Thursday, March 17, 2011

Create a Crisp Look for Your Mantel this Spring...

With today being St. Patrick's Day & all, I thought I'd share a few photos of my latest "mantelscape."  I didn't change my mantel very much to achieve this crisp, clean look.  Take a look at my last mantel post & you'll find I didn't move or replace many of my pieces.  I was inspired by another Willow House Consultant's photos using split peas as fillers for this project.  I'm sorry I can't remember exactly whose page I found that idea on.

To me, green isn't just for St. Patrick's Day, although this does make a cute holiday arrangement.  I think of green as Spring, bringing with it all the new daffodil and tulip buds, as well as those tiny green leaves that will soon replace the flower buds on the trees outside my house.

I was very excited to find split peas at Winco in the bulk bins for only 51 cents a pound.  I bought 5 pounds, and after filling these containers, I still have quite a bit left.  So if you'd like to just buy a couple pounds, that should work well for this project.

As I mentioned, I didn't change my mantel much to create this look.  I removed a couple pieces and replaced them with a large hurricane and some fun green items collected from around my house.  Most of the mantel items come from the new Spring/Summer 2011 Willow House catalog.  (I'll put a link to my website at the end of this post for those of you who would like some more Spring inspiration or who would like to order an item or two from my mantel.)

Being someone who loves symmetry, I always try to give some balance to my designs whether they are created on the computer, with paper or home decorating items.  For this mantelscape, I left my two Stiletto Pedestals in the center, filling in around the candles with the bulk split peas. 

My large hurricane is one of my favorite decorating pieces.  Here, I filled it about 1/3 of the way up with the split peas & pushed an ivory candle down inside until it was firmly set into the split peas.  I've used this hurricane for all sorts of fun holiday arrangements that I share during my parties, and I promise to share those ideas with you soon too!  On either side of my mantelscape I placed small Dragonfly Lanterns filled with just a few of the split peas and a small battery operated tea light.

I placed the small lanterns on either end of my mantelscape to help lead your eye up to the next, taller items.  Sometimes I like to create a pyramid shape with my mantel, having the smallest items on the outside edges and then progressively taller items on each side until you reach the tallest item in the center.

With this mantelscape, I chose to place the smallest items on the outside edges and then a tall item next to each of those.  Next I placed a shorter item on each side and then a taller one in the center.  Sometimes I think it's fun to create a look that encourages your eyes to follow the lines up & down as they view a design.

Some of the fun green items I collected around my house help create a whimsical, personal look for my mantel.  The little plastic grass in the wood container was originally purchased to place out at Easter, but over the years, I've used it in many ways, my favorite being combined with some sand & sea shells for a summer centerpiece.  On the dark pedestal, I placed a dark green ceramic vase with a small frog and next to that I placed Delaney's gymnastics photo from last year.  Dressed in green with a green background, Delaney's photo adds some fun to my mantel and helps it become a much more personal look.  This mantel is mine and couldn't be found in anyone else's home.

While you're looking through magazines, blog posts & internet articles for decorating ideas, never forget to add a little something to personalize the look.  Of course you want people to oh & ah about the decorating looks you create, but you also want them to see you & your family in your home too.  We live in our homes, they aren't just created for magazine photo shoots, so don't be afraid to use your family photos and keepsakes in your decorating!

If you're looking for items included in my mantelscape, head over to my Willow House website to find the Stiletto Pedestals, large Galveston Hurricane, small Dragonfly Lanterns and Rosedale Plant Holders. (The tall pedestal is a discontinued Southern Living at Home item.)  On my website, you'll find all sorts of decorating ideas and you'll be able to order from both the Willow House catalog and bargain priced outlet.

And if you just can't get enough decorating ideas, don't miss the new MyStyleShare website created by Willow House as an online decorating community.  It's free to join and upload your decorating photos and videos.  Tons of ideas are already on the website and I'm working on adding more to my page during the next few weeks.  My username is julies, and I'd love to hear your decorating comments and questions either here on my blog or over at MyStyleShare.

Enjoy your St. Patrick's Day!  I'm off to add a little green frosting to my cupcakes & make an Asparagus Pizza for dinner!  All green, all the time around here!

This week, I'm sharing my post with the bloggers over at Today's Creative!  Tuesday is "Get Your Craft On" day over there and there are usually about 500 bloggers who link their creations every Tuesday!!!  So this is THE Place to find all sorts of new ideas perfect for decorating & crafting of all kinds every week!


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