Friday, September 16, 2016

Fun with a design project

 I had a fun and different opportunity today to style not one but three mantels at an exclusive gated community on a nature preserve here. 

Pin It

With all the grays and browns, I really wanted to bring light and fall color to all three mantels, but not with the usual fall mantel decor. 

For the first one, I kept the painting that was there and added an antique water pump bucket, from a local antique mall, in the perfect shade of yellow filled with sour wood branches. These trees change colors very early here and will stay alive for a few weeks if kept in water. They drink water like crazy, though. I also found some baskets and gourd bowls locally to add some lighter texture underneath the painting. The barley twist candlesticks were on another mantel, and I just moved them here for height. 

In another part of this room was a double-sided fireplace. This side was really dark, so I brightened it up a bit with more sour wood branches in an antique green gas can. I think green is an absolute necessity in fall decor to keep the look *alive* so I carried that through with heavy green votive candle holders as well. 

I thought these gourd bowls were just perfect here, and this large one came with a hand-carved stand.

I reused the canoe, which had been on the first mantel, and added one green pumpkin inside and an interesting yellow gourd in front. 

*Note to self: straighten the art before taking photos:-)

For the back side of the same fireplace, I clipped bittersweet branches and added them to a candle holder, which they already had in place, as well as more sour wood clippings to two smaller vases. 

The antler candlesticks came from the first mantel, so I just moved those here since this fireplace is smaller in scale.  As I was looking through these photos, I thought to myself that symmetry is apparently not something I strive for:-) I just prefer a more casual look with movement and interest, I guess, and that's what I think works best with this rustic background. 

I had such a great time styling these mantels, and I *hope* the clients like how they turned out. 

As soon as the hay bales, corn stalks and huge pumpkins arrive that I bought, I'll be doing six different outdoor displays here as well, so you know I'm looking forward to that:-)

I'll be joining:
Inspire Me Tuesday
Wow Us Wednesday


  1. First, I'm in absolute awe of those stacked-stone fireplaces! They're gorgeous on their own, but your special touches took them over the top! I love your use of the twigs, branches, and especially the pops of green. You have the special touch, for sure, and if your clients don't like what you did, I'll find the name of a good psychologist. ;)

  2. such a fun project and those fireplaces are amazing! love version 2 the best but i love them all!

  3. Liz@ HomeandGardeningWithLizSeptember 16, 2016 at 6:52 PM

    Wow Anita I loved each detail you put together on the mantels. Those stone fireplaces are amazing. Love the textures and colors you used. I love the bittersweet branches- what great colors!

  4. Entertaining WomenSeptember 16, 2016 at 7:41 PM

    Great job! I would love to crawl into the photo and take that amazing mirror with the pine cones and curly wood to my house. Your use of the bittersweet berries brought the entire vignette to life. I look forward to seeing how you use all those hay bales, corn stalks, and huge pumpkins. Thanks for inviting us fir a peek. Cherry Kay

  5. You're the perfect person to style the mantels with nature's bounty. Very beautiful, Kathleen in Az

  6. These are all so pretty! I love the natural elements that you used in each. My favorite is the third mantel with the branches in separate vessels. Nicely done!

  7. Shenita @ Embellishments by SLRSeptember 19, 2016 at 7:05 PM

    Such beautiful styling, Anita! You have such a great eye for details!

  8. Love the rustic look! Nice styling ♥

  9. Pam - @diy Design FanaticSeptember 21, 2016 at 8:53 AM

    Simple, beautiful, rustic, with a touch of elegance!