Have you started transitioning your decor from spring to summer? Almost all of my pastel pieces are put away, and the bunnies and eggs are stashed until next spring! I’m now leaning toward a light, neutral feel in much of our home. I still have plenty of spaces with lots of color and holiday decor, but our main living area stays simpler during the summer. With hot, humid, and very long summers here in Georgia, I want everything to have a light, airy look. I love for our family and guests to not only feel physical relief from the heat, but to also feel light in heart and spirit!
We were gifted this antique mantel from some dear friends of ours. It has become one of my favorite places to style and is a beloved “treasure” now! I tend to keep our living room decor fairly simple. I do this by keeping the decor pieces in a few key areas. I also use pieces that will last for several weeks or even months without having to worry about if I am “out of season.” I also keep the color scheme pretty neutral. But YOU don’t have to do that! Use more decor pieces if that makes you smile! If color makes you happy, happy, happy, use it by the bucketful! Planning and styling a beautiful mantel that will last throughout the summer can be very easy if you just follow a few tips.
Layering vertically and horizontally
Layering is one of the most important details in design! Why? Because it gives depth and visual interest. I could have just put one large picture on top of the mantel, but layering three pieces really fills the space and is much more interesting to look at. It might seem hard at first to get the right feel of layering, but once you get the hang of it, you won’t ever skip this step! Using items that have different heights and widths is a given. But also think about different weights.
I first started layering on top of the mantel. I almost always have this large, vintage window that I use as a backdrop to whatever else I place up there. It lends height and weight, but because the window is see through and the frame is white, it keeps it from being overpowering. I then layered an old mirror that I found while out junking. Let me tell you a secret. The frame is actually plastic! It certainly isn’t vintage, but the mirror already had some weathering, and I loved the details on the frame. A quick coat of chalk paint made it a perfect neutral piece to use all the time. Without touching it, you would never know that it was plastic! Finally I found this beautiful print at Hobby Lobby. Even though it is the smallest item in this layered section, the eye is drawn to it because of the design and the darker color.
A woven rug, a cable knit blanket, and a printed pillow cover can all work really well together. In this case, everything is pretty neutral, and there aren’t any patterns competing with another.
Remember layering can happen horizontally as well as vertically. Stacking the blanket on top of the rug and then adding the pillow on top is another fun way to add that layering interest!
Mixing Old with New
Did you catch how I already mixed old with new in the layering pieces on top of the mantel? I love antique and vintage pieces. They have so much character, and I love the idea of having things with a story behind them in my home. If they are personal in some way to me, even better! Very rarely do I ever say “no” to my mom when she asks me if I want “this old thing that she forgot she had!” Those are the best! However, don’t be afraid to shop regular stores for other pieces to mix in. You want your home to be unique to you, but that doesn’t mean that every single item in your home has to be one of a kind!
This wood box has a special meaning to me. It was originally my grandmother’s kitchen table, and then it was passed on to my mom and dad. It was the kitchen table that I grew up with! But honestly, the table was in rough shape. It was time to repurpose it for other things. I was able to build this box using the leaf from the table. I use the box for all kinds of decor options, but this time I simply filled it with old canning jars and simple greenery from Jo-Ann. Mixing old and new can be beautiful! By the way, yes I did use the other pieces of grandma’s table! I’ll have to share that another time.
Using Different Textures
Finally, using a mix of different textures will keep your eye moving around the vignette. The most obvious textures around the mantel are the pillows, blankets, and rug. However, there are more textures going on that you may not even think about. Those chippy architectural spindles, the rusty egg crate, the metal bucket, and the florals all have a variety of textures. Even the faux brick wallpaper that I used in the mantel opening gives the idea of another texture being used.
Using different kinds of elements will also lend to textural interest. Wood, glass, metal, fabrics, etc.
I found this egg basket at a local salvage store. I loved the look of the basket anyway, but the fact that the basket was from an old egg business in Georgia made it a little more special! I still can’t figure out how the eggs stayed in that basket though! I have collected the spindles for a while now, and I like how they look all bunched together. I just love looking at all that chippy goodness! Please tell me I’m not the only one….
Since I make pillow covers for my shop, I do tend to have quite a collection of them! But it is so nice to change out the look of my pillows as often as I want to without having to find a place to store all of the bulky pillows. The zip code pillow is one of my favorites to use! It is unique, interesting, and personal all at the same time. It also makes a wonderful gift for newlyweds or as a house warming gift.
Implementing just a few styling rules will give you a magazine worthy area in your home. Just the perfect place to enjoy a cup of coffee while reading your favorite magazine!
Remember to pin the image above so that you can easily access these tips when you get ready to style your next favorite place in your home!