Spring mantel

Whimsy vs. Understated: A Spring Mantel Story

Fun fact: Each holiday I get out our decoration boxes from the garage, and I go through them, pulling out what I want to use and what I don’t.  Half of the stuff I find, I didn’t even know I had, because honestly, MOST of my decorations were passed down to me from my mom (who was the holiday decor QUEEN), and I don’t even remember saying “yea, sure, I’ll take that!”

To be frank, a lot of the stuff I have I have out of guilt (sorry, mom!).  I say this because there are so many decorations I remember from my childhood that just like my mom, I can’t bear to throw away.  Or, even if I could, I feel bad for doing so.  So I will pull things out and because I have a fond memory of them, I will try my darndest to incorporate them into my home.

Spoiler alert: Most of the time it doesn’t work!

Lesson to be learned: Get rid of decor that doesn’t bring you joy NOW – sure I save a few things I think will be cute for future kiddos, but honestly, so much of this stuff I just need to purge!  (Dear Ana, REMEMBER THIS IN THE FUTURE)!

Still with me?!

So this is precisely what happened with my Spring mantel this year.  I pulled out all the cutesy whimsical items from my Easter box (i.e. cutesy felt rabbit) and attempted to make them work with my current style – well, they didn’t.  Now, that’s not to say that I didn’t like my first go at my mantel decor, because I did – and honestly for a house full of kids, I think it would be just perfect!  BUT, this year all my whimsy got used up on my Easter tablescape (read: Easter eggs hanging from out chandelier), and I really was searching for something a bit more understated.  The whimsical version was good for about a week, and then I was overwhelmed by it.

Easter mantel decor
I mean, how much would a few cute kiddos just love this?! I know I would have as a kid!

While the whimsical look is very cute, I was really missing my staple “gather” sign on my tobacco basket, and I had also recently received some vintage brass candlesticks in the mail from a dear IG friend, and I knew I wanted to use them on my mantel.  So, down everything came!

I also wanted to find a way to keep my Eucalyptus going, and after reading in several other blogs about how well it dries, I decided to put it on my tobacco basket along with my gather sign.

Adding the Eucalyptus was easy peasy, I just wove the stems through the top middle portion of the basket until I liked the look, and then used twine to secure it (I used 4 separate ties in places I thought needed a little more security).  I then tied my gather basket back on (also with twine), and up it went!

Ahh, I feel so much better already!

And then it was time for the fun part! I added a few vintage books back, my new brass candlesticks, and of course, because I can’t rid of all the whimsy, 3 moss bunnies I got from Michaels at 40% off! Score!

Elegant Spring Mantel Decor
The after – understated with a little SIDE of whimsy, just how I like it! 🙂

Long story short, I learned 2 things:

  1. Don’t hold on to decor out of guilt – if it doesn’t bring you joy, just donate it!  I guarantee it WILL bring joy to someone else, and what’s the use of keeping it if it just ends up sitting in the box year after year anyway?
  2. Don’t be afraid to change things up until you get them just how you like them! I am SO much happier with my mantel now, especially since I know I have many years of whimsy decor ahead of me when we decide to add a baby, or two!, to the family!

~~~~~

And here’s one more before and afters, just for funsies:

And of course, the final product in all it’s glory:

Springtime mantel decoration
You can even still see the whimsical carrots making an appearance in the bucket on the ladder – I promise I do like a little whimsy!

So there you have it, folks, my Spring mantel decor and a couple decor lessons I learned along the way!

Enjoy!

XO,

Ana

(P.S. Curious how I got my fireplace to look this way?  You can check out my DIY Faux Brick Tutorial HERE, and my How to Wax a Reclaimed Wood Mantel tutorial HERE)!

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