Monday, March 15, 2010

Mantel Mania: Our Spring Mantel





Welcome to Mantel Mania!

I've decided to ring in Spring by hosting a week-long "blog-stravaganza" devoted to sharing ideas about all things "mantel".

I don't know about you, but I have found that decorating a fireplace mantel can be extremely challenging.
There's such a fine line between displaying things on them that enhance the peaceful ambience a fireplace is supposed to provide, and displaying things on them that detract from that ambience because they just don't work for some reason or another. Maybe they're the wrong color, size, shape, texture...there's a number of factors that seem to be involved in creating an aesthetically pleasing arrangement. So this week I'm going to make it my mission to round up as many great mantel decorating ideas as I can, and I'm hoping you will share your ideas with me throughout the week too!

Today, I'm going to share how I decorated my own mantel for Spring. And since I like to change up the look of my mantel seasonally, I'm thinking I'll blog about each new look every three months too. (A Spring mantel in March, a Summer mantel in June, a Fall mantel in September, and a Winter mantel in December.) But during "Mantel Mania", I'll be blogging about all types of different mantel set-ups, not just Spring ones.

Let's begin, shall we?

When we bought our house in October of 2007, this is the fireplace we were greeted by when we came through the front door...



(Okay fine. I just threw that in there to make my "after" photos look better.)



...now, after a couple hundred bucks in primer, paint, stain, wood and decorative accessories, here's how our fireplace looks today...





The new look may not be for everyone, but for us, the whole thing feels much "happier", and more cohesive with the vibe we're creating throughout the rest of our home. Not to mention, the proportions seem to make more sense now too.
Yesssss!
(Napolean Dynamite)

(If you're interested in learning how we built the surround, click HERE)

As for the Spring-inspired decor, well, I used a bunch of stuff I already had, some new stuff and some inexpensive flea market finds I bought the other day. In case you missed it, here's the video I shot while shopping for "junk" the other day... (Feel free to skip the video if you've already seen it!)



The day after I shot my video, it was bee-yoo-ti-ful outside. So I marched out back with all my little mis-matched pitchers and candlestick holders, and crossed my fingers the primer and spray paint would adhere!



First, I sprayed on the primer...



Then, I used a variety of items to hold everything upside down so I could get the bottom parts of them good too...



Tip: It's best not to do this project on a windy day.

Unfortunately, I learned this very important lesson the hard way.
At one point, a gust of wind blew up the corner of one of the plastic bags I had my things sitting on, and created these little bits of loveliness...



Grrrr.

I'm sure it could've been sanded off, but who has time for that?



I just ended up turning the pitcher around to the "good side" on the mantel...



(The little "nest" is actually two, tiny grapevine wreaths (they come together for $1.99) from Hobby Lobby, and I got both rattan chargers for $1.00 each at a flea market last year.)

The other pitchers turned out great too. The primer and spray paint worked out just like I had hoped!



Remember the loons on the pitcher on the left in the photo below? I made sure anything I bought felt completely smooth to the touch (no decals), so that when I sprayed them, they were completely smooth too. (A decal would have stuck out a little and it would've been obvious that I painted over a "sticker".)



The little ducks covered up nicely too...



And instead of a candle, I just used two little nests (also from Hobby Lobby) on top of each candleholder...



(I got the eggs at HomeGoods several months ago.)

I made the gigantic chalkboard from that pretty blue frame I showed in the video, and a bigger piece of flea market art I picked up a while back.



Here's what it used to look like:



It was $15.00, and even though I had no idea what I would end up doing with it, I bought it anyway because I knew it was a great price for a frame that big.

It just needed a little paint...



(Color: "Nacre", Sherwin Williams)

...some chalkboard spray paint and my $2.00, Sea Salt blue flea market frame...



I "seasoned" the chalkboard part before I glued the blue frame down (with wood glue) to age it a bit...





I did have to sand down the front of the blue frame a little since someone had swirled their fingers around the original finish. But the Sea Salt paint we had from the guest bathroom project (from Sherwin Williams) was almost a perfect match to the original color!



The last thing I did was hit the bigger frame with some sand paper, to give it a more time worn look...



It'll do for now, but I'm not 100% into my handwriting, so I'm probably going to have some white vinyl, rub-on words made for it instead. (They'll say the same thing I have on there now, and the font will be similar, just neater.)

Inspiration:



Normally, I'm not a super huge fan of "faux-liage", but I wanted this mantle to last three months- so I sprang for some fairly realistic-looking, artificial pieces of greenery...





This last one is my favorite...it looks pretty real, doesn't it?



I'm really happy with how the "bouquets" turned out.



Kevin is especially estatic. You see, along with his other "favs" (natural light, accessories and window treatments, Kevin is also a big time "greenery man", so he was pumped to learn that the "life" he discovered on our mantel when he came home from New York was going to live forever!



And he was pretty thrilled about the bottom line too. Everything was 50% off at Hobby Lobby the day I bought it!



The $5.00 platter I bought at the flea market got a little makeover too...



I was inspired by a pillow I saw on PotteryBarn.com, so I had Eileen at Leen the Graphics Queen make me a rub-on number 3 decal to use on the front of it.



All I had to do was tell her what size and color I wanted it to be and voila! It showed up in my mailbox a few days later! (They're $4.00 in case anyone is wondering.)

