Our mantel still had the pussy willows in beer bottles spring display that you can see here. It really was time for a change.
So here is what I did:
We already have a large engraving hung over our fireplace which I used as my starting off point. Steven and Chris used a large vertical mirror resting on the mantel, but our engraving is already hung several inches above the mantel so I went with it.
I had to pinch the woodblock print of the woman fly-fishing from the front hall. It not only had the golds and blacks that went with the engraving, but it seemed sort of summery with the fishing.
I'm not sure if the Mason jars have movement or not, but I liked the summery colours so I used them. I also had them in two different heights which was good so that I could get the all important triangle shape.
I had a much harder time decorating the right side of the mantel than the left. I decided to try the nautical knots that I won in a giveaway from Suzanne at Meridian Road last year. I really like their texture and symmetry and I love how much they help evoke the summer mood.
I tried several versions of tall wispy branches, but they all just looked strange in front of the engraving so I finally went with a tall glass cylinder candle holder (which you can see in the photo above). It's tall enough to overlap with the frame of the etching which helps bridge the gap between the mantel and the etching.
When step 6 called for boxes, I immediately thought of the beautiful box that Malcolm and Christie gave us for our 30th anniversary. The box needed a little height so I tried stacking numerous things on top of it which I will show you in the photos at the end of the post.
I also added an additional item under the etching as it seemed a little bare on the mantel since the etching is hanging rather than leaning. I tried several things in that spot as well.
So here's a sketch of Steven and Chris's final version:
And here are some photos of variations that I went through (trying out different things on the box and under the etching):
Any one of these versions call out to you as the clear winner? I'm really not sure which one I like best, although the last version is the one I left.
I have to say it was a useful exercise. It helped me decorate the mantel with more confidence and made me try items that I wouldn't have ordinarily put together.
So thanks Steven and Chris! Anyone else want to give it a try?
Linked to Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style
Good Life at A Beach Cottage
Swing Into Spring at DIY by Design
Home May'd Summer Mantel Party at The Lettered Cottage
Magazine Copy Cat Challenge at Debbiedoo's Blogging and Blabbing