Trying to get into the Valentine’s Day spirit? Need to inject a little romance into your home? Yup, me too! I’m embarrassed to say that I still have my Christmas mantle up. But there is hope on the horizon! Home Stories of A to Z is having a Valentine’s Day mantle link party on Thursday, January 26th! Thanks Beth for giving me the push to get busy re-decorating.

While researching for ideas, I came across some really amazing wreaths made from some unique materials. Cupcake liners, coat hangers, and thrift store wool coats to name a few. Check out these super creative wreaths at Parentables today!

See you next week with a VIA (Very Important Announcement!)

2011 Fall Home Tour

Fall is here, fall is here! Finally the cooler temps are near!

I’m not sure about your area of the world, but this summer seemed a little too hot for my liking. My husband told me about the term “Global Weirding“. It seems fitting for all this nonsense Mother Nature is throwing at us lately.

Luckily fall seems to have come just on time. Fall is my favorite time of year. Maybe it is the painter in me that loves all the colors. Or maybe it is the nature lover in me that longs to be outdoors in the fresh crisp air. Whatever it is, I love FALL!

I spent some time this past week putting out some autumn inspired décor. Although I’m definitely self conscious about my decorating skills, I tried to abide by my words from last year about not striving for perfection. So, now I’m taking a big breath and pressing the publish button to share my home looking warm and cozy (in my opinion.)

Antique books are my go-t0 decorating objects. I love books and I love those old linen covers. Even a torn and tattered book looks nice lassoed together with some friends.

Sometimes, even an open book can look warm and inviting.

I was so happy to bring my Ballard knock off painted pear out of storage. He really looks handsome with the autumn colors.

I love all the colors in this photo! I can’t imagine having a monotone autumn mantle.

Of course, Mr. Gourd looks handsome too. (Shhh. I don’t want to hurt his feelings, but I do love the pear more.)

Yes, I’m still switching things in and out like a high school football coach. I actually like the gourd, so he’s back in but the chicken wire basket is out. However, I wanted to show you the vintage map lampshade I made. The tutorial will be served up before you know it! Hopefully I’ll have a new lamp by then. This one is just a substitute for one on injured reserve.

You may have noticed this little terrarium on the side table. I was inspired by some insanely expensive versions here. Never fear, I will have a tutorial so you can make your own soon!

A full view of the mantle decorated. It is hard to believe that in a few months the stockings will need to be hung.

I had fun with this little vignette. A crow in an antique corn grinder? Now that is pretty silly. And another terrarium that makes me smile.

Quoth the Raven “Nevermore”

The acorn jar was an afterthought. It was just a quick little hot glue craft. Speaking of which, if you haven’t read my post about hot glue gun safety, it is a must! Your fingers will thank me.

It is fun having another surface to decorate. The top of our armoire (also known as the family command center) has some pretty purples and greens.

My Pottery Barn knockoff lantern makes a re-appearance.

Beautyberry and Orange Peel Cestrum from our yard.

The dining room has a simple centerpiece made with corn kernels and a candle.

But, I might be switching it out once I get this beauty back from my friends at the Habitat ReStore. Can you guess what it used to be? I’ll give you a hint: Hollywood glam never looked so good.

Ahhh, the birds are chirping and the flowers are in full bloom. The azaleas in our yard look like fireworks exploding with color.

I long to open the windows and let in the sounds and the sweet smells.

But, alas, the pollen bomb is still in full dumping mode.

I’m not going to let that get me down. I decided to bring the outdoors in and finished switching out my Valentine’s Day decorating (yup, I like to get the most out of my seasonal décor.)

So, without further ado, here is how I’m celebrating Spring!

I saw the window idea at Classicly Amber (via Pinterest) and had just pulled a few old windows out of a curbside pick up pile. Speaking of Pinterest, if you haven’t tried it yet, you are missing out! It is a great place to “pin” ideas you see and be able to refer back to them easily.

Beth at The Stories of A2Z gave a tutorial on using Pinterest HERE. She’s the one who introduced me in the first place, so I’ll let the master show you the ropes!

I always make it a point to refer back to the original source if I get an idea somewhere else. (Granted, some things are so widespread amongst bloggers, that it is hard to credit the original source.) Pinterest has helped me keep all the ideas together and makes it easier to find the original source. Plus, you can follow other people’s pins and boards. Feel free to sign up and follow mine HERE. Then you can steal my ideas before I blog about it…just kidding!

The striped pedestal holding up the plant is actually a cake stand I made recently using a plate and a candlestick. I’ll be blogging about it later this week, but trust me it is nothing new. You’ve probably seen this trick somewhere else.

This little adorable birdhouse was lovingly painted by my 7 year old son. I always have a stock of $1 birdhouses that they like to decorate on a rainy day. This one brings so much sunshine into my heart.

I love how easy this centerpiece was to create. I rested the ceramic bird into  a shredded paper bag nest. Then set the nest on top of a ceiling medallion ($3 at a yard sale) and surrounded the medallion with ivy.

And finally, my favorite: a robin’s egg nest that I made with chicken eggs.

You can view the tutorial for making the eggs and nest at TLC’s Parentables today.

If you struggle with decorating and creating vignettes, you might want to read a few of the guidelines I use when designing groupings and seasonal décor HERE.

Entering this post into the CSI Spring Decor and Vignettes challenge:

Visit thecsiproject.com

I like to revitalize my love for a room by switching out the décor throughout the year. Decorating for the season gives the room a fresh look. Mantles are the ideal place to begin:

Autumn

 Christmas

Valentine’s Day

Springtime

But, if you don’t have a mantle, you can use any flat surface!

Side Table

Pedestal

Pie Safe Cabinet

Built-in Bookshelf

Recessed Window Seat

Here are six tips for creating successful vignettes:

1. Varied heights

Try to create a visual triangle. Have one tallest object, then a 2nd tallest and a shortest. I use books all the time to help elevate an object that might be at the same height as another object. Attractive wooden crates or boxes covered with cloth can work too.

2. Varied textures

Using a variety of textures creates visual interest. In the picture below I have a ceramic bird sitting on torn strips of newspaper in a plaster container on top of an embroidered linen and some books.

3. Color palette

Choosing a color palette of 3 colors or less is an easy way to create an appealing vignette. For my Valentine’s Day vignette I chose to work with primarily red and white with some black.

The next year, the color palette was red, aqua and white.

4. Odd numbered groupings

Vignettes and small groupings tend to look better when you use an odd number of objects.

For example, in the grouping above, I have assembled:

1. Birdhouse on a candlestick (visually they are one object)

2. Bird nest in pedestal (again visually counts as one)

3. Stack of books

4. Picture frame

5. Felted rose laying in front of the picture frame.

5. Varied Shapes and Scale

Vignettes work well if you can vary the shape and scale of your objects. Grouping many objects of the same size and shape will not give your eye enough to explore and study. Always take a step back from your vignette to make sure that your grouping has different shapes and sizes represented.

6. It’s Your Décor

This is the most important rule! Make sure you create something you like. Use your own objects. And if you love it, that is all that matters. It really doesn’t have to meet someone else’s criteria of perfection. I wrote a whole post on imperfect decorating HERE.

Happy Decorating!

  

Did you spy Christmas cards in the background? Sure, it is February, but I love them too much to take them down yet. If you’d like to read more “Fall in Love with Your Home” February posts, click on the button below to see a recap of this month’s theme: