Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A Spring Mantel and Living Room Reveal

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I was inspired by Beth at The Stories of A to Z to decorate my mantel for spring. Then I realized, I don’t have any spring decorations :) So my mantel is an example of working with what you’ve got.


I know its a little sparse, but for not having to buy anything I think it’ll work great. I also think the pictures are hung a little high but they’re hiding some major dings in the wall that I didn’t bother to fix, since I plan to put up some drywall to close in the mantel and make it less deep.

I was dead set on using this little guy I picked up at a garage sale last year, who’s been lonely in the garage for too many months.

It needed a little cleaning up, but I was able to make a nice little bird’s nest, using a candle I found at Michael’s a while back ($1.25!) and some packing material as a ‘nest’.


Nothing says ‘Spring!’ to me like flowers, so I incorporated some living flowers into the mantelscape, as well as a little owl from the Target Dollar Spot. (He used to be grey with really creepy eyes. Now he’s white with sorta creepy eyes).


Rather than just show you the mantel, I thought it would be good to share some pictures of our in-progress living room. I’m ever-so-slowly revealing each room in the house, mostly waiting for a day when each room is clean, ha! (You’ve seen the family room, master bedroom, and the guest bathroom so far.) Keep in mind, our living room is off the kitchen, and our family room is connected to the formal dining room. I realize that this is very backwards. Our decision to organize the house this way is pretty much based on TV placement (Matt refuses to have a TV on the mantel), which probably means we need to watch less TV.


(This is the first pic I took. I’m pretty sure Diego thinks my blog is about him.)

DSCN1207 Anyone notice the mantel switch?

The living room is definitely a work in progress. I don’t have a picture of the house when we moved in but here’s the picture from the listing.

When we moved in the green wall was gone, but the ceiling was mustard yellow. That’s right, brown walls and a yellow ceiling. We painted the ceiling white, but haven’t touched the walls yet. We probably wouldn’t have done anything since we plan on remodeling the attached kitchen this summer, but the yellow on brown look was bugging me so much I “accidentally” painted a stripe down the ceiling while we were working on the rest of the house :) Its a good strategy I tell ya!

When we remodel the kitchen I plan to paint this room and replace the floor. If we’re good at saving money that’ll be this summer! Aside from new paint and a new floor, there are some other things that will make the living room feel more complete that I can work on soon. We need to get some art on the walls, and finish making a pillow and table.

The pillow is actually a dress that I no longer fit into no longer wear draped over a pillow to see if the fabric works with the room. I’m leaning toward no. What do you think?


My dad started making this table for my (picky) mom, and she decided she didn’t like it so it was gifted to me. As you can see, the top is still backerboard. We’re going to live with the table for now and wait till we decide on a wall color to figure out how it should be designed.


My favorite part of the room is the plush white rug. We got it at Home Depot and it was definitely a splurge. But I love it! Its so soft I could sleep on it.


So to summarize, here is the Before & Progress (definitely not an After) of our living room.


Thanks for sticking with me through this long post!

So, what do you think about the dress-turned-pillow? Should I bother?

What creative ideas have you had to put a little Spring into your house?

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  1. Hi Katie,

    I really love this blog! You could make the blog about Diego by adding a "Where's Diego" subplot and including him in each entry.

    The light colored glass is gorgeous - the dress pillow is a fun pattern (and concept) and it matches the cheery flowers and glass but you would need to alternate in some other bright pillows for it to work.

    Say hi to Matt and your parents!

    Tammy :)

  2. I'm leaning towards no on the pillow too. But i absolutely love your living room and mantle. The covered books are awesome. Great job!

  3. Katie,

    I've been enjoying your posts and hearing how the house is coming along. The room looks really great. I like how you've added 2 birds to the room, it's very "Portlandia" of you.

    Keep up the great work!


  4. I love that you picked up the lantern "guy" at a garage sale. No, really I love your use of the word guy but you already know that. I love this room and I told you that when I was over. Can't wait to have you help me design!!! Mantel looks great.

  5. It's looking great! I love that inset over the mantle! What a great decorating space. :)

  6. the makeover on the room is amazing! love the green and blue accents. i'm leaning to no on the dress covered pillow too. it stands out from the others that seem to blend better with the decor you have going on.

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  8. Sorry for above, made a spelling error, oopps!!
    Your mantel looks great and I love the colors, blue and green. You did a great job with not having any spring decorations. We have to shop our homes sometimes, don't we. