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 time...one day at a time...

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

Till next time...
~Alice W.

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20 comments :

  1. beautiful! and I love the chandelier too. is it antique?

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    1. Thank you! Yes, the chandelier was an antique find on Craigslist of all places :) only $75! My favorite find ever probably!

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  2. Your photography and styling are as beautiful as ever!! I swear you and I have twin brains! I have been purging, purging, purging over the last several weeks to make things more simple. The clutter was overwhelming me and I wanted to a fresh, minimal look. Can we please be neighbors? We could have so much fun!! ;)

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    1. Thank you Melissa! And yes, I would die to be your neighbor! We would have too much fun together but would probably just give each other every we were getting rid of hahaha! :) Loving the minimal look...so hard to achieve in a small space but I am working at letting go.

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  3. Your shots are beautiful. That camera seems like a great investment. What color white do you paint your walls? I'm looking for a paint color and yours looks gorgeous!

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    1. Thank you! I honestly can't remember the brand right now but the color was called "You're the boss" haha. My husband picked it out. I wasn't in love with it to be honest. It has a blue tint sometimes during the day and feels cold. Plus with the lighting, camera settings and post processing (not to mention monitor color differences) there are so many factors that can make it look a certain way but then not so on your walls, you know? I'd hate to encourage anyone to get a paint that I have in my home and then have it look completely different in their own :)

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  4. Every detail is beautiful as ever! Love the minimal and simplified look of the mantel.

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  5. Love your mantle Alice. That black scale caught my eye! Hugs and blessings, Cindy

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  6. Such a sweet vignette. Reminds me of those in magazines or on HGTV!

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  7. It is fun to redecorate over and over. I do that too. I completely agree about the decluttering. For me, I see so many wonderful decorating ideas in blogland that I think I need to try them all and that just is not possible. I have to decorate the way I need to for my home. And most important, I and my family need to feel that peace as well. Great post and love your vignette! Diane

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    1. Completely agree Diane! I see so many great ideas and looks on Pinterest and blogs and want to try them but at the end of the day the real people who live here are the ones I know I need to cater to. With little kids some just aren't practical at all but they sure look good in photos haha. Thanks for visiting and the sweet words!

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  8. I think it is amazing that you are learning to let things go at such a young age. I am working on that also. Sometimes easy and other times not so much. Lol. Beautiful decor Alice. Too bad we don't live closer..I have a couple large gold ornate frames. Lol.
    Blessings~

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    1. Oh my goodness Sandi if we were neighbors I would never be able to declutter lol! We would always be giving each other stuff...hehe. Seriously I need a mirror! ;p

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  9. Such a beautiful balance of rustic and old beauty.... Love the colour tone used in your mantel vignette.

    See you soon alice, it's wobderful here and I am amazed still with this chandelier.

    Xx
    Dore

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  10. Hi Alice, My taste has changed as well and I like a less cluttered styling better now. Your mantel looks beautiful and I love your vintage scale.
    Congrats on you new camera! I adore your photography style and I'm happy for you that you now have an even better camera to take your pictures. Have fun :)!

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  11. Alice, I love your mantel - as always. So simple, so perfect!

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  12. Really lovely sentiments at the end there. We've played off and on with having the addition be a dining room or a 2nd living room and what you've said here is exactly why I want a dining room. Your mantle is beautiful and I'll definitely be following along better since my dream is to have a similar set up. Your mantle is lovely inspiration!

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Thank you for your comments! I love to hear from you! Due to an increase in spam comments, I have had to enable word verification. I apologize for any inconvenience this causes. ~Alice W.