Winter Mantel

It sure has been a while!  What’s everyone been up to?  I’ve been spending this winter huddled up in the house trying to stay warm.  If I didn’t have to pick the kids up from school and take them to activities, I swear that I wouldn’t leave the house.  Until April.  Why can’t people hibernate??

I’m not really sure why I haven’t blogged in months.  I’ve had plenty to blog about.  But I always feel like I need to have a finished project to show you.  And in so many cases, I never feel like a project is quite finished.  There’s always one more detail that I need to add – that one last accessory that would make it look perfect.  Anyone else like that with their homes?  Someone will compliment a room I’ve been working on, and I respond with – thanks, but I still need to do this, this, and that…  ugh.

I’ve been wanting to update my home tour pictures, but I can NOT seem to be satisfied with the throw pillow combinations on the couches.  I repainted the office floors, and would love to show you, but I can’t find the perfect area rug for the space.  I love the wall of trays in my entry, but I can’t get the baskets on the shelves in front to look quite right.  This list goes on and on.

I don’t keep up with as many blogs as I used to, but what’s funny is that the ones I still read regularly aren’t blogs with beautiful photos of finished projects every day. (Actually most of them aren’t even DIY blogs!)  The blogs that I go back to most are the ones that draw me into their process and into their stories.  So maybe some of you are like that too?  Do you expect pin-worthy pics with every post?  Or do you also like to read a bit of what’s going on behind the scenes, and are satisfied with the maybe-not-quite-there-yet pics?  I’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions!!!

SO…. with that being said….

I’m actually satisfied with my mantel right now, and there’s not one thing that I feel like I need to add or change.  lol!!!!  (I feel like the last few paragraphs sounded like a disclaimer about my living room!  But it’s the one space that I’ve moved on from and won’t be changing until spring!  (With the exception of the dreaded throw pillows.  gah!))

The winter mantel.  My mantel has 4 seasons.  Spring/summer (there might be tiny changes during the summer months), fall, Christmas, and winter.  Usually, it takes me the entire season until I’m finally happy with how it looks.  So obviously, decorating for Valentine’s, Easter, 4th of July, etc. doesn’t happen.  I know my limitations!

This year I went a tad overboard on fall and Christmas mantel decorations (guess why I didn’t share pics?), and wanted something soft and quiet until spring.

I was at a beautiful friend’s gorgeous home last year, and fell in love with a driftwood mirror that she found at Marshall’s.  I totally wanted it, and immediately stalked 3 different Marshall’s to no avail.  A month later I was at Marshall’s with my sister and came across this wreath!!!  Couldn’t believe my luck!!!
winter mantel - wreath
I bought these berry branches at Christmas, but I thought they could pass for winter branches, and not look too Christmas-y.  I like the color that they add – and the sparkle is nice too!

The candlesticks are new – I found them at Tuesday Morning.  I’ve been wanting big candlesticks forEVER.  These were so reasonably priced, and were the right color so I scooped them up.  You’ll probably be seeing a lot of them, even on my other-season-mantels.  They’re so nice and neutral and TALL!
winter mantel - candles
Here’s a look at it all together…
winter mantel - room
You might have noticed the new chairs.  I needed to replace the small black and white ones that I moved to the office.  I would have loved 2 pretty upholstered chairs, but I hated to spend lots of $ and worry about the kids sitting on them with food, or markers, or general kid dirt.  I can easily replace or recover the cushions on these.  And when my kids are done making messes (does that ever happen?), the chairs will look great on the porch!
winter mantel - rug
I also added curtain panels to the windows.  I seem to have a thing for black and white check.  I missed it in this space when I moved the chairs out.  I just realized that I have b/w check (different sizes) in every other room on the first floor!

I love this shot from the dining room  (I think because I love that old screen and basket of hydrangeas in front of it so much!)…
winter mantel - from DR
Thanks for listening to my ramblings!  Hope to hear from you…

Much love,



  1. Brenda, I LOVE your mantel, and that wreath! I have some small driftwood pieces, though not enough for a total wreath…but I’d love one like yours. :) Nice to hear from you again!

  2. Terry McMullen says:

    I think your room looks wonderful! Especially love the fireplace “screen”. You found some great chairs too. No, I don’t think you should wait till your room is “perfect”. So many people don’t know how to make it “perfect” and get frustrated reading about it. I like to read blogs that show how they come about the “look”. And maybe pics along the way! You’re doing great!

  3. Mary Colaianne says:

    Love it. Looks smaller than actual room. You are amazing. Bella thinks is is marvelous.

  4. Looks wonderful Brenda! So fresh and clean! Absolutely love the curtains..I may be a little obsessed with checked items right now too! Also, I think that it is important to show any stage of your home. Most people can relate with unfinished spaces. MOST of us out in the real world can’t do a total makeover to a room or have top of the line items in our home. I love seeing the process and I say “show us your process girl! ” Would love to see your finished floors without a rug and a post on why you are having trouble picking the throw pillows! I am right there with you and always love to see what you are up to. xoxo

  5. Brenda,

    The mantel looks beautiful! Very wintry! I really like the wreath, the white ribbon made it just perfect. And your chairs look great there, too.

    I do a lot of sharing my projects midway through. But then I never have anything left for a big reveal! lol!

    I hope spring comes for you soon! :)


  6. Emily Oman says:

    Love the mantel! Happy to see your home again!

  7. Brenda, so happy to finally see a new post . The mantel is beautiful!! I did see this wreath at Marshall’s over Christmas. I love it! Your house looks adorable.

  8. Gina Anthony says:

    I love it. I want to come over and see the whole house sometime.

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  9. Gina Anthony says:

    I love the whole room. You do such a great job decorating.
    I want to come and see the whole house sometime.

  10. Hi Brenda. I found you at The Little Cottage on the Pond, and I’m now following your lovely blog. I’m a cottage lover and your cottage is adorable. I’m so glad I found you. Your mantel is so charming. In fact, I love your entire living room. It would be great if you’d come and share it at my monthly blog party Every Room In The House. This month we’re partying in The Living Room, and I know your post would be a wonderful inspiration to all of us. Here’s the link:
    I hope you’ll come. ~ Nancy

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