Our Mantel: An Updated Look

DIY Home DecorFew things seem more central to a home than the hearth. Maybe I feel this way because of my love of the old Russian ovens, which were big enough to take up half a house, and which had convenient little ledges on the top for warm sleeping. Our gas fireplace doesn’t even work (although it could if we shelled out $25 for a charge coupler or something along those lines), and yet I do hope it is the centerpiece of our home, the place where we gather, the place where the things that are most meaningful to us are found. I wrote about our mantel a year and a half ago, and it looks really naked to me in that post. I’ve had some time to think about what I really want to be represented in this space, and I’m really happy with where I’ve landed.

DIY Home DecorThe biggest change is that we moved our engagement photo canvas to our bedroom to make room for a larger wedding canvas. We just love it and the moment it captures. (Thanks to Amy Dale for the gorgeous shot!) The button tree paintings have stayed put, but we moved them out to the side a bit to accommodate the larger canvas.

DIY Home DecorI had also really been wanting to try my hand at wrapping some bottles in yarn. I have been keeping bottles from wine and champagne and fancy vinegars for months, so it was nice to get a few of them out of the way. The yarn is from my current knitting project: a blanket for our living room, so the colors will be echoed there when it’s all finished and on display.

DIY Home DecorI don’t really have a tutorial for wrapping bottles in yarn, but I will say that it’s fairly straightforward until you get to the curved part of the neck: ack! At that point, just give the bottle a good slathering of ModPodge to give the yarn something to stick to as you’re winding it.

DIY Home DecorI got these cute little leather letters at the craft store one day when I needed to break a $20 bill. Fortune smiled upon me. I love our initials together, and I love the vibrant colors.

DIY Home DecorAnd, of course, the pinecones are a new addition. These are the gigantic Ponderosa pinecones I found at Palomar. I hadn’t really given them a thought as decor, even though I loved them, but several people suggested in the comments of that post that I should bring some home with me. Thank you! I am so glad I did, and so happy to have a memory of this special place in our lives right there on the mantel.

Pinecone PickingAs we left Palomar last month, Eric’s dad helped me gather a few pinecones for my collection, and Eric took our picture. I am so glad to have it because it helps me recall the danger of pinecone picking. I mean this in a completely literal fashion: these things will cut you. They totally cut me several times. But then I wised up. I washed them when we got home, to clear out the pine needles and cobwebs and sap, and I didn’t cut myself once. While they were drying, the whole house smelled like a rainy day in a pine forest. A fantastic added bonus.

DIY Home DecorThe garlics (as we so lovingly call them), the leaf garland, and the welded metal heart are all mainstays of the mantel, and they are described in more detail here.

DIY Home DecorI’m so pleased that we’ve gone from this…

DIY Home DecorTo this! More vibrant, more warm, more us.

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