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Monday, August 6, 2012

the summer mantel


The summer almost got by without me showing you the mantel.  Last week I saw racks of fall mums at Lowe's, if you can believe that!  I'm not ready to give up summer so easily, so here's to extending the season! 
As you've probably noticed, the antique French mirror is a constant on the mantel.  I've had the antique hand-painted fireplace screen for almost 25 years now.



I love blue and white all year long, but something about it in the summer feels so fresh. 



Two antique Chinese double happiness vases share the mantel with a white African violet in a small antique iron urn,  a coral fan,  a piece of coral, a pair of antique mercury glass candlesticks,  an antique English sterling rimmed match strike, and...

  

a sweet little nest Dan found under the maple trees.


Hope you are having a wonderful summer!



65 comments:

  1. Very serene! I love the mirror. Happy last days of summer.

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  2. Lovely, simply lovely! I love it all!!! Coral Fan, Fireplace Screen, and the adorable little nest. Happy Dog days of Summer to you!!! donna :)

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  3. Your summer mantle is beautiful! I love ALL the elements, I even HAVE most of the elements! My new house will require a totally DIFFERENT look then I ahve now so I am looking forward to changing things up a little!! Have a great week. XO, Pinky

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  4. I agree with you ~ I'm not ready to give up summer yet. Your mantel looks just lovely so fresh and summery. Love the african violet paired with the vases. Just beautiful

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  5. Your mantel looks stunning Joan! I love everything about it!

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  6. joan, your mantel is so lovely. so light and airy for summer. enjoyed seeing it...donna

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  7. I'm with YOU! Especially since our weather has been a bit cooler the past few days. I always long for summer, so I get a bit sad when it's over. I do love the fall, but I kind of hang on for the Indian Summer

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  8. Gorgeous! Love your Chinese vases and the white African violet. You really have a green thumb. I remember the ivy topiary you've had years. I don't have any luck with AFs. I think my house isn't bright enough for them...it certainly can't be the lack of humidity. No such thing down here in GA.
    Babs

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  9. Mums in August is like Christmas decorations before halloween. IT'S JUST WRONG!

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  10. Your summer mantel is so sweet and lovely. You certainly have an artist's eye, Joan.
    XO Victoria

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  11. So beautiful! I especially love the little urn for the African violet.

    TDM xx

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  12. Joan,
    It's only just now feeling like summer here. We've had a very mild and cool summer, not that I'm complaining, but it is nice to enjoy windows open, flowers blooming, bees buzzing and all for a few more weeks. Love your summer mantle. I've started collecting abandoned birds nests of all sizes and enjoy using them in and around the house, much like yours. You always inspire me!
    Karen

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  13. Beautiful, Joan. Summery YET sophisticated. A lovely "gathered" vignette with many elements from nature.
    Cheers,
    Loi

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  14. Extend the summer???? Lest you forget the Texas summer heat, let me refresh your memory of 3-digit temps! HA...just kidding....I would love to have the desire for summers to be longer, but even if I moved to the UK, I think I would still dread the summer heat after living in Houston for 20 years. The mantel is beautiful. I especially love the coral fan...it makes the vignette! I just love how you incorporate nature into your interiors....no one does it better :) happy dog days of summer!

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    1. Touche' Angeldog!! I do have Dallas and Austin on my iphone weather page so I can usually feel better about when it's "hot" here in the low 90's!!

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  15. By the way....Hobby Lobby in Houston started putting out their Christmas trees and decorations 6 weeks ago!

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    1. I think that should be reported to the Police!! That's just wrong.

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  16. Very pretty. We have had a hot summer - so really appreciate your fresh vignette.

    Nicole

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  17. Joan, I love all the elements on your summer mantel, but it's the African violet that brings it all to life! Isn't Dan the sweetest for bringing in the nest that he found?

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  18. Very very pretty. I love the blue and white too. It's always perfect.
    And I really love your mirror. When something 'works', isn't it a great feeling?

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  19. This is just perfect, Joan. Light, fresh and pretty! Now let's keep enjoying summer! :)

    XO,
    Jane

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  20. joan you are the real deal. i love this mantle and if i had one i'd try to copy it. xo janet

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  21. So pretty and love the way you are bringing nature in. The vases are perfect! It's wonderful that you are pausing to enjoy the laid back days of summer :)

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  22. The summer mantel reminds me of something I'd see in house in Georgia or Louisiana. Beautiful.

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    1. Being a Southern girl, I like that, thank you!

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  23. lovely display of collected items Joan you have a rare talent.

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  24. Hello! It's nice to meet and follow you! The little bird nest you found under your tree is adorable! I also love your mantel, you have a great style, Joan. Thanks for sharing.

    Ciao Bella
    Sensible Sarah

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  25. A nice cool look for summer. I love the combination of Western antiques, Eastern antiques and natural, found objects. I noticed that the candle tips had been lighted. Do you do this routinely for new candles before you display them?
    --Road to Parnassus

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    1. Sir P... you have a very detailed eye! While those candles are actually used I DO always light unlit wicks when putting new candles out. I was even going to do that as a "favorite details" post;) I was brought up that that was a must-do in your home!

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  26. So light and refreshing!!! Yes, the days are getting shorter quickly now. I try not to think about it... On the plus side - great night time sleeping temperatures are only a few short weeks way!!!

    Cheers,
    john

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  27. The blue and white gives the otherwise neutral colors a soft freshness - so lovely! We've had such a wonderful summer here in Huntington Beach, a bit on the cool side most days, but never hot. Makes me wish summer lasted forever.

