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Monochromatic Mantle

January 18, 2010

Our Christmas decorations are finally down.

Yup.  January 18th.  No need to applause.  For us, I think it was good timing.  But other’s might have a different opinion.  I hear that in some neighborhoods, if your holiday decor isn’t put away by the 10th, they reserve the right to egg your house, fork your yard, roll your trees, or seran wrap your cars.  And that’s before the caning and maiming begins.  Or maybe that is something that I just made up.  Either way, I kinda miss the tree.  It’s that dang sparkle.  It’s addicting.  

Well, anyhoo.  I decided that with the Christmas stuff put away, it was time to reevaluate our decor arrangement.  Nothing like a new year to get the head gears turning with new ways to make our home feel a little more homey. 

I started with the mantle.  Here’s what it looked like before December:

Since I have been seeing a lot more honey colored textures in the Pottery Barn catalog lately (like here & here & here), I decided that this warm woody feel would be just the ticket to melt my heart.  And then I remembered a pile of stuff that my mom gave me from her yard sale last year.  Enter the flat-woven-basket-thingie.  I immediately put it over the mantle to test for scale.

I always do that first, ya know?  Test for scale.  If the piece is too small or too large, then it won’t work.  But this time, it worked harder than Ryan Seacrest.  Then I just kept the framed homemade art & the birdcage up and added a stack of neutral binded books for a complete right side.  The other side was fairly simple.  The three candlesticks & the ceramic vase of white faux Poinsettia stayed from our Christmas mantlescape…but the candles themselves got a switcheroo.  The previous ones were too short to balance out the entire arrangement so I just popped in taller versions. 

Since I liked the mirror on the coffee table so much, I decided that it was gonna stay kaput.   

And the circular mirror was the start to a ’round theme’.  On top it had a round metal pot with round moss orbs, a Goodwill bird with a round body, and a round white vase with a fern that is struggling back to life.   It’s my fault.  I don’t do well with growin’ stuff.  Except when that stuff is in my belly.  I’m pretty good at feeding those things.  A little too well, according to my midwife  :) 

Whattaya think? 

Is it an improvement? 

Maybe this will help you.  Here’s a little reminder of how it looked before Christmas, during the holidays & now:


It’s always nice to switch things up once in a while.  I can relate to Britney’s dating life like that.  She switches boys, I switch decor.  We are practically BFFs. 

Seriously though….anyone else out there finally take down your Christmas decor?  Or maybe you are one of those folks who can’t stand it when the twinkle-lights are up past the New Year?  Anyone venture into the land of honey-hued textures?  Or maybe you are like me and wanna make me feel better about almost killing our little love-fern?  (name that movie!) 

63 Comments leave one →
  1. January 18, 2010 2:02 pm

    I really like the added texture, very nice!

  2. January 18, 2010 2:18 pm

    Love it! It’s warm and inviting – a nice switch from the minimalist mantle (not that I didn’t like that look too!)

  3. amy permalink
    January 18, 2010 2:18 pm

    I still have 2 small trees up on our cathedral ceiling shelves in the great room, the snowflake stocking holders on the mantle, all my snow globes, and the trifle bowl with bulbs on the coffee table. I’ll take them down when it’s not “wintery” anymore. That’s my reason for leaving them up. They are more wintery items than Christmas. Except for the trees, they are 10 foot up in the air so they aren’t that noticeable.

  4. amy permalink
    January 18, 2010 2:19 pm

    Oh! And the movie is How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days!

  5. January 18, 2010 2:21 pm

    You titled this “monochromatic” but it is anything but!! The woven thingy adds so much interest and a punch of warmth and new color. Love it!

  6. January 18, 2010 2:23 pm

    How to lose a guy in 10 days! Love it!

    I also love the added texture. The scale of the flat basket is perfect!

  7. Erynn permalink
    January 18, 2010 2:26 pm

    Just completed my take-down over the weekend as well! Glad to know I was in good company.

    PS “How to Lose a Guy (In 10 days)” is one of my FAVORITE movies.

  8. Amber permalink
    January 18, 2010 2:27 pm

    Love changing things around. Makes things feel new to me. Name that movie would be How to lose a guy in 10 days :) Also don’t feel bad that you left up your tree until now. I have a friend that keeps up her tree until the end of January. It’s a custom for them…and I still have my outside lights up :)

  9. January 18, 2010 2:30 pm

    Whew! I’m glad that I am in good company with my late-take-down-tactic.
    It helps to know I am not the only one with a taste for procrastination :)

    XO – KB

  10. January 18, 2010 2:30 pm

    haha – how to lose a guy in 10 days. 10 points!

    We just took our tree down last weekend. We’re kinda creative in the tree-taking-down dept. As in, we burn it in our fireplace. Pics from last year here if you’re interested:

    Also – love the new mantle-scape! I like the clustered candles and fuller look. Nice work!!

    ps – I kill all green things that enter my home. My MIL gave me some plants last year and they’re making it so far…except the one that died. Well, and the other one that’s almost dead. Whoops.

  11. Allison permalink
    January 18, 2010 2:33 pm

    No firm take-down-the-Christmas-decoration deadlines for me. But I finally took it all down this weekend too, thanks to some nudging from the hubby.