I chose the number three because it's Kevin's favorite number (he is, and always will be, my main source of inspiration), and because it symbolizes the length of the Spring season. (three months) I love the way it turned out, and how it ties in to the black of the chalkboard behind it.

If you're interested in purchasing a vinyl decal for a project of your own, you can find Eileen HERE or in the Sponsors section in our sidebar.

Last, but not least, we hung up a couple of fifty cent, flea market find plates on the wall on either side of the chalkboard...



I love the addition of the circular-shaped plates next to the big, rectangular shaped chalkboard. I'm all about using a variety of shapes and textures, but I usually like to marry them color-wise, so these plates worked out great as a friendly, finishing touch.

And there ya have it!
Our farmhouse fresh, Spring-inspired fireplace mantel!

All together, everything I used came to about $67.00 (that's including the price of the chalkboard spray paint) but since I bought a lot of what I used at different times (starting last year), it didn't really feel like $67.00, if ya know what I mean.

And the way we look at it is, it's the first thing folks see when they come in our house, so it's super important to us that it looks cheerful and welcoming. And, if you break it down, it really comes to about $22.00 a month for the three months we'll have it all up there. That's less than we'd spend for one dinner at our favorite sushi place, and we get to enjoy this mantel for more than one night.

Okay, I'm done justifying now.



Happy Spring friend!
I hope it's bee-yoo-ti-ful in your neck of the woods today. The sun is shining here in sweet home Alabama, and supposedly the record company is presenting Kevin and the guys with an offer today- so cross your fingers for him it's a good one!



-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Check out my e-book!

181 comments:

Michelle said...

wow...so lovely :) spring has sprung! It was definately a great shopping trip!

Best,
Michelle

Life Is Crazy Beautiful said...

L-♥-V-E!!! This was the inspiration I needed. Hubby is on vaca this week (it's Spring Break here) and we need to do a lot of things around the house - including "happy-ing" things up for SPRING...thanks for the lift!
Lisa

The DIY Show Off said...

It's beautiful. I'm so ready for spring! I look forward to your mantel series. :)

Have a great week!
Roeshel

Jenny Free Style said...

LOVE the chalkboard! The whole thing is beautiful!
-Jenny

www.jennyfreestyle.blogspot.com

Jessica @ This Blessed Life said...

I don't know what else to say besides the fact that your mantel is absolutely gorgeous! Amazing work!

Bay said...

Fingers doubly crossed for Kevin! I'm sure good news is on the horizon, you two sure deserve it. Love love love the mantle.

You are so very inspiring and it makes me even more ready for spring!

Kristi @ Addicted 2 Decorating said...

You did a fabulous job! And I absolutely LOVE the way it's visually symmetrical, and yet it's not exactly the same on either side. Unfortunately, I don't have a mantle...or a fireplace. What I DO have are some fabulous shelves in my living room, so I'll be using this as inspiration for my shelves.

Cherish @ My Cup of Tea said...

Absolutely beautiful. I love/hate to decorate for holidays and seasons cause its gotta come down eventually. This is so beautiful and genius!!

The Old Painted Cottage said...

Okay, that's it...I'm inspired!

oxox
Jennifer

Julie Johnson said...

Gorgeous! I just redid a door and a window with chalkboard paint and posted it on my blog. I love chalkboards. Great idea to paint the mismatched pitchers. I think I'll head to Goodwill tomorrow for some pitchers, and Hobby Lobby for some greenery and eggs. Thanks for the inspiration!

Tenille Gates said...

It looks lovely ♥ Im so frustrated with my mantel right now...it seems as though theres just a bunch of pretty 'stuff' up there that doesnt really 'mesh' if that makes sense. Anywho, bravo..you did a fab job with yours! I just might have to copy you ;0)

gail@myrepurposedlife.blogspot.com said...

Love everything about it! Your fireplace inspired me to re-do mine. Well, I intended to re-do it, but when I saw yours, I actually got off my duff and started!
Spray painting glass is on my to do list in the very near future. (as soon as it warms up)
Your pitchers turned out fabulous!
Love the chalkboard too. Great job. Love the fact you used that wonderful "before" picture. :)

thanks for inspiring us all!
gail

Cottage Dreamers said...

It looks wonderful! I even like your handwriting and the "faux"liage looks very fresh and alive.
☺ Celeste

Red Door Home said...

Looks gorgeous. You would never know that the pitchers were painted. Love that ieda! Makes me wonder what else can be painted.

My Cottage Charm said...

I thought for sure that greenery was real! :) They make some pretty great looking faux-liage now! I like how fresh your mantel feels with all the white! Quite the change from when you first moved in...wow! :)
I have to tell you I'm a wee bit jealous of your bee-yu-tee-ful sunshine you seem to be getting a lot of...we have cold dreary weather here and I LONG for sun!! :)
Hope you have a wonderful day!!!

My Cottage Charm said...

OH!! Please tell Kevin TJ and I are saying a prayer for him to get a GREAT offer!!!

Mom in High Heels said...

How pretty! Makes me wish I had a mantel.

Kara said...

Your mantle is perfect! Love it! Thanks for sharing all your tips and breaking it down in such a great way. Crossing my fingers for your husband too. Sounds exciting!

Claire@AreWeNearlyThereYet said...

Beautiful!
You make everything look soooo easy!!!
I think you should come over the water and stay here at mine, and take me in hand!
How are you fixed? Hee hee. xxx

angela walker jewelry said...

