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Saturday, September 11, 2010

Fall Mantels, Elements



Welcome to fall mantel 2010. Only one of a kazillion ways to usher in the new season. (Okay, truthfully, I feel like throwing a kicking-and-screaming tantrum that summer is over. We hardly had any sun here in Seattle. I'm feeling pretty gypped at this point and it was with a little bitterness that I pulled out my four boxes of fall decor. But I digress.)

If you're like a lot of people, you know what you like when you see it, but have a difficult time producing the results from scratch. So, for this fall mantel, I'm going to point out some elements, so that you can train your eye to see why you like something (and then produce your own gorgeous fall display at home).

1--I started with my favorite fall garland. This is actually two pieces that overlap in the middle to give it some centering fullness. The garland sort of underscores the whole arrangement, draws it all together. I used white artists tape to secure it. It doesn't leave any sticky residue. (See below for my taping method)

2--Then I attached some bunches of Indian corn (I buy these at pumpkin patches or the grocery store and use them year after year). They are bound on the husks so they don't sever the corn from the husks. I also taped them to the mantel like this:

They're a little heavy so I put a crosswise piece of tape over this tape to secure it.

3--The green window was already in place (thanks to Mother's Day), but I added another ($2 at an antique sale!). I turned it perpendicular to the other window for variety, and placed it off center. I love the old chippped paint texture.


4--Balance is really important here, even in an asymmetrical arrangement. I added the hydrangea wreath for some visual "weight" on the left side. It's hung with a wreath hanger I stole off my front door.


5--I LOVE berries, and the color on these ones. They are on a wired vine, which makes them super easy to work with. They are taped in two places at the top (you can see the left one). They add some fun texture and mirror the berry cones I've got on the left side.


6--Berry cones (from Target last year). It gives some nice height and unusual shape to the mantel. If you're using two of the same things together, vary the height (you could use candle holders like this, old books, vintage wooden crates, etc). They're also a 'weightier' element. The deep orange color is gorgeous. Unfortunately, it gets lost against my red wall. Next year I'm going to try to find some old, grey barnwood for a background.

All the different textures make it visually interesting.


7--Fall is all about pumpkins, right? This one is tipped toward the front. I rolled some tape (you can see it at the bottom) to help keep it in place. The smaller window, to me, looks almost like a setting all it's own.


8--Of course I had to add candles! A small detail element, to round out the variety of sizes. They look so warm and inviting, like "Come on in for some hot cider and apple pie!"
So, the thing that this mantle has going is variety. There are big windows, small pumpkins and candles. Circle wreaths and pumpkins, triangle berry cones and Indian corn, rectangle windows. It's got elements on either side to visually balance it, and underlining garland that ties the crazy mess all together.
Questions? Leave a comment to let me know if these were helpful ideas.

PS: Here's a link to last year's mantel.

8 love notes:

Jessica said...

I was just leaving another comment on your other post and immediately you already had a new one! Amazing.

I LOVE the mantel. A funny post since I just posted about Fall this morning too :) Another reason we are friends...we LOVE fall!

It also reminds me that I have an old window similar to that which I need to hang somewhere!

HangerMom said...

Sheesh. That looks like a page straight out of a magazine. Will you come visit someday and decorate my house? You know, with stuff I have lying around so I don't have to actually spend money on new. :)

Gina said...

I love it! Old window panes make me happy.

Things' Mommy said...

Jess, did you hear about the big apples vs. pumpkin face off for MSK this month? How fall is that??

HangerMom, I'd LOVE to come visit!!! And, I don't buy everything at once. Just a couple things every year, usually right after the holiday so it's really cheap.

Gina,thanks! Glad you got to see the window in person. :)

Tasha said...

I love it! Your mantle looks like it came straight from a magazine! I love how you teach us to try to see things like an interior designer because I certainly would not come up with any of those ideas by myself. Thanks for the fall inspiration!

dave&hannah said...

New soccer mom, I LOVE it. Seriously. It's so textury and beautiful...not to mention color, sophisticated and screaming most tasteful and beautiful designer ever. If I had a mantle... girl you know I'd be making an identical mantle in idaho!

Jessica said...

What? I thought MSK was 30 minute meals this month? Fill me in...

I LOVE all you did, but I still don't think I could create anything in my home :)

Things' Mommy said...

Tasha, you're welcome! I hope it made a little sense. :) How's PA school going?

Ruthie, had you taken those moose dishes, I probably would have driven up there to build you a mantel and decorated it. ;)

Jess, I'm mixed up about the months. Whatever month is at Gina's is the apple vs. pumpkin. You're right, this month IS 30 min meals. You could totally decorate. Get some stuff and I'll talk you through it. :) I know, I'll help you with fall decorating, and you take my family pictures!