    I like the new mantlescape. It has texture and it’s very warm and welcoming to me.

  12. January 18, 2010 2:38 pm

    I’m in the process of packing up Christmas right now. Well, taking a break from it. Love the honey, and the stack of books is adorable!

  13. January 18, 2010 2:45 pm

    I love the new look! Very refreshing. And a midwife? Oh, now I’m intrigued as to what your birth plan is. Midwife in a hospital, a birthing center, at home? Do tell!

  14. Lesley permalink
    January 18, 2010 2:46 pm

    The new mantle is my favorite of the three!

  15. Vicki permalink
    January 18, 2010 2:55 pm

    I still haev my wintery looking garland and gold wire evergreen tree on my mantle…is that bad? ;) I love the basket on the mantle but wanted to ask – have you considered pulling the accent color in your pillows up to the mantle?

  16. January 18, 2010 3:05 pm

    Hey Vicki,
    Actually I have! I guess right now I am all about making this room a transitional room…aka uber-neutral…because it links our living room & our kitchen. I do have small pops of green here and there but for now that amount is suiting me just fine. In the future, I might get more bold with the green but I gotta be careful not to have a GREEN home – especially since the kitchen has it & the LR too :)

    XO – KB

  17. January 18, 2010 3:02 pm

    Please don’t poke fun- but our Christmas decor is still out and I haven’t even started to think about putting it away- until right now when I read your post. I suppose I should use this rare day off to pack things away… but its almost 55 degrees out right now and oh so sunny…. so maybe next weekend??

  18. January 18, 2010 3:03 pm

    I took mine down on the 12th – what can I say? I loved looking at my tree!!

  19. January 18, 2010 3:06 pm

    Big thumbs up – I love the look! I really like how you pulled in all the natural colors.

  20. January 18, 2010 3:10 pm

    I like the pop of color and texture!

  21. January 18, 2010 3:18 pm

    love the new mantle…looks great!

  22. January 18, 2010 3:38 pm

    I like it! It’s so warm! And, I’m with you. I had to completely re-evaluate the decor after christmas. new year = new scheme.

  23. Christine permalink
    January 18, 2010 3:43 pm

    It looked nice before but the natural color & texture you have there now really warms it up. I’d love to see some bright, springy flowers in that vase when it warms up a bit.

  24. Amy permalink
    January 18, 2010 3:50 pm

    What happened with the basement? Any updates on your weekend tackle job?

  25. January 18, 2010 4:17 pm

    Amy –
    We did tackle the headboard this past weekend…it still needs some finishing touches though. The whole room needs a little more time though. You gotta stay tuned…I should have an update for ya by tomorrow!

    XO – KB

  26. Amber permalink
    January 18, 2010 4:05 pm

    The new mantle looks beautiful!

    This is probably not something I should admit, but I refuse to take down the Christmas tree until it actually dies. Last year, I had it up until mid-February. I guess it’s a good thing I haven’t gone the fake route yet!

  27. January 18, 2010 4:16 pm

    Love the new mantle – especially the basket thingy. Great job!

  28. January 18, 2010 4:21 pm

    Love the after with the basket. It looks great. Adds depth and texture. The old way almost seemed bare. Looks great. I too love to switch it up a bit. Gets boring and stagnant after a while.

  29. January 18, 2010 4:49 pm

    I am taking mine down today! The tree is bare, but still standing! The wreath is sitting on the chair and…..It’s to much to talk about, but I’m almost done! Love the Mantle all three ways!

  30. January 18, 2010 4:50 pm

    I can’t take down my paper cutout snowflakes.

    I loooove How to Loose a Guy!

    Little? Big? Little? Big? I do not know. We will find out!

  31. January 18, 2010 5:18 pm

    I love your decorating style. We actually have the same set of three photographs that you put above your plasma TV. Ours are in the same order in master bedroom :)

  32. January 18, 2010 5:31 pm

    Love it! Looks great. Thanks for always inspiring us to change things up a bit.

  33. Shannon permalink
    January 18, 2010 6:36 pm

    love it and love the ideas I’m gettin’ from ya! keep it up!

  34. January 18, 2010 6:40 pm

    I like it! Looks softer and homey! Score!

  35. Tracy permalink
    January 18, 2010 7:57 pm

    I love all 3 of course, but the updated one does bring some warmth and texture to the room. Kudos!

  36. January 18, 2010 8:15 pm

    i like it…our christmas has been put away for awhile and the boxes finally made it to the garage yesterday! looking at your mantle makes me think mine lacks all things wonderful. where did you get your candle holders. I’ve been on a quest for awhile and have found nothing. thanks!!

  37. January 18, 2010 9:26 pm

    Hi Laura Koontz,
    I got my candle holders at Goodwill (big surprise, right?) You could always find ones that you like that are cheap but with a good shape and spraypaint them high-gloss white.
    Happy shopping!
    XO – Kay to the Tee

  38. January 18, 2010 8:58 pm

    Love the new mantle decor! We just took our Christmas lights down. I feel so much better knowing we aren’t the only ones. In fact, as of last night our neighbors were still lighting theirs, so we feel no pressure. :)

  39. January 18, 2010 9:11 pm

    I love the changes! It looks so much warmer now, and more inviting. And the mirror works great on the coffee table, too. (By the way, we took our Christmas decorations down on Jan. 8:)

  40. Michele Daggar permalink
    January 18, 2010 9:20 pm

    Just finished putting the last of the Christmas stuff away minutes ago!