It is beautiful Layla! It has such an organic feel to it.. Just awesome!
After reading so many blogs, I decided to start one myself.. Not sure if I will be able to keep it up, but heck, I am going to try.. Here is the link to my fledgling blog if you want to check it out.. http://angelawalkerjewelry.blogspot.com/
Health and happiness to you and Kevin!
Angela

Whitney said...

So beautiful!! Spray painting the pitchers was such a great idea! Much cheaper than ironstone! I'm definitely going to try that! Thanks for sharing!
Whitney

Reem said...

LALALALLA-OVE it! You are awesome!

I have a mantel I am pretty proud of and would love to share with you. I am a blogger "under construction" meaning I started a blog but it needs a lot of work and pictures and time and.....

Anyway, would you like me to email you my mantel or should I just feature it on my blog? Let me know!

Looking forward to mantel mania!

aahadley said...

Your mantel looks wonderful! I so want to so a facade on over my brick someday. Love the way that looks. You should have seen the look on hubs face when I mentioned painting the brick! I said they're bricks, not gold! Aren't they made out of dirt or rocks? I think you used lacquer when you painted but do you think gloss white would do the same? Or does the lacquer have more shine? I have a ceramic lamp I want to paint.
~anita

Katie said...

It looks great. I love that it's really your chalk handwriting, not a decal. Makes it more endearing.

Ginger@cottageonrosewood said...

Looks Gorgeous Layla. Very fresh and light, perfect for spring. Great job. Love the Sea Salt painted chalkboard and white pitchers and dishes always do it for me. BTW, if you had not told us the greens were faux...I wouldn't have known it!

pogonip said...

So many great ideas all rolled up into one perfect mantel display.

I thought your handwriting was the crowning touch that made it personal and unique!

Katie said...

I love your vintage style! Keep on creating!

MrsKBJ said...

Very pretty! I am loving decorating with green right now. I think you should keep your own wrighting on the chalkboard! Everything looks great!!
Kelly

Renovating Our House into A Home said...

Absolutely gorgeous.... As always!

gail said...

Your mantel is gorgeous, Layla. Very inspiring...looking at mine right now to see what could be done there. The chalkboard looks great and I think your handwriting looks terrific --I wouldn't change it!!

Anne said...

I love it!! Wish I had a mantle to decorate...cannot wait for the other season to come so I can see how you will decorate those!!

shannon i olson said...

wonderfully done. just love it!

Jennifer said...

Layla it just looks fabulous. I know you love having a mantle to decorate for the seasons. I have only always decorated ours for CHristmas and possibly the fall, but now I just want to change it up. Right now. Today.

Thanks for the inspiration.

Madella's Behind the Scenes said...

Layla-you did a lovely job with the mantel. It took me years to get our mantel right and I still fuss with it. I'm not a big fan of faux greenery either, but I didn't know from your pictures that the plants were fake. They look very real! The spray painting worked out well too. One other tip on spray painting is to make sure the nozzle is always clean. Sometimes it gums up and then "spits" on whatever your trying to paint. (Ask me how I know!) You can make sure it is clean by turning the can upside down and spraying and then turning it right side up.

My Life and My Loves said...

love the mantel reveal!

albionchrisman said...

Gorgeous! I'm inspired. Period.

Kare@Trublue2 said...

Ooooh-la-la.....it's beautiful!! What you did with the frames is amazing. You've given me some good inspiration. I just love the whole look and cannot wait to see more of your upcoming mantel makeover tips too.

Kare

Frugal Home Designs said...

You are an accessorizing genius! That is stunning.

Frugal Home Designs said...

You are an accessorizing genius! That is stunning.

The Little Red Shop said...

Beautiful!

Happy Spring!

: )

Julie M.

Nita {ModVintageLife} said...

I love the Spring time look, Layla...I'm working on my own Easter mantel and will post soon. I really like the platter with the number 3 on it and the chalk board turned out fantastic.

Kerry said...

This leaves me longing for a mantle...sob, I don't have one here in Australia. Yours is stunning and I don't agree with you about your writing on the chalk board. It's gorgeous...you should leave it that way. Everything is inspirational...well done and thank you.

Jeannette said...

Your mantel is STUNNING!!!! Thanks for the tips on spray painting! I just bought a ton of stuff i need to spray paint, but had no idea I needed to prime too! Glad I read this before I got started!

Leslie said...

I've been waiting for this post! Mantles are always a challenge for me, so I'm so happy to see what you did with yours. Thanks!

Lynda said...

I'm inspired! This week I'll be tackling my mantle and getting it ready for spring. Looking forward to more mantle ideas!

laurensmom21 said...

your mantel looks sooo awesome! Ditto everyone else - I never would have guessed that greenery was fake! I was mentally preparing myself to be jealous of you for having nice yard greenery in March (I just assumed you cut something from your yard, lol!) Everything is so symmetrical and I love it. The best thing is - you have inspired me to shop my house to redo my mantel. I think I have most everything you used already on hand! Thanks again for doing this series - I'm really looking forward to it :)

ps. Crossing my fingers and saying prayers for Kevin's offer - he so deserves it! Keep us posted!

sherry said...

You are the bomb!!! So chic! For so little money!

Vanessa said...

Absolutely gorgeous!! May I copycat it? I love it!! You've done a wonderful job!

