Winter Mantel

Winter mantel??  I never, ever thought about decorating a winter mantel until I started following blogs!  I would change my mantel from time to time, but not really because of a season (except Christmas, of course).  To be honest, I have a really hard time decorating my mantel.  I have such a hang-up on balance.  Things don’t have to be symmetrical for me – although, that would probably alleviate my balance issues – they just need to feel balanced.

I have a chunky, stone mantel that seems very big so I MUST fill it with at least a few big things (balance!).  I usually have an old window sitting on it, which is great because it adds height, and everything that I add usually works with it.

I thought I’d challenge myself a little for my ‘winter mantel’ ;) so I stashed the old window.  Plus, I thought maybe you all might be a bit bored with it!

My thoughts were to use a lot of white, and I happened to find this painting at an antique store ($20 – not bad!).  Once I got it home it seemed more dark than white to me.  I was a little unsure of it at first, but the little girls loved it!  They crack me up – they notice everything and are not afraid to share their opinions with me.  Good or bad.

When I posted about my garden gate, the mantel looked like this…

I moved a couple things around, and now I’m much happier with – (can you guess??), yep – the balance.  And I managed to put the valance back over the window blind on the right.  That certainly looks better!

I know, hydrangeas aren’t wintery.  At all.  But I love them and they fit the space.  These ones are a mix of real and fake, and the real ones are several years old.  I wasn’t able to dry any of mine from last summer. I have no idea why, but every one that I brought in wilted instead of dried.  I tried every hydrangea-drying tip that I knew and that I found online. Nothing worked

I guess it wouldn’t have mattered because now I have a B-A-D kitty who finds her way to the mantel and buries herself in the crate!!!  Needless to say, the flowers are not doing so well these days.  I’ll be replacing them all with artificial.  grrrrr.

Yes – you! Don’t try to look away!!

I love the crystal beads on these little trees.

The white box is a jewelry box from GoodWill.  It had the typical jewelry box wood look (what?) – I just added some chalk paint followed by a little stain and lots of sanding.

My first-ever winter mantel.  What do you think??

Much love –





  1. oh yes, congratulations, you nailed it. wintery without being dreary or cutesy. kind of winter-but-spring-is-coming mantel. i really like the two boxes, different colors. and i really like the shapes — rounds in the painting, rounds in the crate, triangle/cone trees, and rectangular boxes. lots of interest. very nice!

  2. Brenda…first of all you did a wonderful job with the mantel. I am in love with your painting, I think it’s perfect. The old crates and boxes are awesome! But I had to laugh…it was like I wrote this post. I never fiddled with my mantel too much before blogging either, Christmas of course and I would put fresh flowers on it once in awhile. And I did and do worry all the time about balance, that’s why I struggle every time I change it out. My fireplace is wide and deep and I think it’s tough to decorate. Anyway, I had to laugh to hear someone that is coming from where I do! Your mantel looks just beautiful!

    And a tip…I order dried hydrangeas on eBay, very inexpensively. Just search “dried flowers”. Mine come from a farm in Indiana and I get a carton big enough to use all over the house.


  3. Hi Brenda! I’m in the same boat with you having never thought to decorate my mantle seasonly before reading blogs. Honestly, my mantle is still bare after being back in our home for more than 2 years; shows you how with it, I’m not. I really like your winter arrangement especially how your hydrangeas tie into the flowers in your “new” painting, and yes, I prefer the painting centered for balance purposes too. Would love to see a photo of “bad kitty” in the box of hydrangeas, that sounds incredibly cute and frustrating.

  4. The painted box is cute. It’s nice to see that it turned out so well. I was just at Goodwill and considered buying a wood box to paint, but ended up with a couple of wood trays to paint instead. We’ll see how they turn out! Nicely done on the mantel. I started to change mine up but kinda stopped halfway through and it’s just a mess right now. Good to see you carried yours through to well-balanced and attractive end!

  5. Really pretty! I love the hydrangeas:) Naughty kitty…lol…

  6. Hydrangeas look good all year long – even bad kitty thinks so!

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