Wednesday, July 15, 2015

July Dining Room Mantel Vignette

It's no secret that I like to change out my mantel decor...a lot. If you visit here regularly, your probably know this. Today, I am sharing how I just recently redid it for the month of July. I kept it fairly simple with a mixture of vintage and eclectic pieces, hints of black, potted succulents and fresh cut flowers from the yard.
We bought this old mantel from a local salvage shop and gave it a makeover a couple of years ago. It used to have very chippy brown paint. It has lived in our dining room for the past several years. Sometimes, I want to move it back to the living room where I first put it, since in my mind, it seems that is where a mantel is "supposed" to go. But whenever I look at it with our antique chandelier above it, I know this is really where it belongs.

Recently, I splurged on a new camera body. I have been wanting the Canon 5D Mark III for a couple of years and finally took a leap of faith and bought it. I am so in love. As much as one can be with an inanimate object, I suppose. But seriously, it is amazing. 

The quality is a so much better than my now ancient Rebel and it has opened a whole new world to me as far as photography goes. I am still learning the ins and outs of it but I am having so much fun in the process. These are my first official mantel photos taken with it! If you can believe it, it was late afternoon when I did it and the sun had already passed by. My dining room light in late afternoon is the worst. I never would have considered taking photos then. Love, love, love this camera because now I can.
My husband Josh, who is in property management, found the framed DaVinci image in a trash room at his work. Someone was seriously going to throw it away! I'm so glad he rescued it for me. I love the velvety dark mustard border.
This old black scale is one of my favorites. I love the writing on the side and all of its old charm and character. Dark colors against white is one of my favorite things in decorating right now.
Fresh flowers make me happy, even if they are just wild clippings from the yard. My daughter Hazel likes to help me collect them.
And it wouldn't be one of my mantel vignettes without old books. They are always sneaking their way in there.
I've been trying to embrace simplicity for the past several months and enjoy the empty spaces rather than feeling like I need to fill them all in like I have in the past. It has been soothing to my soul to declutter and simplify. 

For this space, I would still like to find an ornate, gold framed mirror to hang above the mantel and do something inside of it...maybe a dark stained herringbone wood insert to finish it off.
I complain about this dining room far too often. It has a way of "collecting" things and being a storage room since it is basically in between everything.  This room is pretty special though when I really stop to think about it. It is the room where we share all of our meals. Where my kids and I do craft projects together. Where we pray, laugh, connect. Where my husband and I sit and chat about our day late into the night. So much happens in this space. I don't want it to be bogged down with clutter anymore (as much as I can help it anyway).
I want it to be a peaceful, serene spot in our home. One day at a time, as I declutter here and there, it is happening. And the best part is that I am starting to feel more peace inside too. Funny how we hold onto things and think we own them, but in reality they can end up owning us. Our time. Our focus. I want to keep my priorities straight and not have all of the "stuff" get in the way of that. It is a learning process, and I am learning as I go. One day at a day at a time...

I hope you enjoyed seeing this little mantel refresh for summer!

Till next time...
~Alice W.

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