A bout of food poisoning delayed this post - 
last minute shopping and a meal out with the family...
and a couple of hours later I was vowing I'd never eat again

But I had this post lined up and promised, and so...
better late than never?
Or you could look at it as being 361 days early...

These are mantels I was particularly inspired by this year.
This one, well, I have to say I kind of fell in love with the pom poms....
An Oregon Cottage

This was playful and fun and well put-together
Adventures in Decorating
Pinecone heaven...
Fresh clean simple - Farmhouse Style
Creekline House
Beautifully wrapped gifts as decor... 
why not?  It looks amazing.
I love blackboard art/typography.  This is one of my favorites.
Holly Mathis Interiors
And I especially love this one with the boxwood wreath and antlers...
Nest of Posies
Craftberry Bush
Love this fun composition on a difficult asymmetrical fireplace
Bennett and Company

I also love faux taxidermy for the holidays... 
[see my wreaths here]
and I love this frosty, colorful version
Serendipity Refined

Faux taxidermy with greens and berries and plaid.. 
perfection with that black accent!
The Everyday Home

Rustic faux taxidermy - love this too
She Knows
Speaking of rustic, love this and the way
the stockings follow the garland off the mantel and down onto the antler...
Adore Your Place
Be still my heart... You can always count on Funky Junk Interiors
to come up with some rustic fun - love love love the salvaged windows with the 
candlelight coming through, the twig garland, and the big fat star..
Funky Junk
More salvaged beauty - large tin ceiling tile
shabby candlesticks - and those stockings!

Grand Design

Farmhouse Style is big right now, and these
next few photos are perfectly suited
simple, rustic - fun
Confessions of a Plate Addict
Farmhouse style uses timeworn, rustic surfaces
in a clean lined, simple format
Stone Gable
Salvaged windows and shutters, white stoneware platters with vinyl lettering
pinecones and berries - and stars!
Stone Gable
The Lily Pad Cottage
Shiplap wall and subtle decor...
Brunch at Saks

Lighted marquee letters spell out peace in simple farmhouse style
Finding Home Farms
This one is a little more urban farmhouse,
[a style I'm smitten with right now] -
farmhouse with a little sophistication thrown in...
Adore Your Place
This one has a lot going on - but I can't get over the red industrial/barn
light fixtures and that adorable moose head...
Classy Clutter

In a little more contemporary vein...
Centsational Girl

Pottery Barn
Love this yardstick star - [on my list for next year] 
not so much the cluttered mantel below...

The Country Chic Cottage
Fun and vintage - a forest of sisal trees...
Decor Girl

and finally, the clean, natural,
fresh look of Scandinavia
which has been so popular this year...
The Lily Pad Cottage
That's all folks!   
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!
Have a Happy New Year!



It's no secret which wreath I decided to copy for my own home this year 
(see post of my favorite 11 wreaths)
I fell in love with the wooden monogram with antlers, and I have to say that it was shipped quickly and was of a very nice and sturdy quality - 
not thin and flimsy at all.  
I got mine from the Unfinished Wood Company here.
I sprayed the antlers gold and then masked off the antlers and painted the monogram.  
(Black probably wasn't the best choice - kinda disappears into the door there...)
I attached it with mono-filament (or fishing line) to a green wreath (Hobby Lobby)
and added the ribbon (Michaels).  It makes a BIG statement.  The Hubs loves it too.

I have a puny little entry.  Just a small area and a step down into the living room.
Since the remodel, I have been struggling to fit the furniture all back in.  
It all fit before, shouldn't it fit again? 
I just got it all so it fit nicely, made sense, felt balanced, 
and along came the Christmas tree and threw everything off.  
When I put the tree in the living room it displaced one of the chairs...
and it had to go into my puny entry... 
(just so you know its not always there in that crowded little space with the giant Boston fern that won't seem to stop growing....)

I do have a window in the entry space..
so I did a little woodsy arrangement in a cast iron planter on the sill.

Each year I try to change things up a little.  
Last year - well last year we were in the middle of a remodel and I was lucky to get lights on the tree...
In fact, that was all I did get on the tree.
The year before was a flocked white tree and a frosty, glittery theme.
This year, I think it was the poinsettias that set the theme.  
We went down to Encinitas to Weidner's Gardens to pick up a few poinsettias and we were blown away by their beauty and sheer variety.  

It was the first time I'd seen gold poinsettias. 

 The reds were so pretty though, and then there is that whole love of Scandinavia thing going on right now.  
I couldn't get enough of the reds I saw everywhere.  So red became the accent color this year for Christmas.

I found great red burlap ribbon at Home Goods

The tree ended up being a combination of rustic and silver and glass

with a little whimsy thrown in for good measure

A few pillows were all that were needed in the living room...
red, of course

I don't always put them out, but this year was a definite Santa collection year.

I even added to the collection with this find at Home Goods (not including sheep).

This year I had a big beautiful new kitchen to decorate...

(the island was the perfect place for the snowmen in my life to hang out)
and a very 'changed' family room

I have had the feather tree for a few years, but this is the first time I've actually put it up and decorated it.
I added some ornaments this year from Restoration Hardware - because they were having a sale at 40% off, and then an additional 25%.  Some of their ornaments were less than $2 each.  
(note to self:   add more lights next year!)
Garland on the mantle with pinecones, temple bells and antlers sounds a little odd,
but I love how it turned out.

 I was going to rave about the wire light and how great they are, and then realized I hadn't actually taken a picture with the lights turned on.
(at least I got the fire going in this one)
ah! there are the lights - caught a peek of them here 
(please ignore the speaker wire and I guess its pretty obvious where I work on my laptop...)
Besides the RED for Christmas, you will always find
a mix of elegant and rustic - which seems to be a running theme in my house -
the old and decaying next to shiny and bright - 

(and no,  I'm not talking about people here!)

I think my favorite thing this season is the french urn with the poinsettia
in front of these very old shutters...

Down the hall to the powder room...
and the second wreath idea I borrowed this year...
He looks fabulous against the wall color and I picked him up at Target.
(Don't you just LOVE Target!)
I used wire to attach him to a wreath
and covered up the wire with the bow around his neck and some strategically placed pine boughs.

Also in the powder room is my very favorite shelf
(of the decaying variety)
worm eaten (long since deceased worms)
and very old...
several gnomes decided to come home with me this year (Home Goods)
and they happily hang out here.
Or at least they seem to be happy - can't really see their mouth or eyes...

So, that's the tour, 
and a quick glimpse of a floral centerpiece I created for a friend...

More mantels tomorrow - my very favorites!


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