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

 

 

Simple and easy turquoise accented Christmas urn

As promised, here’s my urn and wreath at my city house. As you can see I went with turquoise accents on my Christmas urn, this year.  I love the way the turquoise stands out against the evergreens.

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And a close up.

Closeup of turquoise and evergreen exterior urn

It was super quick this year, I just picked up some cedar and boxwood branches from Loblaws and I used some leftover pine branches that I had brought home from the country and layered them together.  I added in the huge pinecones, which I always seem to use,  along with some birch branches.

I’ve used the turquoise bow and butterfly before and I just pulled them out of my supplies and that was it.  Quick, simple and inexpensive

I also picked up a ready made boxwood wreath and just added a few pinecones and another turquoise butterfly for a super simple DIY.

Exterior christmas wreath with turquoise accents

I love the way the turquoise and green pops against the dark brown door.  Hopefully the boxwood wreath will hold up all the winter.

Exterior urn and wreath with turquoise accents

Exterior christmas urn with turquoise accents.

If you haven’t seen my first Christmas urn I did last week for my cottage, you can see it here.

I also decided to go back and share some of my previous exterior urns and decor from years past. I think you’ll see that I stick with a pretty similar style, year and year.  And they may give you some inspiration to get yours done, if you haven’t already.

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Lisa

This year’s country christmas urn

After our 15-25 cm of snow this weekend, it now looks just like Christmas here! So pretty but NOT so great for driving.

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This past weekend, I got my country log home ready for the holidays (minus the real tree). Have you started your decorating yet?  Yesterday, I did my country Christmas exterior urn and the rest of my entrance’s decor. I rarely have a plan for this, I just go where I’m feeling it, and this is the result.

Exterior Christmas urn with snowflakes

I found these adorable wooden snowflakes at Wicker Emporium last year and I was excited that I fit them into this year’s decor. I kept it pretty simple and rustic with some pine branches, cut from our own trees, my old standby birch branches (from my neighbour’s lot) and some bought cedar branches, as we don’t have cedar on our property.

Closeup of christmas urn with snowflakes

I added in some red dogwood branches in the middle (from my backyard in the city) and of course, a huge pinecone and a sparkly bow to finish it off.

Exterior christmas sled

I also did up my vintage sled and two of the lanterns that I had spray painted black (from their original rusted silver) this summer.

Exterior christmas lantern

Exterior christmas entry with urn and sled

Please ignore all my little wet footprints, everywhere.

Exterior christmas sled

Exterior Christmas urn and lantern

Later this week I’ll be sharing my city home’s exterior urn and I’ll be taking a look back at ALL THE ONES I’ve done in year’s past. Wish me luck finding all those old pics.

Exterior Christmas urn with snowflakes

Lisa

Rustic and warm wedding table setting

Well, so far I’m hitting a new post every 6 weeks…Yikes.  I will be trying to improve my deplorable record in the upcoming weeks.  Stay tuned…..

As I previously mentioned, my son got married at the end of September at our cottage, it was a beautiful day, sunny and a little cool, perfect when you are doing plenty of eating and drinking ;-).

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This wedding was a labour of love and we had many personal touches to make the day extra special for the newlyweds.  My new son-in-law shares of love of all things decor and DIY with me, so we kind of went to town on wedding DIY decor.

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The rustic and warm table settings got many oohs and aah so I thought I’d share them here with you.  Justin, had a very specific vision for them and I just gave him a hand implementing his ideas.  I think they turned out beautifully.

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They had decided on terrariums for the centrepieces, together with some vintage silver vessels filled with tiny baby succulents.

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Aren’t they adorable?  We managed to get most of them done with lots of family help, on the long weekend in September.  The large terrariums were given to the wedding party as a thank you for being part of this special day and we hope they live a very long life in their new homes.

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I think the first thing that was decided upon, was to use burlap runners (hard to see in the following pics).  I found ready made ones online but they were a little short for our long wood tables, so I just sewed two together to make it work for us.

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The table numbers were printed up on paper that looked like chalkboards and we just inserted them into these budget friendly white frames.  The name tags were also printed professionally and placed in “previously loved” wood branch place card holders.

The caterers provided the gorgeous wood boards, and votives and we think that the terrariums looked absolutely spectacular on them.

Together with some beautifully simple white platters and dishes, that pop…. and…VOILA!

You have a simple, rustic yet so interesting and warm wedding table setting.

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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