Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Looking Forward: 2009 Mantle

My living room mantle presents several challenges. First, it's 65" long, 10" deep, and it wraps the chimney portion of the plaster covered brick with 10" to spare on either side. Drilling into the brick to have picture hooks is nearly impossible, and it's very easy to over-accessorize and make into a "hot-mess".

For two years now, I've tried (and even let Scott try) various things:

March 12, 2007. Thankfully I dated this one. We had only been in the house for 3 months, and I had let Scott arrange the mantle. This is why I decorate, and he cooks.

Then I took my turn, and I came up with this display: (from left to right) a beautiful piece of pottery made by a dear friend in Texas, a garden obelisk, a wooden boat of grapevine lacquered shapes, and two candle lanterns from the "Global Bazaar" section at Target. Not perfect.

The same shot for Rate My Space, February 18, 2008. So as you can see, not much changed. But then, we found that $2 frame at the garage sale, remember? And we framed the painting and limited the accessories to a few.

Of course, this in my opinion, is much better.

Then the Christmas Mantle was created, and it stirred my thinking spoon. I like the natural and earthy feel of this, and what it does overall for the room, and the house.
Then I saw a blog post that featured mounted antlers over art:

I'm not exactly sure what kind of antlers these are, they look like mule deer to me, but I could be wrong. Either way, isn't this lovely?
So with that photo inspiration, I turned to the Internet and started shopping for shed antlers, or resin life-like antlers for the house - not immediately giving much thought to the fireplace. I found several resources providing everything from Moose to Caribou, (oh how I love the lines of the Caribou!) and I decided that I would buy them and think about what to do with them later.
Then, G in Ct., sent me this beautiful photo of his living room:

I absolutely fell in love with this room, but especially the short leather bound books on the mantle, and the way they were displayed. G insists that he has read, or is reading every book in the house, and that these were not purchased for show. I do believe him - he's quite the knowledgeable soul! But no matter, he was inspiring to me.

Then I happened upon a post that shared a milk glass display:

I have collected several milk-glass urns and pedestal vases for flower arranging, and thought how beautiful would these be stacked (at different levels) on leather bound books? Above them would hang two wonderful sets of antlers, Caribou and Mule Deer, and a fresh arrangement of green roses, bells of Ireland, and babies breath would fit nicely in one of the wide-mouthed pedestal vases.
Of course, at this point - it's only my minds vision, but still - it has me thinking about a new slate, a 2009 decorating adventure - and I know I'm not alone. So what do you think of mine? Can you envision it? Isn't it great!? And what are your 2009 projects?