Two mantels, two different looks

Mantels are one of the best places to decorate for the holidays and if you are like me, you love looking at different ones and different styles to get some ideas for your own.

I’m lucky enough to get to do two totally different ones every year, just for me.  Here’s my cottage mantel that I keep pretty minimal and rustic, totally appropriate for the country setting that it is in.

RUSTIC COUNTRY CHRISTMAS FIREPLACE

 

Photo credit: Justin Frost

RUSTIC COUNTRY CHRISTMAS MANTEL RUSTIC COUNTRY CHRISTMAS MANTEL RUSTIC COUNTRY CHRISTMAS MANTEL

 

I used lots of fresh local greenery, some pinecones in a vintage apothecary jar, some antique encyclopedias (which I have sprinkled around the entire place), some sparkly grapevine balls, a birdcage and of course some candleholders. Honestly, this mantel took me all of half an hour to do. Quick, simple and rustic, just the way I like my country Christmas mantels.

Now for my city house, I went with a more sophisticated style.

CHIC AND CLASSIC, GREEN, BLACK AND WHITE CHRISTMAS MANTEL

CHIC AND CLASSIC, GREEN, BLACK AND WHITE CHRISTMAS MANTEL

CHIC AND CLASSIC, GREEN, BLACK AND WHITE CHRISTMAS MANTEL

Some similar elements here, fresh greenery and some dried magnolia leaves (they do last a few years, if you are careful when you store them), some fairy lights and of course candlesticks and candles. I may just tuck in some white and clear christmas balls amongst the leaves, at some point.  Pretty, simple and classic, perfect for my home in the city.

Merry Christmas!

Lisa

 

 

How to hang a wall full of plates

It feels so much like spring here, even though it is really still a few weeks away, but that’s okay we will definitely take it.  When spring hits, I always get a little bit of spring decorating fever. Are you like me and want to repaint the entire house and change up all the accessories?

Well, the last few weekends I’ve kept myself busy redoing my dining room plate wall at our cottage.  And I’m absolutely loving the results below.

Blue and green plate wall

When we purchased the cottage, the wall looked like this.

Before - plate wall with plate railsI loved the idea of decorating with plates, but I wanted to modernize it and give it more of a free flowing feel.  So here’s the step by steps on how to achieve your new plate wall.

First off, I removed the plate rails and filled all the holes in the wall. Then after a quick coat of paint on this wall, I got started.

Oh yes, before I forget, I purchased these Plate Hangers from Ebay.  I didn’t want to use regular plate hangers as I wanted a more clean and modern look, but feel free to use whatever hanging method you prefer.

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1.  You want to gather all the plates and lids (I used one casserole lid that was minus a casserole bottom) that you would like to hang. I would suggest keeping a somewhat cohesive theme, like I did with mostly blue, green, and white plates. But don’t be too rigid, a few surprises are always a good thing.

2. Measure out the width and height of the wall area that you are looking to cover. Once you have these dimensions, tape out these measurements on a flat surface, a table or perhaps the floor, and start playing with the plate placement.

3. Tips for plate placement –  I placed the larger plates first and then added the smaller plates. I also tried to disperse similar colours evenly throughout.

Blue and green plate wall

4. Next, I cut out newspaper templates of each plate and labelled it with the plate colour. I then followed the instructions for the plate hangers and left them to glue on the backs of the plates overnight.

5. Mimicing the plate placement on my table, I taped the newspaper templates on the wall (with painter’s tape) and stood back.  I adjusted them to ensure a fairly consistent space between the plates and kept standing back to see how it looked overall.

Blue and green plate wall

6. Once I was happy with the placement on the wall, I measured the back of the plate, from the hook of the plate hanger to the edge of the plate, and marked the corresponding measurement on the newspaper template, so that I knew exactly where to place the screw.

7. Once I had each screw in place, I removed the newspaper and hung the corresponding plate. I worked from the top to the bottom and it went really, really quickly.

