my mantel normally, since discarding a gallery wall and needing a place for my large brass rubbing.
A mirror here won't work because there's already a mirror wall in the dining area and a floor to ceiling mirror behind the sofa.

I know it's a dark room but a girl can only have so many mirrors before neighbors start to talk.

Lighting is horrible in my North facing living room,
 made even worse by a 50 foot water oak inside the patio casting year-round shade.
I tried to simulate a fire in the fireplace by putting a lamp inside.

After swapping my dining room and den I had no place for my tobacco basket,
so it temporarily lives in front of the brass fireplace screen. 

I love mixing and matching accessories, here with a French painted commode and black and gold tray.
  The lamp on the commode is way too bright, but you don't know until you try, right?.
At least, I don't.

I liked the lamp on the mantel itself and not illuminated.
I also l-o-v-e hydrangeas so I incorporated  some I dried last year.

 The same lamp that was on the commode, then on the mantel, is now inside the fireplace.
Still way too bright, but the closest I could come to a *fire* this time of year in Atlanta.

 In line with my OCD, is my "more is more" decorating acumen... 
all right... I just like warm, cluttered inviting spaces.

I'm really liking this small commode... 
not here, per se...but it's a great size and adds a certain French-iness.
 I have a pair of them, a gift from a dear friend.

When I get my office/third bedroom decluttered I plan to use one as a side table with a French twin bed I painted and upholstered here --

With the lighting in this room I tried everything...
both artificial light below...

and the available natural light.

When I leaned the tobacco basket against the fireplace,
I liked the casual look it brought to the formal living area.

 Add a French enamel pitcher of yellow forsythia and I have a completely different feel.

Another "had to have" item is the birdhouse on the hearth below.
This was the first I'd seen of these several years ago and I still love it.
Alas, it doesn't have a permanent place either.

Adding a papier mache harlequin and oil painting of Sacre Couer, bought wet in Paris and carried through several countries before getting it home, gives yet another look.
Can you see the Country French theme here?

And, still experimenting, I swap things around yet again.

And, finally, deciding I had gotten it too "busy" looking,
I stripped things back to a more simple appearance.

So, there you have it, my day of play, mixing, matching and moving things around on a fireplace that I immediately returned to its original theme.
But I did have fun.
And found several looks I really like.

So, do you arrange and rearrange your focal points?
Or do you live with the same one for years?
I'm definitely in the latter category.

I appreciate your visit and hope you will again soon.

In the meantime, thanks for stopping by...



  1. I have a similar problem to you with the amount of light in my room and can be discouraging when trying to take pictures but I think you did a good job here. dropping in from BOB(B)

    1. Thank you so much for saying that. I think this is the first time I just posted them and didn't discard over half the pictures for poor lighting.

  2. I don't have a fireplace, so no mantel. But sometimes I do wish I had one, just so I had a mantel to decorate!

    1. I'll gladly share mine with you... I can certainly use the help and all ideas/suggestions will be greatly appreciated. :-)

  3. Love it with the tobacco basket to help bring down the formal. I have the same problem photographing my interior, so I completely feel your frustration. I'm going to buckle down and purchase a tripod so that I can shoot in low light. But considering you used your phone for these is pretty amazing! Hope to meet you at Haven tomorrow!

    1. I've been very lucky with my phone until now, but I know I need to take the leap and get a real camera. I got tingles just reading "tripod" and "shoot in low light." You may have to hide from me at Haven but I plan to do my best to meet you in person!

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  5. I love the choices you made, Dianne. I have a tobacco basket, too! It currently lives on my mantel in the living room, coincidentally. ;)

    1. Thanks, Susan. And I love your basket on your mantel!! Thanks so much for stopping by!

  6. Your mantel is amazing in all its designs. I love the tobacco basket! So awesome to meet you at Haven! And thank you for being so wonderful about helping me find your bag with KK's store. I found them on Facebook!

    Have an amazing day!

    1. Thanks, Karianne, for your sweet comments and for letting me know you found KK's. I'm looking forward to seeing a picture of you and "your" bag!


  7. Dianne….it was great meeting you at Haven this year! I hope your summer is going well….love the mantel! =) xoxoxoxo

    1. Thanks, Daune... it was great meeting you, too! Haven has certainly been the highlight of my summer. I've been on a jury since then and haven't even completed my recap! I'm really glad you stopped by and hope you do again soon! xoxo