I've been working on finishing up small decorating tasks that we've never got around to completing this past year. Yes it has taken us over a year to address things like... our mantel... hanging pictures... touching up paint. Heck Mr F just finally hung our screen door!
I would have thought that the new plan of moving would have put a damper on my desire to fluff my nest but it's been quite the opposite. Having gone through this once in our old home (preparing to sell that is) I know that these things will need to be done to sell... and... you might as well enjoy the improvements a bit before handing them over.
Before we left on our vacation Mr F and I had been having some serious pow wows regarding our state of mid decoration around here. A lot of things were just not working. Our number one problem has been that we are trying to work furniture and art that was picked out for our old house into a completely different layout. Unfortunately this hasn't been ideal... but... it's a financial necessity. Our plan of attack is to really think about how we can utilize things we already own (some spray paint may be involved with this) and finally finish these big awkward rooms out.
One of the biggest eyesores has been the mantel.
(Valentine's Day display '09... note how that painting looks terrible and the broken clock.. also terrible)
Not the blue... it's funky... and I'm sure I wouldn't have done it on my own... but it does add some character to the room. Plus it kind of ties in all the bright plastic toys into our color scheme ;) I will say it doesn't photograph well and that it is a bit more subtle in person (I think). Either way since it doesn't need painting repair, and since plenty of the house does, we're not repainting. We just need to find a way to tie it into the room more. The previous owner had a fantastic painting up there.
(previous owner's decor... note how huge that painting is... sadly we don't have anything comparable size wise)
It tied the blue in perfectly and it was a real show stopper. As I said we have to work with what we have. We've got a few big pieces and we've tried them all. We've settled on this.
In truth I'm over it. I don't hate it but I don't love it and wouldn't buy it again. I got it for an apartment I had over 10 years ago. It's been used in the playroom since then since it's big and bright and colorful. It just so happens to have some blue in it and red... which ties in the stain glass windows that flank the fireplace. So it will work. It kind of has too.
Well for the past year the mantel has looked like shit. We've had one piece of art up there or another with a hodge podge of forgotten tools (you know it's true Mr F!), old birthday cards, a broken mantel clock that looked terrible but for some reason Mr F entered "mantel clock = must put on mantel" mode and put it out, and at times some framed pictures (also put out by the tard). Why on Earth was he decorating the mantel anyway? I don't know people... but when I had come home from the cottage he had done it again and it looked horrible. That's when I decided I had to make an effort to come up with a mantel display. Number one, so it would look better. Number two, so he wouldn't have room to stash stuff up there anymore.
Adding to our problems is that a lot of our stuff (breakables, vases, etc) have never been unpacked. We just don't have the storage here to put them away properly. I knew I wanted to fill out the mantel and I would need some bold colors to balance everything out. All we have unpacked are our Fiestaware pitchers and a few vases. I hit Michael's with a great coupon and for less than $8 I took it from this...
Now, typically I'm not a huge fan of artificial flowers but for $8 I've got a display that no one is going to see up close, that won't die, and can take us all the way until Christmas. You can't beat it.
But since I didn't have the right balance of vases, pitchers, I'm still not loving it. See how it's kind of heavy on the left and not so much on the right? When I hit the store I had no idea what I was going to put things in so I just grabbed things that didn't look horrifically fake. Now that I've spent some time arranging them I have a better idea of what I need and the flowers that looked too big in the store... are perfect once up on our mantel.
This is getting better...
I think I need to go back and get a couple more flowers to try and work on the glass vases a bit more. I wish I had some solid pottery vases that would balance things out better... but I'm thinking some bigger bolder flowers might help things in that department.
But since I probably won't ever go back for more flowers (just being realistic)... whatever it may not be perfect ... but it is still a HUGE improvement. And still under $10.
Nobody ever comes to our house anyway.