Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Living Room Wall {or making a minimally fall-ish mantle}

We've had some overcast days here lately, it's been possible to wear a sweater or a scarf (or both), in the evening, if you don't mind feeling a little warm ~ hooray! 
So it's time for a little mantle-tweaking, re-arranging, fall-ifying fun.

This year I kept it simple, no pumpkins, no turkeys, no cornucopias ~ just a little bit of warmth from the rusts and golds I found when I shopped the house.

Oh, and some leafy branches from an overgrown shrub in our backyard. 
Don't underestimate the decorating power of weeds and random cuttings. 
This arrangement has lasted over a week and still looks good.  
I painted the oil painting when I was in college. It's a study of a Van Gogh.

We've done a lot of work on this wall since we moved in six years ago. 
The lower half of the bookshelves were here when we bought the house, but there was a big empty space in the middle and nothing on the upper half of the wall.

I designed the mantle and the upper bookshelves and our handyman-carpenter friend Louie built them. 
What do you think about my solution for hiding the T.V.? 

For the surround, I ordered salvaged antique majolica tile on ebay 
(in keeping with the time period our home was built). 
I'm not sure how happy I am now with that choice. Kinda wishing I'd gone all white 
for the flexibility it would give me in decorating.

In the upper bookshelves I'm trying to capture a quirky collected naturalist look (that's a look, right?). 
My sister sculpted the mini bust
~ that's a little quirky ~ 
and so is the venus fly-trap painted on the Portmeirion vase.

And those light tan books spanning the width of the wall (below) are one of Scott's best deal finds ever. 
He bought a complete set of Harvard Classics (copyright 1937) at a garage sale for $5. 
That's a collection of the greatest works of the Western cannon, from Plato to Luther and more, 
originally advertised as "The Five-Foot Shelf of Books." 
They are beautiful, most had never been opened, and we actually use them!

It's kinda fall-ish, right?

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