...because home doesn't happen overnight.

It’s been nearly 3 weeks since we dismantled our Christmas mantel.  Since then, I hadn’t done a thing with the mantel.  It was quite empty…until this morning, that is.  In between getting my kindergartener off to school and waiting for my toddler to wake {he’s like a sleeping dragon in the mornings…we try not to wake him unless we have to!}, I had a little time to play around with the mantelscape.  I took cues from the wintry landscape here in the midwest…fluffy snow, naked trees and gray skies.  That might sound depressing, but there is something simply beautiful about barren, snow-covered scenery.  Oh, and I didn’t spend any money.

I incorporated 3 elements:  snow white roses, bare branches and glowing candles.

Handy Hubby surprised me with roses yesterday.  And I mean ‘surprised!’  {Usually I only get flowers from him after I birth one of his offspring.  So, this is a big deal!} They just happened to be white.  I broke the grocery bouquet up into 3 separate arrangements for the mantel.  I like the way they mimic soft snow.

I plucked 2 bare branches from our backyard when I took the trash out this morning.  It doesn’t get any easier than that.  Or cheaper.  They bring an element of nature to the mantel.  I especially like how they twist and climb around the other pieces.

To keep things cozy and warm, I sprinkled in a few tea light candles.  All 3 candleholders are past Goodwill finds.  I love how the lit candles bring the mantel to life.  It almost like it’s living and breathing.  Here are a few more shots to make up for the lack of pretty pictures earlier this week…

As much as I would love some 70° weather {or just 50° would feel like summer at this point}, I’m trying to embrace the beauty of winter.  Especially since we’re in for more snow tomorrow.  What about you?  Have you tried using Mother Nature as inspiration for your decor?  She’s definitely my #1 inspiration.

images:  all Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

21 Comments

19.January.2011

Hi Dana,

I just want to say I love your blog, your house and your style.

As far as using nature to decorate, I actually spray painted a big branch and used it as my Christmas tree for the holidays. Everyone loved it and I didn’t have to spend money on a live tree or a fake one for that matter.

Thanks for your posts!

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replied on January 19th, 2011

Yami – I’ve actually thought of doing that…painting a branch as a Christmas tree. But when I told my family, they just gave me strange looks. Maybe I’ll get up the nerve to do it next year?

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19.January.2011

Brr!! We are in the middle of a cold streak in our summer (it’s still mid 60s) and we’re bundled in blankets and praying for sunshine! Good Luck in the Snow!

PS Your canvas project was included in my typographic round up! Hope you don’t mind! :)

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19.January.2011

What you put together.. is just stunning. Like, out-of-a-magazine-stunning. Gosh I’m envious of your decorating talent :)

My dad said he will build us a mantle. I’m so excited!

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19.January.2011

I wish we had a mantle to decorate. :( But thank you for the eye candy. Gorgeous!!! Love all the pics you included. I’m done with this Winter as well. We are getting snow on Friday…..they think. I can’t look at anymore snow at this point. (NY)

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19.January.2011

I love the textre and soft color contrasts! What color are your living room walls?

Thanks!

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replied on January 19th, 2011

Shelby – Here’s a post about most of the wall colors in our home…

http://www.housetweaking.com/2010/09/14/you-asked-for-it-paint-colors/

If you’re in a hurry, the family room is painted Valspar {Lowe’s} Bonsai.

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19.January.2011

Ahhh! Your mantle looks GREAT!

I’ve had so much trouble knowing what to do with our mantle since moving to this house six months ago. It’s huge — the mantle is 8′ long and 6’4″ above the floor, but only 6.5″ deep. Since the mantle is way above eye level and we have an open floor plan with cathedral ceilings, I feel like I need much larger, bolder items for the mantle than I had in my previous house… but I can’t seem to figure out WHAT.

Any recommendations?

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replied on January 19th, 2011

R8chel – Email me some pics. I’d love to take a look and offer some suggestions.

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19.January.2011

Before I started reading I thought you were going to say the first photo was your inspiration photo. I love the simple beauty, it really looks like winter. I wish we would get a good storm here in DC, I miss snowy Maine.

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19.January.2011

absolutely beautiful! I wish my mantle looked half as nice as yours. You have such talent!

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19.January.2011

I love checking out your blog to see what new and cool things you have created! Question: how do you store all your decorations a.k.a. great finds from Goodwill when not in use? I know I have things around, but can never find them when I need them. Thanks!

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replied on January 20th, 2011

Jennifer – I store most of them in my craft closet {in the guest bedroom}. See that here…

http://www.housetweaking.com/2010/04/15/craft-closet-mission-accomplished/

I ‘shop’ in there at least once every couple of months to switch things up.

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20.January.2011

I Love, love, love your style! I am horrible at accessorizing and making final decisions on rooms. Do you do mood boards for random people like me:)!

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Saw your blog on My Sweet Savannah ~ love it!! I’m your newest follower!

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22.January.2011

Love what you did with the mantle! So simple and yet so elegant!

One little quibble: “queues” — I think you meant “clues” — clues is a hint/queues is a line . . .

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22.January.2011

Thanks for sharing your beautiful mantle, I’m inspired to switch mine up. Could share where you got the mirror? It’s great, I’ve been looking for something similar but it seems all of the round mirrors I find are huge (36″ +). Thanks!

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22.January.2011

Chris at Just A Girl posted about your blog in her blog hopping today, I LOVE your blog. Like I need to follow another blogger, but I couldn’t resist yours. I might have to sleep less in order to keep up with my google reader.

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07.February.2011

I was wondering where you got that great wooden stool? It’s exactly what i need! And do you know if it is available in/ships to Australia?
Thanks in advance!

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replied on February 7th, 2011

Miriam – The scalloped wooden side table/stool is from Ballard Designs Outlet. Not sure is they are available in Australia??? You could check their website.

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