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  28. Your summer mantle is just gorgeous. I have taken a liking to blue and white as well recently. My summer mantle has numerous new pieces. I've never really cared much for a lot of blue and white until just recently. I think visiting some of my favorite blogs is having an impact on me. You have given me inspiration to share my summer mantle soon. Mine is a very long mantle and it is sometimes a challange. Love your sweet little violet as well and that so cute little nest.

    Carolyn/A Southerners Notebook

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  29. How beautiful and I love the addition of the sea fan!

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  30. Beautiful mantel, as always! And I am so envious of that fireplace screen! It is breathtaking!

    Best,
    Tim

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  31. Hi Joan, I'm not ready to give up on summer either. Love your mantel.

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  32. Gosh, so pretty. I always get lost in your spaces. I have also grown to love blue and white lately, too. Fresh and beautiful.

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  33. Looks great! !! You have a great evening and rest of the week.

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  34. Gorgeous...I love all of your sweet momentos of nature. And that French mirror, I must have one of those someday. ; ) xoTrina

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  35. Your Summer Mantel is lovely. I can see why the mirror is a staple - it is the perfect size for the mantel and just seems to belong there. Love the sweet birds nest. Enjoy the final days of summer here in NH. It feels a bit cool here - reminds me that Fall is just around the corner.

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  36. What a perfect look! Light and yet colorful! Love your Double Happiness vases! You have such a great collection of antiques! I've had a hankering to add blue in my house but have found it a challenge with all my red,green,gold Tuscan hues. I guess it's all about finding that right item and then it works! The coral fan is wonderful- it adds a nice layer without being overpowering! The sweet nest adds more to the organic feel and the white violets keep that summer vibe going beautifully! I'm not ready to give in to the fall look just yet either! I want every day of summer to count!

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    1. Lizabeth- I think blue and white is a "classic" and can really fit in with any decor and colors. I've even seen anitque pieces in a very modern setting and it is a beautiful contrast.

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  37. Joan, Dan, and Ella: Summery, serene, sophisticated. Love it! Cindy

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  38. Joan - After reading your blog post last month, I painted both of my bedroom ceilings over the weekend with the Benjamin Moore Pearl. They look amazing - I can't stop admiring them! Your attention to detail is truly inspirational. Thanks for continuing to share your home with all of us.

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    1. Oh, that makes me so happy to hear Jennifer! Thank you for telling me!

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  39. Ah gorgeous Joan, love every detail!
    Now that we're nearing back to school I keep feeling like it's fall already but we still have our toughest summer months ahead of us here in Houston.
    xo~
    Tricia

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    1. Oh, I do so remember thinking fall was on its way when it was August in Texas- but you're so right September and even October can be some of the hottest months there. Hope it's a coolish one there this year!

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  40. So far it's a great summer but passing by way to fast. I can't believe you change your mantel for every season. I need to do something with mine yours is so pretty.

    XX
    Debra~

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    1. hi Debra, Of the five mantels we have this is the only one I change! All the others look exactly the same as the did in the room reveals, but for some reason (I guess because you see this one as you walk in the front door) I like to change this up a bit. I'm also not one to seasonally decorate the house so the mantel is my nod to the current season.

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  41. Your mantel look beautiful in the summer...as it does in all seasons. I'm not ready to give up on summer either, but we just moved and there's nothing left at any of the nurseries to plant pots....mums are everywhere. It's a little early isn't it?

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  42. ...dear friend...you cannot divert us...even with your lovely summer mantel...we are all aching to go down the hall and through the kitchen...and into...the barn room!...it is like hovering outside king tut's tomb...and i know that the reaction will be just the same...when asked what was seen...the answer was "beautiful things"...cannot wait!...blessings laney

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  43. Joan
    Your mantel is beautiful in every season. You do everything with such care and panache. My mantle never changes except at Christmas anymore! I guess that is the problem once you have two homes...one suffers!

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  44. Just like everything you do, your summer mantle is beautiful! I never tire of looking at your home and the thoughtfulness of each item. As for summer, I'm ready to give it the heave-ho! We've had one of the hottest summers in Kansas history and we are dry as a bone! Everything is shriveling from the oppressive heat and lack of moisture and house foundations are cracking and buckling. So, I am eager for fall to arrive and I promise I won't complain if we have a lot of snow this winter. I think the earth and plants would sigh with relief.
    BTW, I've looked at the renovations magazine that showcased your home so much it's ridiculous! Please tell me someone has contacted you to do a book!

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  45. Beautiful mantel, as always, Joan. You have such a wonderful collection of beautiful objects. What do you do with them when they're not out on display? Do you have a regular rotation to make sure you use everything?

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    1. hi Julia- We have a storage room (affectionately called the "treasure room") in the barn. Besides my extras it is filled with antiques that I eventually will sell (working on that at present). It's kind of like going shopping in my own store since I purchased every thing in there either for sale or for personal use. Before the renovation of the barn (and in previous houses) I used to keep things in cupboards and furniture pieces, so this has been realy fun to have as everything is displayed on open shelves!

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    2. Oh, and no I don't have a regular rotation. I simply use what speaks to me at the moment.

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  46. Just started following you on instagram (wow!) and i love how light and airy and crisp your summer mantel is

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    1. Thanks b3hd! Its been fun to show random everyday things.

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  47. So pretty! I love your fireplace screen. It is so elegant, and fits in nicely with your decor. -Al

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