Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Christmas mantel

Joy to the world! The Christmas season is upon us!

Each year, we get a live Christmas tree on the weekend after Thanksgiving. As soon as the tree is up, I begin decking the halls in earnest, and I usually start with the living room mantel. Here it is this year:


The most important elements of the mantelscape, of course, are the stockings. The one in the middle was the first of our collection--purchased 19 years ago, when our oldest son was a baby. We added stockings in 1993 and 1997 when our second and third sons were born, and finally bought one for Dad and one for Mom. Now they hang in order on the mantel, where they'll stay until they're filled on Christmas Eve.

On top of the mantel, I work around the Flemish floral painting that's there year-round. The colors in the painting lend themselves to traditional Christmas decor, which is just what I like. On one side are the moss topiaries I made last year:


And on the other side are inexpensive candlesticks that I painted with Oil-Rubbed Bronze spray paint and topped with red pillars. I like the subtle glow of the candles when they're lit:



The greenery on the mantel came from my yard. One of the wonderful things about using greenery is that you can hide any unsightly elements of your mantelscape. My candlesticks and topiaries are elevated on a motley collection of boxes, but those all disappear beneath the beautiful greenery. And the wonderful Christmasy smell of pine and cedar is a welcome bonus!

Across the living room is my wall of crosses, and you can see the reflection of the mantelscape in the mirror:



As usual, one of our doggies has curled up in front of the fire for a cozy nap. She'll have to move for Christmas morning, though, because this chair is the favorite spot for boys to open their stockings.



I'm joining the beautiful Layla at The Lettered Cottage for her mantel party. Visit Layla to see dozens of beautiful mantelscapes!


The Lettered Cottage

28 comments:

Karen said...

Richella, love the way you have decorated the mantel. It is beautiful & so traditinal. That is my style ~ I've got to get busy, haven't started decorating yet.

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Hi, Richella, it's all just beautiful,I love your traditional mantel & colors. The pic with the dog curled up could be right of out Norman Rockwell. Merry Christmas, my friend!

cindy @ cottage instincts said...

That painting is the perfect inspiration for a christmas mantel! I still have your topiaries bookmarked from last year :) And I love the tall candlesticks with the red candles....beautiful.

Southern Fried Gal said...

GORGEOUS! I love the traditional feel of your mantel. Looks like a room straight out of a design book!

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

I love the traditional look! I second Rhoda--looks straight out of a Norman Rockwell! The topiaries are my fave. :)

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

Richella, it is beautiful. I love the traditional look as you know and yours looks so good with the lush greenery and your pretty topiaries.

Marla @ Always Nesting said...

I don't have enough words. Beautiful, gorgeous, amazing......love it!!

His Doorkeeper said...

Your mantel is just lovely! I especially love the greenery and I think the dog just makes it a perfect picture indeed!

Beth@The Stories of A2Z said...

Love the moss topiaries! So, so cute!

Holly said...

Oh so pretty! Traditional and cozy, and very inviting.

Marianne@Songbird said...

What a lovely traditional look! Enjoy the holiday season.

Vanessa said...

Richella, this is stunning! Absolutely stunning! Traditional and yet unique, classic and yet contemporary. I just love it all and must go back and study it some more! :-)
Vanessa

Elizabeth (blue clear sky) said...

Very elegant. This could be in a magazine.

Mary said...

Oh, how beautiful! You have such a lovely mantle to work with, and your topiaries and candlesticks are just the perfect complement to that gorgeous painting.

Have a merry Christmas!
~Mary

Debbie said...

Fabulous, I just love it, and your live greenery is the best, and yes you are right can't beat the price!

New Every Morning said...

You inspired me so much when I read this earlier today, I went out and found some wonderful greenery in my yard, and finished my mantel.
Thank you!!!

The Mulberry Girl said...

Your mantle is just elegant! I especially love the painting above your fireplace! I'm thinking I need to plant a few more evergreens around my home to have something to cut for the indoors at Christmas!

La said...

Richella, your mantel looks lovely. Merry Christmas! La

Blondie's Journal said...

Beautiful, Richella!! I love the cute stockings and the topiaries! It's all very traditional and lovely. And your pooch looks adorable snoozing there! :-)

XO,
Jane

Carmen @ Life with Sprinkles on Top said...

I love the traditional look. So pretty!

Kim said...

Your moss topiaries are awesome! I have an empty spot on my mantle and I have been debating about trying to make one. I looked at your link on how to make them.

Lovely!

Leslie @ goodbye, house! HELLO, HOME! said...

Just lovely!
It is completely different than all the other 5,394,874,397 mantles I have seen tonight, LOL!
Does puppers even have a red ribbon on her neck?
I love the story behind the stockings--my second daughter, 16, is asking for stockings this year--I have NEVER done them- am I a bad mom or what?
(It's because we never did Santa.)
I think I will quick-sew some from some matelasse I have leftover from sewing my slipcovers...
I want to be able to tell a story like yours :)
(Only my story will be newer :)
I pray that you are having a blessed time making your home this Christ-mas time!
HUGS!
~me

FrouFrouBritches said...

It's so beautiful Richella! I love the shape of those candlesticks. They're gorgeous! Love the painting too. Very pretty! We have very similar stockings, needlepoint, aren't they? Very pretty!

Jemsmom said...

This is absolutely gorgeous! I am trying to use natural greenery and mine just doesn't look nice! Can you tell me how you got yours to look so full? Did you use florist foam or anything? I am just in love with your mantel!

HeathahLee said...

So beautiful, Richella! I wish I could come visit and see it in person!

Jen said...

Very classic,traditional,and beautiful!

Heather said...

That is so pretty. You did such a good job with it. We have some of the same stockings! We have the nutcracker and tree ones.

southernscraps said...

Beautiful! The topiaries are awesome.

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