Jenkins Family said...

All I can say is you're a rock star! You got skills girlfriend!

Megan said...

Oh man I love this! You've inspired me to make over some flea market pitchers! Our mantel is a bit tricky because we have a huge niche over our mantle for a TV, yet our TV is too big to fit there. I've been "decorating" the niche with a plant but would love any ideas you might have on how to fill the space.

Tracy @ ComfortandLuxury said...

Beautiful! (go spray paint! the sure cure for so much misguided "decor"!)
And I was certain your greenery was real until you said it is not so I'm off to find some faux for my own mantel. I'm pretty sure that's what's missing right now.
Thanks Layla. Great inspiration.
(Oh, and keep your own writing on your chalkboard! So you can change the sentiment whenvever you want. Cuz you know you'll want to!)

Hana said...

Looooove it! I'm gonna get out my spray paint and try this. I keep changing up my mantle but haven't gotten it right just yet. Thanks for the inspiration!

xo
Hana
MomTog Diaries

Crystal said...

My first thought was "she's already got green outside???" - because I'm straight across from you in MS, I was jealous. :) So, 1. you can't even tell they're fake. 2. I like your handwriting on there and think it's personal and welcoming, so I'd vote to keep it....even though your other idea sounds great, too. 3. I was actually just wondering about spray painting vases too, so I'm glad to see it worked! And 4. I love me some Hobby Lobby!
Love, Love, Love it all!!
~Crystal

Carmen said...

I *love* it!!!! Love, love, love!!!! Thank you for the inspiration. I just finished painting my living room and I am ready to springify my mantel. :)

Tamera said...

I want it all!! And, no surprise, It turned out beautifully:)
I was waiting on pins and needles after watching the flea market teaser.
My ceilings are vaulted and the wall over the fireplace is very high and slanted...suggestions for this??
I should just send you a photo and let you go to town..
Love it!!

The Hasslers said...

I love the mantel. It goes so well with the over-all feel of your home.

The Smith Family said...

Love it!
I'm totally going to have to take some of these idea's to fill the big shelf in our family room!
Awesome work, girl!
Shelley Smith
houseofsmiths.blogspot.com

Megan @ Megity's Handmade said...

Layla, You must of read my mind because I've been stumped with my mantel forever! When we moved in, it was fry-sauce pink. YIKES! Primed and painted the bricks white shortly after and now, three years later, the mantel is still primer white. And how to decorate it too?
Of course, I love what you did. The layering of the frames is genious and you should keep your handwriting because it gives it that personal touch.

Heather@PixieDust said...

i love your mantel, it looks amazing! can't wait to see what else you have in store this week.

Kerri said...

Absolutely beautiful Layla. Love love love everything - too pretty for words!
Kerri x

Olde Common Scents said...

Happy Mantle! Please decorate, or someone PLEASE share how to decorate a red brick fireplace and a dark mantle. I do not want to paint it white. Any help would be fantastic!!!
Layla, just take a trip north to Massachusetts! ;)

tale of many cities said...

i absolutely L.O.V.E. your inspiration pic & think i'm gonna be borrowing that idea! a continuous Gratitude board.. just lovely! thanks for sharing Layla!!

J said...

Layla,

You are scary talented. OMG! I love following all of the projects you and Kevin embark on and what I love most of all is that you show ALL of your process (i.e., the good and the not so good). Your mantle is fabulous!

Can you share the room color and paint?

1 Funky Woman said...

This is fabulous. So clean and fresh looking. I have been needing to redo my basement mantle, so you gave me some good ideas, thanks!

s as in tset said...

LOVE IT! (I'm screaming that to you.)

Letty said...

Can I just say that I would have totally believed that the picture of the mantel was from Pottery Barn-- it's THAT good! Gorgeous.

Lynn from For Love or Funny said...

Layla, I thought the greenery was REAL! And it never occurred to me to spray paint pitchers and cups so they'd be a color I loved. You never fail to inspire me.

paige said...

spray primer & paint on ceramic?
who knew

darn it...i wish i hadn't taken so many 'treasure-wanna'bes' to good will recently!

i love what you whipped up
i love the decal number
i love the chalkboard
i love the tiny touch of blue
& i especially love the rockin vimeo! who needs hgtv ?

gorgeous!!

AtOneWithHim said...

I luuurve it!

Marianne@Songbird said...

I love your mantel! And I so am going to do that black on white numbered tray thing. I have just the orange, dodgy metal tray laying around for that.
Those pitchers turned out gorgeous too. I am gonna look differenty at the colored ones from now on.
Thank you for oodles of inspiration packed in one beautiful post!

Megandvd@Beauty in the Attempt said...

Layla..how in the world do you NOT have your own show? If I only owned my own cable network! You are ONLY moments away from being swooped away by some network...you are so fabulous..and I feel SO LUCKY to know you.

Cheers~
e

Roberta said...

Just love all of it...especially the chalkboard. The blue frame/matt is my favorite. Also love the number 3...our lucky/favorite number is 13...both my boys were born on the 13th and the first date with my husband was on a Friday the 13th...how cool is that :D I'll have to keep this post in mind for the vinly numbers...cool beans :D

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

I love it. It is stunning. I love the lime green and the black. It totally sets the fireplace mantel off. The chargers, plates and the pitchers are all just perfect accessories. So beautiful. You also need to link this up to Table Top Tuesday. I will have Mr. Linky up later tonight. This is perfect for the party. Hugs, Marty

Kate said...

