decorating mantle_opt
Our mantel is the focal  point in our home. For me, that is not by choice, but it is what it is. When we first moved in, I really struggled with what looked “just right.” Often, we get so overwhelmed with decorating focal points, that  we just give up for lack of inspiration.  We buy into the mentality that dressing it up is going to take a big wallet. Now, honestly,  having unlimited funds definitely does help in the immediate decorating department, but I’ve had lots of fun changing things up inexpensively based on the the season, holiday or latest yard sale find. It truly is possible decorate on a dime.
Now, I am in no way a decorating diva. In fact, I have great ambitions for what I want my mantel to look like, but I just haven’t been able to find the perfect treasures.  Yet considering that I put this ensemble together last year for only $10, I love it.
But I was ready for a quick change.
I decided to straighten out the hanging art, instead of having it angled. The problem? I did this two hours before a house full of people were arriving. Things are never as easy as they seem. After rehanging the wall art, I had this nagging suspicion deep, deep down, that I didn’t have it affixed strong enough. (That’s what happens when you’re rushing.) Sure enough, all of a sudden a large crash occurred, a small gasp/scream let loose from me and my accessories had a Humpty Dumpty moment.  The wall art had cracked. The candlestick was chipped. The decorative wording that said “Laugh” instead of “Believe” was broken in two (yes, huge  irony there), and all the kings horses and all the kings men could not put it back together again…in a few minutes. 🙂 So, I had to put my creative juices to work, and figure out what to do.
mantle redo
If it hadn’t been raining, and I had a bit more time,  I would have definitely shopped my house with a little spray paint. That’s my favorite way to add more accent pieces for pennies on the dollar. This favorite thrifty, decorating redo revelation came from this post- check it out.
cheap mantle decor_opt
Last yard sale season, I found some iron work pieces for $5. This white one had been leaning against my upstairs closet wall for far too long, so I quickly had my son hang it. I didn’t want more nails holes from a temporary fix, so I used what we had. Immediately, I realized it needed to be higher, but it worked for a quick fix. The detail in the iron work is a bit much for the more relaxed feel I am going for, but until I find something different, I am enjoying the change.
When people walk into our home, they have no doubt about our world and life view. Just glancing around, they’ll see quotes and words sprinkled through out our home sharing what we value most. I found this “Believe” piece for $2 at a yard sale, so I quickly grabbed it off the top of my fridge and replaced the broken “Laugh” piece. I wasn’t really laughing then, but now I am. 🙂
word believe_opt
I swapped out the smaller vase for a large one that I bought for $1. Fresh flowers are a luxury and I typically don’t recommend fakes foliage, but I do think these are pretty good fakes. At yard sales, I pick up pitchers whenever I find them. Glass pitchers don our dinner time when ever we sit down together, but they are also wonderful for flowers, greenery, twigs or even delivering some cut flowers to a friend.
You can see from the above mantel shot that I added back one of the candlesticks. The mantel was a little lonely on that side.
ideas for mantle_opt
Even though it doesn’t feel like spring has sprung quite yet, Easter is right around the corner. I will be adding some easy Easter accessories like like nest with twigs and Easter eggs. Last year, I even spray painted some plastic eggs for additional dress up fun. They didn’t look like the cheap Dollar Store designs after a few minutes of that magic.
candlesticks with eggs.
Here’s a long angle shot from the kitchen. Yes, it needs a lot of work. Our traditional great room feel brings all eyes down our long, open floor format right to the fire place and mantel. I hope to really attack this room over the summer. (And nope, I am not cleaning the counter for you all…just make yourself at home and help yourself to a vitamin.)
open floor plan_opt
What I’ve been really been wanting to add to my mantel are some white shutters like my IRL friend, the Nester, did down below.
The difference? She has a normal ceiling height. I have 9’6″ ceilings which make it tricky for me to determine how high is too high. I sure would love something to give the “all green” effect a little more depth. Right now, the back wall has too much green.
I am open for any suggestions. 🙂 It’s a really large room and I have the furniture in pretty much the same position for a decade. We’ve just swapped pieces in and out. If you take your eye to the TV and then go to the left…there is probably about four more feet before our french doors take you into a sitting room. Yes, it’s tricky for furniture, I tell you, especially with french doors on both walls.
DSC_0197
If you desire to personalize your mantle a bit like I did with the “going to GoodWill” plate above, check out how I redid this and turned it from trash to treasure (sorry, Lori).
spraypaint glass plate
As the weather gets nicer, have some fun sprucing up your mantel. Get our that spray paint and shop your house. You won’t believe how much fun it is to decorate on a dime.
As I add some spring foliage, I’ll check back in and we can celebrate our new “do’s” together. Have a blast!

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