So here it is ALL DONE! As you can see, there is lots of room to grow. It is my perfect excuse to hit up the antique/vintage stores and garage sales this spring/summer to fill it all in.

Blue and green plate wall

Blue and green plate wall Blue and green plate wall

Blue and green plate wall

Blue and green plate wall

 

Lisa

And it’s open – Artemano in Ottawa

Artemano’s grand opening last night was a great evening.  Lots of wonderfully dressed people came out to welcome this new store to Ottawa’s design landscape.

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Vintage pieces like the door above, mix with the organic.  Btw – I took these pictures about a week before the event so that I got clearer views.

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This daybed was a favourite spot to sit and get your photo taken.

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This little desks are just the cutest things.

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These bell lanterns had me at HELLO! I am seriously bothering the better half to get one installed at the cottage.

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This bedroom was my favourite space, from the textured, stacked wood wall, to the moody blue/gray walls, to the Leonard Cohen quote (which coincidentally I had on my website for many years), to the huge and glamourous mirror, to the dramatic basket lights, and finally to that BED!

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It was a great evening, filled with fabulous wine, great food, wonderful live music, and lots of very thrilled Ottawans to have another great furniture store in the Capital.  Thanks to all who attended!

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PS.  I also wrote a short write up for Ottawa at Home’s blog, click here to read it.

Lisa

A fire table and a photo gallery wall

Well, I’m happy to report that the fire table was up and running this past weekend, just in time for our wonderful avalanche of guests for the next month.  Click here to see my previous post which shows our inspiration for the table.

We christened it on Saturday night with some good friends and a little bit of Prosecco, they were kind enough to bring.

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Here’s a little better shot of it the next morning.  My hubby did such a great job of it.  I picture many evenings here with a glass of wine….sigh….

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So totally in love with it, but a little disconcerting when later Saturday night, the bugs just kept flying right into the flames.  We are now nicknaming it,  the insect crematorium 🙂

And on another note, I’ve started a photo gallery wall in the upstairs  hall.  It’s been a long time coming, since I wanted to do it ever since we moved in.  Keep in mind that it is just in the beginning stages and it will be added to in the years to come, as it’s a very long hall.  My friend, Mary Anne was kind enough to donate some of her antique finds and I thought they would be a great addition to the gallery wall.  I always like to mix it up and not just have photos and artwork on a gallery wall.

Here’s my process, first I trace the outline of the frames on to newspaper and then cut them out.  With painters tape I arrange them on the wall.  This way you can change it up until you like what you see.  Much easier than putting a huge amount of nails in the wall.  This picture was taken after I had already hung some new frames, I did use the newspaper trick for them as well, just didn’t get a shot of it :-/

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And the semifinished wall. Sorry for the blurred out faces but I just don’t feel right posting pictures of my kids on the internet.

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I’m off to help out my son and his fiancé, with their own art gallery wall tonight. Should be fun!

Lisa

Weekend meanderings and a new fireplace.

So how was your weekend? Great, I hope.  Mine, well I had a pretty productive weekend.  After three winters of dealing with the noisy and not so pretty wood pellet stove, it was time for it to go.  We put in a high efficiency and as large as we could fit, wood insert, to try and help with the exorbitant heating bills that we keep receiving, especially during this particularly long and cold winter.  And as an added bonus, it’s actually quite pretty in a masculine, log home kind of way.

This is the before –

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And the after (but I think you could have figured it out on your own) –

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So much better in my opinion.  It smells so good, you can see the fire so much better and we are certainly clearing up our stash of logs from some previous tree cutting.  There are only two things I would change, I wish it would have fit a little more flush into the space, but this was as good as we could get and I wish I had managed to clean off some of the soot on the stone, prior to the installation.  Does anyone have any good tips for cleaning the stone?  I’m all ears!

I also worked a little on the laundry room and managed to get some stencilling done.  I’m hoping to share the complete makeover next week.

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And speaking of this never ending winter, I was determined to de winterize the cottage decor.  Here’s some of the results.

mirror bunnies oars

So what were you up to?

Lisa