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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Seasonal Looks For My Mantle

I have talked about my family room and my mantle before. For those who missed its description I will tell you a little bit about it. When we had our home built 30yrs ago, my hubby wanted our fireplace to have brick along the entire end of the room. Being the loving wife and thinking how cute that he had a preference, I acquiesced. After the house was built and I looked at the possibilities of how to decorate an all brick mantle that was 17 ft. long and only had 3ft 9in. of wall space above it, I thought maybe I had made a mistake.
After lot’s of thinking and planning we had a contractor build a beautiful mantle to wrap over the brick mantle and also put legs on each side of the fireplace. I looked for years and years to find an over mantle piece that I liked and could afford. I wanted an antique. Finally after looking for years I found one in Jackson California at an antique store. It was mahogany so it had to be painted. We added molding at the bottom to make it looks as if it was integral to the massive mantle. Then this girl was verrrrry happy. We also added sconces on each side of the over mantle that are reproductions of the same era, the late 1800’s to early 1900’s.

Now I get to decorate a mantle that I love, but it is still difficult at times because of the spanse of space. I am a big is better, less is more kind of girl, but there is a really fine line between enough and not enough on this mantle. I like to change out my house for the seasons, so I am going to show you some pictures of the mantle dressed for Spring, Summer and Winter months. Let me introduce to you my mantle………….
Winter Mantle
My Mess 007  
My Mess 002
My Mess 003
Sorry for the glare in the pictures. This room gets a lot of natural light. You will notice I put darker colors on the mantle for winter. I bring in more black in the pictures and I add black and red to the books. Instead of white urns that I have for the Spring I replace them with green urns. This look is not as airy as my Spring or Summer looks. Now lets take a look at my Spring Mantle…….
IMG_0981 (800x274)
Family Room 024 (800x427)
In the Spring I bring in more white, raspberry and blue to the mix. I love the large green vase, It was made in Italy and it has wonderful color and a sculptural affect. Sometimes I have tall branches with blooms placed in this vase.
Family Room 113 (800x600)
Now on to the Summer Mantle. You have already seen some of the pictures in my cobalt blue post………..
Summer Mantle
Summer changes 028
Left Side of MantleSummer changes 026
Right Side Summer changes 010
Summer changes 027
Summer changes 031
In the Summer you will notice that I add more of the blue and white and lime for coolness. I take out the pinks of Spring.  So now you have it! My mantle in all the seasons except for Christmas and then I go all out. This is when I become a, "more is more girl."  I will save those pictures for Christmas time.  In all the pictures of the mirror, you probably noticed the reflection of green shutters and the top of my large birdcage. I thought I would show that to you also. So on that note I leave you with this……..
lights for fall
The old wooden shutters were found at a salvage yard in Berkeley Calif. I painted them a depression era green from Pratt and Lambert paints called Northern green. This is what made me decide to paint my kitchen green with the help of my DIL who made the suggestion. She was so right! I love my kitchen cupboards.  The lamps are vintage 1930’s era Warren Kessler Milk glass. I used linen drum shades from Tarjay. I hope you have enjoyed viewing my mantle.
“Enjoy the Process” Of:
Changing an area in your home for the seasons.


Allie and Pattie said...

Such a good wife! And such a beautiful mantle!! I love the mix you've chosen and the overmantle is gorgeous
xoxo Pattie

Sissie's Shabby Cottage said...

Hi Kathysue,
What a beautiful mantle you have. I really love the mirror, it's exquisite! I think changing it for the seasons is a great idea and you have done such a lovely job. My favorite of course, is the summer look.


Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

Kathysue, that is one large mantel. I am glad you were able to find the antique piece and sconces so you would grow to like it. Love all your seasonal vignettes. I would have a hard time decorating one that long. You have them all just right!

Stacey said...

Kathysue, I love your mantel and all the goodies. You have such a pretty look.

Love that little table too.

Kim@Chattafabulous said...

Kathysue my mon's house was built in 1973 and has a brick fireplace wall with long mantel like yours. I like how your amazing mirror gives some vertical interest. Tough to decorate -job well done!

PAT said...

All the looks are beautiful, Kathysue. I'd love to see a long shot of your fireplace.

Privet and Holly said...

Hi Kathysue! Another inspiring post that seems aimed right at ME {sorry, everyone else}!! I also have a very long, white-painted mantle and after your post yesterday I am deciding what color to spotlight in the room and how to incorporate that on the mantle. I mentioned the other day that I'd like to bring in blue, but I think that is going to require slipcovering the current chair which is muted red floral. It may have a tiny bit of blue in it, so perhaps I can find something that I have in that hue to start my color spotting. I will really look forward to seeing this mantle at Christmas time, as I find it hard to make much of a statement when there is just SO MUCH mantle to cover! Thanks, again! xx P&H PS: I'd love to know which of your archived posts you'd recommend, when you get a chance. {privetandholly@gmail.com} Hugs.

