Thursday, March 15, 2018

St. Patrick's Day Mantle, the Long Version

I wouldn't say I didn't care how my house looked - decor wise - or that it didn't matter.  It was more not knowing what my style was.  I knew what I liked, but it was more about cohesion, about what I wanted to make my house feel cozy, comfy and a refuge from the rest of the world.

I'm 50-something, married for almost 30 years with four kids, but it's only recently that I've come to realize what I want in my home, and from my home.  I know I like aqua and red.  I know I like reproduction old stuff in some items - rust isn't something I want to mitigate and chippy paint isn't for me - I like the look of unpainted wood, for the most part.  I know I prefer neutral walls (mostly because I hate picking paint and the whole process of painting) and neutral colors in furniture.  I know I like to bring in color with accessories, window coverings, pillows and such.  It's much less expensive to replace pillows than a couch. 

I think I've always been drawn to older things and a more timeless or classic appeal - contemporary is not for me.  I love the history of places and things.  I enjoy watching period shows because I love looking at the sets, the furniture and accessories.  If the show was actually filmed during a given time, 40's or 50's, and I can see actual pieces from then, it's even better.  A good set designer, with an eye for detail and knows the time period, well, I just love them!  Crazy?   Probably.  

When we were first married, style was hand-me-downs, wedding gift decor and left-over college-life.  When the kids came along, decor focused on how to hide dirt, finger prints and cheerio crumbs, and still look good - plaid hides a lot - and keeping things safe.  Accessories were Little People sitting on tables mixed with tough-to-mess-up picture frames and a parking lot of Matchbox cars.  Anything with value (monetary or sentiment) was out, but up high.  Pillows were various stuffed animals.  Past college life and wedding decor was replaced with kid art and pictures of the kids, scattered with blankets for forts and baskets filled with all manner of kid toys.  My "side table" was a kid-sized table and chairs; we didn't have a coffee table for years because of racing kids and pointy corners.

When Pinterest came along and I was able to put a finger on what my likes were and really identifying what I loved, because I could see it all, in one place.  I could name a style or two that I wanted reflected in my home.  I could define it. 

Now, my kids are older, almost out of the house, save the 9 year old.  I find I am able to focus more on what I like, get it and have it out.  Instagram has helped me solidify what I see in my mind's eye.  To shop my own home.  To flush out things I had, and loved, on hand by looking for more.

In recent years I've taken on changing some areas of the house for a given season, outside of the usual holiday decorating.  It started with multiple sets of dishes, one for each season, and changing them out accordingly (I might have a serious dish obsession.)   Then it moved to the bedroom and getting seasonal quilts for the bed.  More recently it has been areas in the house that get a small make over for the season or holiday.  I'm hoping to work my creative intention for 2018 into some simple home decor projects - I have a list.  

All of that brings me to here.  Decorating for the season and where to reflect that in my house.  The easiest places to decorate for a given season is my dining room table, my kitchen table and open shelves and my mantle - well and the boxes in my front hall, but I'm having a serious block on what to put in them right now.  I'd love to include my bedroom, outside just changing the quilt, but one step at a time.

For the dining room I had a reproduction tray - I don't need to have an old one, but I'll take the look of it - and added a colored Ball jar (can I just say I can't ever have enough jars - and I've finally picked up a few old ones!) and some real-feel white Tulips from Amazon.  I could do real, but $10 for five stems that won't last very long, I just can't do that.  The ones in my own garden are still sound asleep.  The little doll was Girlie's.  The candles are obviously not real, but I like their look and they are on timers, so they provide a nice soft glow after dark.  I initially got them for Christmas, and liked them so much I needed to find a way to use them all year.

The mantle is always a challenge.  The room is tall.  The mantle is all dry walled, which I have always disliked.  A lot.  I have finally come up with a plan for it, and the wall above it, but it will require hubby, some reclaimed wood and a weekend.  For now though, I like to keep it colorful.

I saw someone's post on Instagram where they mixed a couple pieces of copper (they were copper stemless wine glasses) and ironstone - and I loved it immediately.  Copper is another thing I've always been drawn to; I like its warmth.  I had a small ironstone pitcher, and the two cracked green pitchers were my grandmother's.  The large green glass jar was a Target Dollar Spot find.  The large copper pitcher was a Marshall's find, and it was on clearance.  The vintage copper luster ware pitcher was an antique find, that required little thought on whether or not to purchase it.  It needed me.  Besides the color, I love the painted flowers around it, which are also dimensional.

A little shuffling and before I know it, there's a touch of Spring and a nod to St. Patrick's day in my house!

Happy Thursday,


No comments: