Fall mantel (and a party!)

Early fall hydrangeas

Well, it’s here and I’m happy. I absolutely, positively LOVE this time of year. Just…I can’t even. It’s awesome. :)

To celebrate this beautiful season my friends and I are hosting a series of fall linkies to inspire: fall decorating ideas

We’ve done this for years now and I love it!

I was traveling last weekend so was kind of rushing to get this mantel up, but then I got sidetracked by a little DIY project…again. This happens a lot. :) Last year when I installed the planks above the fireplace I never painted them. They were primed so they looked fine so I left them. But they’ve started looking dingy lately so it was time to get that done:

You can see the difference in the color there – two coats later I was done.

Next up – figure out what to do for this year’s fall mantel! I wanted it to be two things – simpler than usual and I wanted to use more natural materials. (Read: I didn’t want to have to pull out the fall bins.) I’m trying to use more natural, textural items to decorate for this year. Partly because I want to stop storing so much decor year to year and also because it’s a just a challenge. And it’s fun for me because it shows how you can use things that you may already have.

One thing I have this year is my pee gee hydrangea tree – two of them to be exact. The blooms were BIG and plentiful this year, much bigger than last year. And this time of year they are a gorgeous pink/green color. I just totally adore them!:

Pee gee hydrangea tree

I’ve made it clear over the years that I love hydrangeas and it is a thrill that I finally have some beautiful blooms to use. :)

So I went through the house, finding some shiny, some natural, some items with texture, and I used a LOT of hydrangeas:

Fall mantel Hydrangea fall mantel 

I didn’t buy anything new for the decorating, but I did recently pick up that little brown votive holder at Target a couple weeks ago. I just loved it’s deep chocolate color – I couldn’t pass it up. I’ve had those (faux) artichokes for years and I thought they pulled in the color of the hydrangeas beautifully.

The candlesticks I use a lot on the mantel in the fall (I used them last year too) just because I love the copper color. (They are spray painted from Goodwill.) And I was inspired by Heather’s mantel and pulled in the Manzanita branch for some texture.

I used the smaller blooms from my limelight bush and the larger ones from the pee gee trees:

Fall mantel with hydrangeas

I wanted to pull in some blue from the rug and other accessories but didn’t really have much to work with (and I didn’t love it with the hydrangea colors) – so I just went with the browns, greens and a touch of the pinky color.

You may remember this area used to be a corner fireplace (with an inset mantel). I cannot tell you how happy I am to have a wall above it now!:

How to decorate a mantel

I’m actually playing with another change in my head but it will be awhile before it happens (if it does). I’ll need all that time to plan it out anyway. ;)

I really adore this cozy spot in our family room now:

Natural fall mantel in family room

And just so you know, cause I get asked this every time I share this space, the chair is turned away from the fireplace because it faces into the room and the TV. :)

Now it’s time to see yours! I can’t wait!! I’m SO ready for some fall inspiration! (And be sure to link up to Layla’s on Thursday with your fall crafts!)

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