I think one of the reasons I love the Christmas season so much is that, once the craziness is over (my partner and I pretty much live this every year), there is time to slow down, to cosy up at home with some lovely candles burning, the glow of the tree, the sound of vintage Christmas tunes, a good book and something yummy to sip.
Okay, perhaps I am overselling a bit. In fact, I am willing to bet that the only people who notice much difference from Version 1 of the mantel to Version 3 of the mantel are me and a few equally finicky folk out there. 🙂
For this (final?) version, I added the candlesticks back in– I felt that the vignette needed the height they bring.
I like the way the lights drape across the mantel– looks sort of casual and brings the light down to the larger owl.
So, that’s that. I may or may not change it up at Christmas…
So, the frosted bulbs that looked so great in my dreams (and, admittedly, in the photos!), proved to be just a bit “too much” in real life. The mantel-scape just looked far too busy and the room looked confused and overly full.
Time for Plan B. Swap out the frosted bulbs (sob!) for the clear ones. Try the larger sized bulbs b/c there are fewer on a string and that might solve the “too busy” problem.
Try it without the candlesticks– one of the problems with the first version was that the candlesticks were competing with the frosted bulbs, but without them, things looked wrong somehow… I love my little owls from West Elm, and all the vintage books from my childhood (some were my dad’s and some my grandmother’s when they were little)
so I wanted to keep them in the vignette.
Still not happy with this version, I knew I’d have to try a third version.
Do you have “summer” and “winter” looks for your home? I do.* I started doing the seasonal decor switch-up (in our living room) when we bought our house. The summer look is lighter, more neutral; the winter look includes pops of ruby red. While both include a few of my favourite things, there are a few differences between the two. The summer look includes shells, jute twine, beach glass and white pebbles. The winter look includes pine-cones, old books, mercury glass.
In a classic case of the shoemakers’ children, the living room’s summer decor ended up looking a bit mish-mashy and messy this year — one day, I just shoved all the mason jars I’d been using as candle holders for a dinner party onto the mantel– too lazy to put them away properly. I couldn’t get the garland on the picture frame right; there are usually two, one made of beach glass, and they usually look quite pretty. This year, I put up a fabric one I’d made from Liberty prints and antique chandelier crystals; I usually love it, but this summer, it just left me cold. Meh.
I just never really got this look together.
But then the seasons changed and I began to fantasize about using my sweet little café lights….. It took several tries over the course of a few days, but I ended up with something I like.
Here is Version #1. Looks pretty good in photos, but looked too “busy” in real life.
Stay tuned for the rest of the process!
*I am pretty sure this practice was invented by decor junkies as an excuse for us to “redecorate” twice a year. Don’t even get me started on holiday decor! 😉
Here are a few pictures of my attempts to make a little corner of a very ugly and unwelcoming space look cozy and inviting, a fitting home for my little wares this past Saturday. Setting up the display is half the fun for me, and although I find the hideousness of the space frustrating, I try to see it as a fun challenge, rather than a liability.
Or so I tell myself. 😉
The sodium arc lights are ghastly and make everything look horrid, so I thought I’d bring a bit of my own mood lighting this year. It didn’t really work, but it made me feel a lot better; at least I knew I’d tried!