Saturday, September 20, 2014

how to decorate a fall mantle with a not-paper plate

My fall mantle (contrary to what my husband thought, I did not hang a paper plate above my mantle). Bless his heart.

Decorating your mantle for fall shouldn't be intimidating. I like to have one focal point on my mantle in the center. Some people like a mirror, or a piece of art, but I went out of the box a little bit this fall. I love the size and patina of this old breadboard. I originally put it up there without the plate, but it just felt like it was missing something. I considered a wreath, but with all of the other greenery, I felt as though it would be a little too "jungly". That is totally a decorating term. So, I "shopped my home" and found this beautiful plate from The Magnolia Market. My husband said that it looked like a paper plate on my Facebook page last night, so I thought I would clarify. I mean really babe? It's like he doesn't know me at all. I don't see it on their website anymore, so hopefully she will bring it back. I actually picked it up in her shop when I MET CHIP GAINES. Did I yell that? was quite a moment.  So, back to the not-paper plate. It is gorgeous, and it seemed to fill the dark void in the middle of the bread board perfectly. I considered painting it, like the one in my shop, and I still might, but for now, I love my not-paper plate.

Lantern from eons ago, faux fern from Hobby Lobby, pheasant feathers from my husband's bird hunt,  the books are an heirloom from my husband's family, grapevine (deconstructed wreath from Hobby Lobby), baby shoe mold from a local import shop, and an antler from my dad's hunt. My family...we hunt.
On the right side of the mantle, I propped up a lantern on some heirloom books from my husband's family. I usually keep them on the mantle in some way. They add height when I need them to (as with the lantern), or they are just a beautiful and heartfelt reminder of the importance of family.
After I got a little height from the lantern, I just started tucking things in to fill the space. I like a color story, or a theme (without being too "themey"...again, design term). I love nature inspired decor, so the antlers, feathers, and fern fronds fit perfectly. I also tucked in the most precious baby shoe form on the far right. It just makes me smile. They key is to just move stuff around. This didn't just come together without some serious rearranging. Get your anchor piece in place (mine is the breadboard with the not-paper plate), then go to the right and left, then fill in the middle.

Galvanized bucket from a local imports store, galvanized metal spheres (Hobby Lobby),  preserved floral and faux ferns (Hobby Lobby), and pheasant feathers (again, we hunt).
To add some balance to the left side, I pulled the greenery from another vase in our bedroom, and put in in the silver bucket. I popped in the feathers, but felt like it was missing something. Again, I just stepped back and looked at it. I either know it is exactly what I want, or that is it off somehow. Then, I just played. I stuck all kinds of things in that arrangement, from small pumpkins to artichokes, to dried hydrangeas. I landed on the orb. It just worked, and it brought in another silver element. I also put its older brother to the right.

Pheasant  from Homegoods a couple of years ago. 
They key to a really beautiful fall mantle is balance. Find something large for the middle, then fill in around it. You don't want too many tall things, or a bunch of little trinkets. You want they entire space to flow and to show things that you love and make your home feel like your home.
If all else fails, and you are sitting in the fetal position rocking back and forth from the stress, go thumb through your favorite home magazine, or search "fall mantle" on Pinterest. All of us need a little inspiration sometime.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, September 19, 2014

five quick fall decorating tips for your home

I flipping love fall. I love the coolness, the falling leaves, the snuggly blankets, the ambiance of the fireplace, and the coolness. I know I said "coolness" twice, but I live in Texas and it is still in the 90s here. 
I have 5 quick fall decoration tips for those of you that are still in the grips of the insane heat ready to get your fall on...
1. Real vs. Faux...I say go for both! I absolutely must have real pumpkins. Part of the fun of the season is picking out pumpkins with your family & friends! (Tip: Soak your pumpkins in 1 part bleach to 10 parts water for 10 minutes, rinse and dry, then rub & buff them with will preserve them, and make them shine!) Mix them with some that you can reuse year after year.
Here is a great tutorial to turn those dollar store pumpkins into a beautiful show-stopping mantle. {post by Susie Harris}
2. Incorporate the colors in your home...I don't have many of the typical fall colors in my home. I do use some muted orange pumpkins, but I love white. Along with white pumpkins, I use lots of greenery (mostly preserved), and other things that coordinate with my decor that you might not normally see as "fall" items. Artichokes, succulents, dried hydrangeas, pheasant feathers...they all have such soft beautiful greens, grays, browns & purples.

3. It doesn't have to be expensive to make your home feel like fall...burn a pumpkin candle, cut clippings from your tree (magnolias are my favorite with their brown and green leaves), gather pinecones and dried fallen leaves from your own yard, or feathers from your chickens (I totally did that..some are really beautiful!!!). You can even hit up the dollar store and grab those cheesy fake pumpkins and give them a faux finish. I painted a whole slew of them last year with pretty blues, grays, and creams. They are my favorite! Don't forget thrift stores too (spray paint those ugly and outdated items a glossy white. You would be shocked at how chic a 70's mustard yellow and brown owl can look painted white and perched on your mantle). 
4. Keep it simple...natural elements are always beautiful. They make a home feel warm, and not too forced. Most importantly, many of them are free. Don't overdo it or you will feel like you are in your grandma's attic (no offense grandmas, we LOVE you).
simple white pumpkins on preserved moss in and antique sewing machine table drawer

5. Lastly, build a base for your Christmas decor with your fall decor...Using lots of greenery and white, I can easily slip in some red berries, or vintage glass ornaments (or plastic that look like glass, if you have rowdy kids like mine) into your arrangements. On the rustic dough bowl arrangement in my last post, I can easily take out the pumpkins, artichokes, and succulents, and pile up some ornaments, fake snowballs (I can't wait to show you how to make those), or pinecones in their place.
I will be posting some more tips this week, as well as more photos of my own home all dressed for fall.

busy as a bee

I have been so incredibly busy! The shop is open and I'm barely finding the time to actually work, but I'm steadily plodding. I have several furniture pieces for sale, several left in the shop to work on, and some smaller items that I am trying to get completed this weekend. Here is what is on the picture to be sent directly to the shop.
Hand-painted drop leaf table

Personalized hand-painted chalkboard with YOUR TEAM & COLORS!

antique children's chair

Chippendale-style double pedestal dining table with leaf 

Personalized hand-painted breadboard

antique dining table (would be a great kitchen island)

Hand-painted chalkboard (approximately 11" x 14") $25

This particular chalkboard is SOLD, but I will restock another soon. If you would like a personalized wood-slice chalkboard, please e-mail me at
After this weekend, I will have at a beautiful armoire/wardrobe in the shop, as well as some fall signs.

Now, off to work :)