A Neutral Mantel

I’m in the middle of project that is sending me ten feet into the air on a ledge no more than a foot and a half long. Take into account that I’m almost six feet tall. That means I’m looking down sixteen feet. Now, I’m not afraid of heights people, but my heart sinking down to my feet doesn’t help to much while skittering around the darn thing. Even better, the only way to get up is on my husband’s shoulders with him standing six steps up the stairs and me thrusting myself onto the tiny ledge with no handles, relying only on him and my feet straddling his head. I trust him. But you know, there’s only so much of my life I’m willing to have held in another persons hands, err, shoulders.

Luckily….and hopefully, I will only need to venture up there one more time to complete the project. And you better believe, that every time I get down, I kiss the tile on the entry way floor. Because, heavens knows how hard is to get up, but its even a hundred times harder to get down. I think I’m doing pretty good. I’ve been up there twice now, and have yet to ask for a pillow and blanket although my heart in my stomach, trembling feet, and sweaty hands know that that’s truly a better idea than trying to get down and just crawling into my own bed.

Enough of that. I think my hands have finally stopped sweating.

As you all may know, or have figured out by now, I’m in the process taking color out of my house. Not really. That’s just the easiest way to explain it my husband. He wouldn’t understand – bright, cheery, clean, neutral, muted tones, etc. He might, but he would probably think we were in a mental ward.

When we first moved into our house, we brought everything over from our apartment where we decorated with warm colors –reds, oranges, deep yellows. It was a Tuscan-esque feel, but not completely over-saturated. I kept the walls neutral, I already loved the color, and goodness knows how fearful I am of painting over something I already liked and risking not liking it anymore. Not to mention the fact that my entry flows straight into the living room which is pretty much attached to the dining room which is only separated by an arch to the kitchen. Where do you stop the color and where do you begin??? I had no idea. So, luckily, I decided to keep the neutral color I already had and just build from there, differentiating the spaces with furniture, rugs, and accent colors – oh, not to mention it also helped that the dining room has tile and the living room has carpet-another great definition of space

Okay, back to real reason for this post

Here are a few pictures of our fireplace mantel before with lots and lots of warm colors and Tuscan-esque appeal.

(wow. I thought I could find more pictures but you don't wanna know how many sd cards I just went through to get these two. lol)

After ‘removing’ most of the color from my living room, it looked completely off balance to add really any color to the mantel. So, I shopped around my house and found some great accessories, an outdoor wall decoration and some old-old books to add a little charm.

I wanted to make it look old and vintage, so I turned the books so the pages were on the front side, putting the spine of the book in the back – out of site.

A few of the books I thought fit the vintage feel so I kept the spines out just to add a little interest.
The last book on the right was my grandmothers from 1950

I absolutely loooove the interest this top books gives.
I thought it was way old...but turns out, its just way used Its copywritten 1980 lol.

So, for now, there's another glimpse into my living rooms metamorphosis. Not a big change, but I like to think its making a difference

Well, off I go to throw caution to the wind and climb on my husbands shoulders and pray to the dear lord, if I fall, it won't hurt lol, yeah right- just give me my pillow and blanket.

linking to:


  1. Moving Boxes
    Do you ever wish you didn't have a fireplace in your home, simply because it's such a decorating mystery? A new mantel shelf could change your mind. It may not be the mantelpiece.


happy DIYing! Alicia