    I really like what you did with the mantle. Love the texture of the “basket thingie” I never would have thought of doing that. This and your love of bacon are just two of the many reasons I love your blog.

    By the way one of my best friends has a son named Will. He’s the sweetest kid and smart too. Just sayin …..

  41. January 18, 2010 9:23 pm

    Love the mantle and the table!

    Totally unrelated, but I was thinking of you when I posted today about a meatloaf recipe that involves wrapping the loaf with bacon. I was worried that pictures of raw bacon might be too much, but I knew that you would approve!

  42. January 18, 2010 9:49 pm

    I love this! Thanks for posting about your mantle – I really need to update ours. I think balance is my problem…go figure. Thanks again!


  43. elvira permalink
    January 18, 2010 10:19 pm

    What is a good guideline for scale on a mantel? Especially for round objects? How many inches around is too much, too small, just right?

  44. January 18, 2010 11:30 pm

    Love the new texture. I just took our Christmas decorations down this past Saturday. My husband got it all back in the attic Sunday.

  45. January 19, 2010 12:13 am

    Our walls look so bare now! I still absolutely love that twig star thing.

  46. candace permalink
    January 19, 2010 9:04 am

    I love how you switch things out and use different textures to create depth and dimension. Totally fab!

  47. January 19, 2010 9:14 am

    The honey-hued tone definitely works for your room. Although I am a fan of that round mirror. :) So I was glad to see it on your table still.

    As for the love fern, that would be How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. Great movie!

  48. January 19, 2010 9:28 am

    I actually liked the “before” picture best! I mean, I like them all, but I guess I’m just drawn to the simplicity of the first one. Either way I was SO excited to see a close up of your fireplace–it is exactly like ours (well, how I want ours to be eventually) with the raised hearth, etc. It’s been so hard to find inspiration pictures because everyone’s fireplace always seems to start on the floor. Anyway, did your fireplace always look that amazing, or are there scary “before” pictures (although, nothing can be scarier than our before/current pictures LOL). Thanks!

  49. Carrie permalink
    January 19, 2010 9:40 am

    It’s so funny that you posted this because I just took down my Christmas decor over the weekend, and I’ve been struggling with a new mantle arrangement! Thanks for 1)the fantastic inspiration, and 2)helping me feel better about being the last house on my street to put away the Christmas decorations! ;-)

  50. January 19, 2010 10:32 am

    I like your mantle all 3 ways. What is your living room wall color? I love it.

    Oh, and our Christmas tree is still up. At least I took the wreath off the door. I promise I’ll have it down by the weekend. (I know, I know…)

  51. January 19, 2010 11:00 am

    Hi Keeley –
    Our living room wall color is Olympic’s Stony Creek…but I think you might be referring to our den (these photos are of what we refer to as our den)…which is Olympic’s Dusty Trail. Confusing, huh?
    Well, check out this source list for more clarity. Hope this helps!
    XO – Katie

  52. January 19, 2010 11:45 am

    Love the new mantle arrangement and the coffee table.
    My favorite part is the birdcage, I love all bird things. I have been on the lookout for a little birdcage like that. Goodwill, I assume?

  53. Lori permalink
    January 19, 2010 1:53 pm

    Me likey! It’s warm and natural; just the way I like my decor. Nicely done!

  54. January 19, 2010 7:00 pm

    It looks good, I always love how you put things together – very chic

  55. maggie permalink
    January 20, 2010 2:16 am

    Although my lights are down, my inside decor is still up. Not really sure when I’ll get around to it! I love your new mantle!

  56. January 21, 2010 4:36 pm

    I LOVE it! I have a Mantel Party every Friday and would love to have you link up some time. This is fantastic.

  57. January 21, 2010 6:17 pm

    very, very nice!!!!!!

  58. January 22, 2010 11:12 pm

    OK, I posted earlier but my puter died. First of all, I thought that said Michelle Duggar up there commenting and I about flipped. Second, LOVE that you aren’t using the mirror!!! Mirrors reflect the only not-pretty part of your room (ceilings and sometimes ceiling fans). This is just my humble opinion which is not worth much. But love this end result!

  59. January 23, 2010 12:26 pm

    Wow! I love love love the mantle! Make me want to go find a large basket like yours, right now, while in my jammies! Nice job!

  60. January 23, 2010 6:58 pm

    Ooooh Love it! Looks splendid. Really splendid!

  61. January 24, 2010 10:48 pm

    It looks great!

  62. January 27, 2010 7:00 pm

    Ummm, we never put our xmas decor UP really. I blame the saucy eggnog that I drank all during the holidays. I kinda forgot what I was doing midway thru doing them……

    I LOVE monochromatic mantles & adore yours. Beautiful transformation!!


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