As with others, I think your own handprinting on the blackboard is perfect. I get so tired of reading the same "inspirational" words and phrases everywhere--if I see one more "believe!" I might scream. OK, I'm old and cranky. But you could also write something different for another season, yes?
What I truly love about your blog is that you give us enough information to tackle our own projects. I'm dying to spray paint ceramic stuff--never thought of it. Well, I also truly love that you're smart and funny AND have great taste. I just found your blog and I'm hoping it goes on for a long time. Best regards, Kate in Oregon (where it's very green--quince blooming, forsythia almost over... But it does rain a lot.)

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Layla, I totally love it all! Girl, you should be styling for a magazine with your skills. It's ALL gorgeous. I've seen those skinny spiky greens at HB, they are good ones for faux, in fact your whole arrangement really looks great in spite of us not liking faux. :)

A Life In Focus Photography said...

love what you did here!!!

JunkySouthernGurl2 said...

I loved everything!! So many things that I would never have thought to do!! Thanks Layla..:-)

Becky said...

It looks remarkable Layla! So fresh and clean and beautiful in its simplicity, which is my favorite kind of decor. Great job!

Shana said...

LOVE the mantel! It's perfect for your fabulous fireplace. :) And who'da thunk you knew Napoleon Dynamite? I ♥ that silly movie....because it's so true to small town life in Idaho like my hubby comes from.
And keeping our fingers crossed for Kevin!

The Brick Cottage said...

Amazing! I love the chalkboard and will be adding that to my never ending list of things to try.

tickled. said...

LOVE the mantel! Thanks for the inspiration! :)

I also LOVE the chalkboard idea ... I've been trying to think of a way to create one for my kitchen! Thanks for the idea!

Paula Barin said...

Fantastic makeover on your mantel. I never would have guessed the pitchers were spray painted.
So beautiful.... makes me wish I had a mantel... and a fire place.

ashton said...

I'm digging the symmetry. It is amazing how well those ceramic pieces painted up--you're the coolest!

Sindy said...

Aaaack! I knew it! On page 114 in your book I thought that's Layla's kitchen, but. . .the cabinets aren't black anymore, what's goin' on :] You transformed your table and now your kitchen? Can't wait to see it, I know it will be fantastic! The mantel is lovely, too--love the green and that big #3--so cool!
Blessings,
Sindy

mimosaandmocha said...

Simply beautiful! Looks like it should be in a magazine. I love how the spray painted pitchers add so much to the look and cost so little. Also love the chalkboard and little nests. You are amazingly talented!

Meredith Starrett said...

I think I'm pretty "thrifty" but you are SOOO clever! Great ideas! Love it!!

Thanks for sharing!
xoxo, Meredith

meredithstarrettdesigns.blogspot.com

Denise said...

Now that is true inspiration. I will definitely be redoing mine after seeing yours!

Amy said...

This is super fabulous. Just love it. And I have one of those rattan chargers that's been sitting in my attic for years searching for its calling. You really are a master at layering textures.

Beth@The Stories of A to Z said...

I LOVE this! I had a two month mantel party which is now a once a month mantel party so this speaks to me. Beautiful!

Grace said...

Lovely mantel. I love how well those pitchers turned out spray painted. I don't often see white ones - when I do, I buy them, but now I don't have to wait.

Kristy said...

I love it - you've definitely given me inspiration for my own mantel, which has been looking kind of half-decorated since Christmas. :-)

One question - any ideas for layering things when you don't have a really deep mantel?

TheVirginiaHouse said...

I like it so much! Great inspiration, especially that chalkboard. How lucky that I picked up some chalkboard paint today ;-)

I think your lettering looks great by the way!

Lilianne said...

I'm so inspired by your work!!! I think I finally got the bug...I need paint...bargains...old dishes...Thank U, thank U, thank U...love your ideas!!!!

Stacey @ The Blessed Nest said...

Beautiful!!!!! Everything turned out SO amazing! I love the 2 toned chalkboard frame & actually really like the hand-done lettering (I was thinking how neat it looked! :) ), it gives a more authentically unique look. This is a perfect look for Spring, so fresh and light! Thanks for the inspiration!!
Blessings,
Stacey

ItchyBits said...

Looks nice! Really like what you did with the frames. The white spray paint cracks me up. We have an "antique" shop in my town that has a spray paint station out back. Everything in the shop is white!

Tina said...

Oh my goodness, I LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!! Thank you so much for sharing and the inspiration! Our mantle is the one part of our home I am always unhappy with - just can't seem to get it right. What you have done with yours is just beautiful!! ~ Tina x

lifeincategories said...

Please don't get vinyl letters for the chalkboard! The handwriting is perfect!

geri said...

LAYLA.
YOU HAVE SUCH A SPECIAL GIFT FOR SEEING HOW SOMETHING CAN LOOK RATHER THAN WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE RIGHT NOW.
I LOVE THE CHAULK BOARD & THE SAYING ALONG WITH THE "3" PLATTER.
I HAVE EVERYTHING CROSSED FOR KEVIN ,THAT CAN BE CROSSED.
GOTTA GET SPRAY PAINTING.HEHE
CAN'T WAIT TO SEE MORE MANTELS.GERI.

Paige said...