Cathy~Mille Fleur said...

Kathysue...I love your seasonal mantels! Each one is just beautiful! Every elemnet that you have added is just perfect. I know it must be a challenge to decorate such an expanse...but you obviously have it mastered! GORGEOUS!


I am off to check out some of your older posts...I am suddenly very interested in your other decorating projects;)!

Tricia said...

Whew, I'm now finally getting caught up on your posts that I've missed. Your summer mantle is just lovely and you know I'm loving the touches of white. I love that console table too and the shutters and birdhouse...everything looks great!

Jules said...

I can forgive you for painting mahogany white, but only because it looks so beautiful!! All the photos are beautiful Kathysue as they always are xo

Blondie's Journal said...


I love each and every mantel look. I love the mantel itself, hubby made a very good choice and you are great at decorating, of course! This reminds me that I need to freshen up my look! ;-D


Janell @ House of Fifty said...

Your mantel is amazing!! Though I see your challenge...love the table with the birdhouse, lamps and shutters. Makes for a beautiful and welcoming vignette! Janell

Unknown said...

I am in love with your summer mantel, its all great, but that is my favorite!

DesignTies said...

All your mantel vignettes are pretty, but summer is my favourite :-) I love the combination of blue, white, and lime green, and the seashells are so pretty :-)

Your dog bookends are adorable!! :-)


Kristin @ My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia said...

Love changing things around with the seasons, you did a beautiful job :)


Thank you for stopping over and leaving a comment on my blog.
Your blog is fantastic as well!
I will check back often :)


Bring Pretty Back said...

Kathysue, I love your home! LOVE the white mantle. I do not have your gift of decorating. Please keep the pictures and ideas coming!

xinex said...

Pretty mantel, KathySue! I love the mantle mirror on top but I would love to see the fireplace below too. You decorate it beautifully for every season. Did you sign up for my give away yet?...Christine

Unknown said...

Oh, gorgeous! I love the idea of changing decor for the seasons, I switch pillows, plants and candle fragrances! I also added a ficus tree with fairy lights in the corner where our Christmas tree was after the holidays because I couldn't stand to see it go! XO!

A Perfect Gray said...

oh, the mantle is the hardest spot for me! you have some great ideas....I love the white you interject in the spring!

DesignTies said...

I've always enjoyed the seasonal variations in your family room, Kathysue... but of the three you've shared today, summer is my favourite because I love the blue transfer ware!
Why don't you have a fall mantle?
So about that pencil crayon fence... No? Not for me, hey?! ;-)
Victoria @ DesignTies

Sue said...

It is big, I can see that would make it difficult...but, so much fun to decorate. I'm all about your summer look!

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

HI Kathysue, what a pretty mantel. I can see why it would be a challenge, but glad you got what you wanted. I love the blue & white up there & those aqua pieces are gorgeous too. And what I really love is that table with the shutters above & your vintage milkglass lamps. So pretty!! Thanks for stopping by, my friend. I'm always running to catch up around blogland & never quite get there.

Unknown said...

Kathysue, this is beautiful. What substance your firplace has! If you ever tire of the "Summer" elements, I will happily make room for them in my home. Thanks for the hug today. xoxo

Kathy :) said...

What a nice job Kathysue :)

I hope you had a lovely Mother's Day....

All the best,
Kathy :)

Unknown said...

Looks like you made a silk purse from a sow's ear, Kathysue! (that would be an old country expression from my dad) I love the mantle piece. It brings it height and color. Well done! I used to dress my mantle (and the rest of my house) when I wasn't a crazy, busy, never-at-home designer. Truly for me, the cobbler's children have no shoes (another country expression)!

Anonymous said...

That mantle is simply divine, love it all x

Anonymous said...

oops forgot to say, thanks for the lovely comment on my blog, love those plates so I cant wait to see your post on them x

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

Thanks Kathysue. Same to you! You sure did comment fast. I just posted.

Linda@ Lime in the Coconut said...

How great! Love the piece...would love to see the WHOLE mantel...but adore the birdhouses, too!

vignette design said...

That is a very large mantle, but what a blank slate for creating all sorts of vignettes. Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall, I love them all! Sorry I couldn't resist...I love your birdcage and those lamps are gorgeous.

La Dolfina said...

Great post! I think decorating the mantle is really challenging and here you do 4 X a year!!!
And yours is even more challenging than most.
You are simply amazing!!!

Melissa Miller said...

Beautifully done for the warmer months ahead Kathysue! Very elegant and comforting as well. :)