Decorating the mantel for each season has to be one of my favorite things. It is always unplanned, that is the way I like it, at least at home … grab a few things from around the house and put them together having a good time, enjoying the process and playing, the same way I used to play with barbies when I was a little girl and also later on, not so little. Decorating their houses, mostly made of cardboard boxes and dividers (I think evaporated milk came that way at the time, I think wine comes that way still now) was my favorite activity along with designing their wardrobe, and since we were eight brothers and sisters, there were always plenty empty boxes available to play with. Those dividers were a dream come true, I was able to change the rooms distribution any time I wanted! (designers dream!)
This year I wanted to keep things simple, made a promise to myself about not over thinking so stuff gets actually done! The problem was when I thought about making a post about decorating the Mantel for Fall, I felt the need to “finish” it, to make it better. Moving things around I “discovered” I needed to purchase a few items … I don’t want to buy more stuff, I really want to spend more time living and enjoying than trying to make things perfect…good is good enough, right? or at least it should be, so…I didn’t buy anything! (Who am I?! I don’t know this woman!)
These are some pictures of the mantel with a few variations…couldn’t stop myself from playing with the things and broke one of the candle-holders! I would had liked the moss balls to be bigger and some of the pumpkins to be smaller… oh well, what a surprise! Isn’t that the way it always goes for everybody?
Taking pictures with my iPhone is not very professional, I know! the indoor photos look gloomy and colorless and the definition is not that good…This looks so greenish, yellowish, “horriblish”… it looks so much better in person. I promise! perhaps I should upgrade to an iphone 6, just never wanted to do it only because it came out, don’t understand the need to have the latest gadget when I know for sure I barely understand all I could do with the one I already have… that is at least my impression.
The two windows flanking the fireplace are facing north and this particular area between the two of them is a bit gloomy… There is a big mirror on top of the fireplace to bounce the light coming from other places and a light above it, but for some reason it isn’t enough…very unnatural and cold light! I know I could do better, but since we’ve been almost moving several times… it wasn’t worth the hustle, or so I thought … it is always worth the hustle!
I’ve been in love with old silver forever and always have fun imagining where those old pieces could have been…I am a romantic, what can I say…the images in my head are pretty stunning… extremely handsome, elegant, well spoken gentlemen, walking around trying to capture the glance and imagination of breathtakingly beautiful women exquisitely dressed and coiffed ….everybody is having a wonderful time, conversations are interesting, intelligent and passionate and ….nobody is texting! The settings are old hotels with amazing architecture and furniture you only dream of and old mansions full of history and romance, the kind we rarely see anymore …. and of course, All this VERY unlikely to have ANY relationship with my silver pieces found at second hand stores, flea markets or state sales! No connection to reality whatsoever! … but hey! It is my imagination, right?! No need to be timid or frugal there… no budget restrains!
Coming back to reality I should say, I like freshly polished silver as well, occasionally I prepare a “special solution” to clean it, mostly around the holidays, you only have to line the sink with aluminum paper, fill it with hot water, add the non toxic ingredients I found on Pinterest and Voilà! Just submerge the pieces for a while and they all come out shining and reflecting light everywhere… brilliant! (Specially when I didn’t have to polish it!) Soon I will share the formula, it is like magic! I only want to make sure I know how to properly credit the source. Did I mention that I have an obsession with light? I need it bad, I love spaces filled with natural light and a great lighting plan, that is a must ! You can lose almost everything you’ve accomplished, design wise if you don’t have the right illumination….
Don’t you think silver pumpkins are gorgeous?! I do, they are just so pretty and elegant! It’s like they decided they didn’t want to be “loud” like their lovely, more common orange sisters! These grayish pumpkins are the snobs of the family along white ones! Orange ones are the happy eternal teenagers… Too bad the light didn’t help me here and the gorgeous gray pumpkin looks almost a shade of one of Pantone’s pastels for 2015…. I had yet to put a candle inside the orange goblet and it was and is bothering me immensely! Candlelight is so pretty, romantic and soft…. I find it flirty and happy! Few things can claim they can do for ambiance and mood what these little wonders do!….Contained fire…Do we even realized what we have with candles?! It literally is Contained Fire!!! anywhere we want them, whenever we want them! Awesome! Genius! Priceless! Brilliant! yes, very bright indeed, CANDLES bring magic to every space and make the ordinary look extraordinary!
That branch with the “caramel drops of Autumn” tilted the vase and went too low, wasn’t intentional… looks bad!
This is a small space so I should keep it simple… but Fall makes me feel warm and cozy inside and sometimes has me longing for the cluttered look of lived in spaces… I think it’s the same feeling we experiment during Fall and winter when we wrapped ourselves in soft blankets and cuddle in our favorite chair, sofa or bed (yes, more likely a bed..) and lose ourselves in a book or a movie, even a cheese one, a “chick” movie my boys used to call it … and then they watched it with me and even liked it! (Omg… those sweet memories … I’m not going to cry!)
I took a couple of things out to create some breathing space, what it’s called negative space, it is as important as all the stuff you want to display, your eyes should be able to rest and travel from one thing to the other with ease, there should be a nice flow and harmony among all the pieces in the composition, here it works because your eyes can take all in without being overwhelmed with too much clutter… almost!
– Not so much here though!
So… this is my mantel for the season, sometimes you should go with your impulse and if you like the result, if it makes you happy, then that’s the right one for you at that particular moment, if you get a pleasant feeling, go with it!
UPDATE -As the season progressed and the bright days of Fall got darker and bare, I felt the need to add color to the mantel and home to replace what we lost outside. Here are some pictures, that for some reason have better light than the previous ones that look so bad…
That poor pumpkin is dying!…. Hold on baby! Only a couple of weeks to go! You don’t want to be called rotten… do you?…
The leaves outside are almost gone… That makes me sad… everything is turning gray and dark so I needed to brighten up the mantel inside
And that makes me happy!
That was it, I didn’t mean to talk forever about so many different things…hopefully it doesn’t read that way…