Beautiful! It was fun watching the video because I grew up in the Montgomery/Prattville area and know where you are when you are driving. Have a great week!

Kristi said...

This is the area where I am lacking, accessorizing. And I SO want to be good at it. This makes me feel sad about the bathroom I just re-did. The accessories are just lacking. You are inspiring, I wish I had an ounce of your talent!

Twice Remembered said...

Layla, once again you've inspired me! I never, ever thought of spray painting pitchers...Brilliant! I love the bright, fresh feel of your spring mantel...the greenery really livens things up! Beautiful work!

sydney85 said...

Your mantle looks great. It looks fresh and classy. Congrats on your lovely work.

Anna said...

I love your mantel arrangement. I would not have known you painted those pitchers white - I have a similar one from Homegoods - it was only $3.99.
Thinking I can easily re-create something like this on my mantel - thanks so much for the inspiration!

Tales From My Empty Nest said...

The mantel is beautiful!! I especially love the chalkboard. And the little bird nests perched on the candleholders. So cute. Thanks for sharing your ideas. Love & blessings from NC!

Sandy said...

Hi Layla, Wow, everything is so lovely. This is my first visit to your blog. How nice everything is. You are so talented!

Sole said...

Your mantel looks gorgeous!!! Thank you for the inspiration!

Sole :)

camdesign said...

Love it, wow... the handwriting on the board is alot more personnel, I would not change it...
Fingers crossed for Kevin x
CAM

fairfieldhouse said...

Layla,

Seems I am the last one to arrive to your mantel unvealing. Can you stand to hear how creative you are one more time?! Well, my friend, you are! It looks mahhhvahlous. I had no clue I could make my own ironstone.

Deborah

My House of Giggles said...

You are a mantle genius! I love it!! So springy and bright :) Everything about it is perfect.

Thanks for the inspiration!

Tracey

Brenda said...

Beautiful! I love the touches of green!
Thanks! You've inspired me to get my mantel going for SPRING!

Emily said...

Gorgeous mantel! You are so talented! I love everything about it. Hopefully someday my mantel will look like that!! You are so inspiring!

Which brings me to my question... I have quite the issue with my fireplace! It has a huge alcove/hole with a shelf in it and I hate it. I can't figure out why it's there... I keep thinking I should paint the wood white, but I don't know what to do about that giant hole above the mantel! I'm just hoping that you address this specific problem sometime during your "Mantel Mania" week, because I'm feeling pretty stumped! Any advice would be so appreciated!Here's what I'm dealing with...

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_YS6IKej1ics/S58UmQnmlOI/AAAAAAAAEUo/aWW4No5GWUA/s1600-h/IMG_1845.JPG

Woven and Spun said...

I'm with the ones who say keep your handwriting on that chalkboard - it's you! It makes the mantel feel more personal.

Valentine's Vintage said...

The Tubes and flea-marketing.... It doesn't get any better than that!
I also work at Morton's in Chicago so I was thrilled when I read that they took Kevin to Morton's in N.Y. I told everybody at work about your blog and Kevin's possible signing. Am keeping my fingers crossed for him and the band.
Beautiful mantel. I'm so ready for Spring.
Thanks for all the inspiration Layla!

Amelia said...

Wow, I love what you did with your mantel!! You've inspired me with the chalkboard and re-painted ceramic pitches, yay!

Laura aka Lolo said...

I just happen came upon your blog yesterday and was so excited to see your mantle today. What a great inspiration you are! I had no idea about the primer and you made it all seem so simple. Hope you don't mind I think I will be stalking I mean following you more.:) Perfect Spring Beauty!!

Lauren1964 said...

Beautiful mantle, Layla! You did it again!

Lauren

Pacific NW Blogfan said...

I just found your blog and must say, your mantel looks fantastic. Congrats.

Kaylin said...

You are awesome! I love it!

michiganhome said...

I thought I checked your post several times yesterday, but maybe it only FELT like I was on the computer all day, 'cause here I missed your post! Anywho, ... WOW. You are really something else! And I'm not just talking about your mantel, but your ability to turn your vision into reality in what seems like EVERYTHING you do! I'm so happy for all your success, Layla, and wish you and Kevin all the best. (Crossed my fingers for him, too.) Finally, I just have to say, you cannot buy the beauty of your handwriting on that chalkboard. Maybe, it's because it's your own handwriting, and you have a mental block with that, but imagine if you saw that on another designer's mantel, (whom you respected), would you even think of replacing such perfect imperfection with mass production? Plus, it's a CHALKBOARD; it NEEDS handwriting (as opposed to the number 3 on the plate, which looks great).
-- Love you guys!

C @ Project Pretty said...

Haha! Love your justification process! :) Such a beautiful mantel- absolutely perfect for spring!

homeinthecountry said...

Ohh! It's beautiful. With just enough spring to make me smile (and I can't believe it's fake spring- it doesn't look fake!).

Also, I love the chalkboard AND your writing on it. It's so pretty!

Erin said...

Super fantastic! The mantel is gorgeous! I never imagined that you could make those pieces look like real ironstone. Max cracked me up! I have a dog who likes to talk while I'm on the phone, so I know how you feel!

paperkite said...

I LOVE that you show the paint you use! Thanks so much!!

Amy said...

O-My-Goodness that's BEAUTIFUL! I never even thought to paint pitchers but its an awesome idea...thank you so much for sharing it with us!
Quick question - you always have these awesome flea market finds and I was wondering if you happen to know of a good flea market in the Jacksonville, FL area. I know of one but its a little "sketchy" if you know what I mean - yikes!

Paddywack Designs said...

Just found your blog and I love it. The video was too cute... dogs, gotta love them.

ashesonyx said...

I absolutely LOVE what you've done here, especially the chalkboard! Love the note you put on it too. I admit to being a little skeptical when I saw your flea market finds, but you have outdone yourself, Layla!
BEAUTIFUL, soft, peaceful, warm... SPRING.

40daysof said...

I love it! I don't usually like fake plant stuff either, but it looks great.

thehearthandhome said...

WOW! You did such a beautiful job! I am looking forward to your mantel series -
Thanks for sharing!

Stacy

emily said...

Hey! Love your blog. Can you add the widget that allows readers to subscribe via email? That way we can get email updates when you post! If you need them, here are the instructions..

Go to your blogger dashboard
Go to Layout
Click Add A Gadget (wheverever you want... on the side, at the bottom, etc.)
Add Subscribe Via Email.

Voila! You're done. Good luck! Let me know when it's up so I can subscribe! Great blog. :)

Thanks,
Emily

Mama Sews! said...

So stinking cute! I love how the pitchers turned out, I might have to visit my goodwill to see if they have any there...I'm inspired! :)

I wish I had a Hobby Lobby nearby, we have every craft store but that one and I love a Hobby Lobby.

katherinhanson said...

It looks great.

May I ask a question? When you are making the chalkboard, do you have to sand down the painting underneath? I imagine if not, the chalkboard might come out bumpy, or am I completely wrong?

Wishing for a good deal for Kevin!!! How exciting!

ESE said...

You continue to inspire me! I am sooo going to try and paint pitchers!! LOVE it!

jillian said...

You are such an inspiration!!! I absolutely LOVE it all!! Thanks for bringing a SPRING smile to my face :)

paperkite said...

Hi, Layla. Do you remember what stain you used on your mantel? I've looked through the FAQ and an older post where you describe building the mantel (did you stain pine? Did you pretreat it?) but I could not find the color. Any advice? Thanks!

Julia @ Hooked on Houses said...

Gorgeous! You are SO creative and inspiring. Love it!

Ashley Schott said...

Gorgeous! You are so clever! I'm a little sad you painted over that lovely painting:( But, it turned out great and very "you"!

Joy@thiftyparsonageliving said...

I love your spring mantle, and how you brought just a bit of color by adding the green :)

Lanie Ree said...

Super inspiring! I love it so, so much.

thefinestkind said...

amazing mantle! I've been wondering what to do with mine, so this is great inspiration. Hoping Kevin gets exactly what he needs!

Yvonne @ StoneGable said...

Layla, Your whole mantle is so inspirational! I have some very ugly plates and vases and I have been thinking about painting them. Your pitchers came out just beautiful. But the best part of your mantle is that old picture turned chalk board. WOW! So wonderful. I am going to try this.
Kudos to you.
Yvonne

Mary said...

LAYLA!!! What is that I see in the background??? Your kitchen cabinets are going WHITE! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IT! Can't wait to see a full post...wait a minute, maybe I wasn't supposed to notice. Yikes! ~mary~

Jen B said...

Your Spring mantel is beautiful, fresh and inspiring! So full of wonderful ideas! Happy Spring to you both!

Carmie, the Single Nester said...

What a great job! I love white pitchers and the faux-liage looks pretty. What did you use for the primer?

To The Moon and Back said...

I love it! Can you come do my whole house?:)

GLENDA CHILDERS said...

I am a little sad that I don't currently have a fireplace mantel, because I love mantels. (but I have a lake view, so I can't complain.) This was a beautiful post - love the idea of spraying pitchers and adding on the 3 on the plate ~ brilliant!

paperkite said...

Re-Nest is looking for a part time blogger and I thought of you. :)

http://www.re-nest.com/re-nest/from-renest/were-hiring-renest-blogger-search-is-open-110389

Cindy said...

It looks AMAZING!
I love everything.
Cindy

Valerie Jean said...

You are so truly amazing.... I am loving the $15.00 frame that you so beautifully turned into the chalk board! I recently bought your book and loved every page of it:) Looking forward to my own home transformation!

Aimee said...

WOW Layla, you created a gorgeous mantle. I love the clean lines and the brightness you created by spraying the pieces white, genious!And the shape of each piece is so pretty, especially with the touch of greenery. I also love the contrast between the crisp white and the black. You really did an amazing job!!!

Take care,
Aimee

Ann said...

Wow...it is so beautiful! I loved how you changed those little homely pitchers into something simple and pretty...who knew you could spray paint 'em? You also have a great eye for choosing faux-liage! Love everything you do!! Please, Please, Please keep it up! You are my FAVORITE blog!

Ann

p.s. did you paint your upper kitchen cabinets white?? thought I caught a glimpse in one of your mantel photos!! :)

Patty said...

LOVE,LOVE,LOVE this mantel idea!!!! I have 4 fireplaces in my house and I think it's really HARD to decorate them! I'm constantly tweeking them. Can't wait to see your ideas! Thanks for the inspiration:)

Cathy Cobblestone said...

It's beautiful Layla, as with everything you do. I love color but when I look at your home - I love the neutrals. I just need a HUGE house so I can have both - not gonna happen in our lil' farmhouse. Thanks for sharing your wonderful ideas with us and for constantly inspiring us all.

Rosy Inspiration said...

This mantel has all my favourite elements in it, you are so clever, love all the height balances, colours and the visual satisfaction it gives too. Perfect!

emilyc @ Sew Super Sweet said...

You mantle is INSPIRING! I am in awe. AWE!

CraftyFoody said...

Love, love, love the mantel and luck to Kevin. I have a question also, what did you use to hang your plates on the wall?

Wendy

Karena said...

Absolutely beautiful What a great project!! I think I will do a chalkboard now!

Karena
Art by Karena

dspangler00 said...

I love your mantel. I wouldn't change your chalk board... I like your writing and I think that is what makes it "perfect" because the letters aren't perfect... keep the chalk writing and skip buying the letters! :) You are so happy and cheerful... one can tell throuhg your home, writing, and photography!
Lora

Jenni said...

I found your blog through my friend Shannon who did your design. I've been lurking awhile and I have to say I am hooked. I love your stuff and I LOVE that mantel! I had your blog open on my computer and my husband walked by and said "That looks good. Can you do that to ours?" I better get to work.

Caitlin said...

Oh my gosh Layla! You are amazing and have me wanting to run out and re-do our mantel ASAP! I love how you sprayed the pitchers! Great work and thank you SO much for sharing!

--Caitlin

www.thathouseonthecorner.blogspot.com

Homemade Diva said...

I've passed along an award to you! Check it out here: http://homemadediva.blogspot.com/2010/03/my-first-pseudo-award.html

:o)

- Jenny (a.k.a The Homemade Diva)

Kristin @ My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia said...

Wow Layla, it turned out so pretty! I am forever struggling with our mantel, you have given me some great ideas, thank you!
Take care-
Kristin

all thingz related said...

Love it! Clean fresh and just down right BEAUTIFUL!
~Bridgette {allthingzrealted}

{The Classy Woman} said...

Laylay this is so airy, fresh and gorgeous! I love farmhouse style and you did such a great job.

You have actually inspired me for my future yard sale stops because I often ignore the 'ugly loon pitchers' and sometimes forget how simple it is to transform them into something wonderful!

GeNell said...

Your MANTLE (mantel ????)looks great for spring...keep up the good work.

Richella said...

Absolutely, positively beautiful. No doubt about it, this mantel is a winner.

By the way, I've looked at the photos several times, and I'm still having trouble believing that your greenery is not freshly clipped from living plants. Gorgeous.

Craftify It! said...

I would leave your handwriting and not do vinyl. Gives it character!

Kathysue said...

Love your mantle and I am with Kevin on the greenery and I am with you on preferring the real thing but yours looks reallly good. I think keeping it all one color was the trick. So fresh, So springy, great job, Layla,

ckpruitt2 said...

Beautiful!! Would love to know how you hung up your plates... Did you put holes in the wall or do you have another clever way?? Thanks... :)

DecoratingYourWorld said...

Great Job!! with the Mantle decor love your clever take on the chalkboard...3 STARS ***

jjacobs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Jacobs said...

I absolutely love your blog! Your mantle looks wonderful just like everything else you do! You and this blog have given me a renewed passion and desire to make my home my own and a never ending project (which I love!)! Thank you!

Your handwriting looks great on the chalkboard, by the way

Megan Lee said...

I love how everything turned out! It's so beautiful and fresh-looking. And I'm glad your painted pitchers worked. I didn't know you could do that! Hmm, ideas for the future- good to know :) Happy spring!

Dreamy Whites said...

Layla,
I am doing some catching up on your blog tonight. I couldn't wait to see what you mantle turned out like after watching your video the other night. WOW. I love it. First of all the greenery doesn't look faux at all. I wouldn't have ever known. I have been looking for a blue like your sea salt blue. I can't wait to go out and get that color. Thank you. I have never thought of spray painting ceramics. What a great idea. I can't even tell that they are painted. Thanks for doing all that you do on your blog. I learn so much visiting your blog.
Take Care,
Maria

Carolyn said...

I LOVE your Spring mantel!! The chalkboard is so creative!!! Great job!!!

Carolyn
http://lifeloveandpuppyprints.blogspot.com

Ima Weed said...

Amazing makeover. I'm off to look for pitchers and plates and I have no mantle.

Linda at Lime in the Coconut! said...

Beautiful.....I am completely inspired!

Lemonade Makin' Mama said...

I am in heaven! This was my first time to your blog and I loved it... I just emailed my sis in law and said, "Finally I found someone who crawled inside my head and discovered my exact style that I love!" (I've been having home decor style confusion for some time as I keep trying different things out... yay!!! So glad I found you!)

Amber said...

This is lovely and so fresh and crisp for spring! Do you now what font the number 3 is? I really like it!

Shan said...

JUST my style!!!! LOVE IT! Thanks for sharing all your tips and secrets!

claire said...

i never knew u could use spray paint - when i think of how many things i have passed on coz they werent the rite colour - arrgghh!!!! beautiful mantel - thanks for the inspiration

Caleb and Emily said...

I LOVE your chalkboard frame and I follow your blog religiously!!! I am trying to make my own chalkboard frame, but am confused on a few things... What did you spray the chalkboard spray onto? Did you put a backing on the blue frame? Please help! :)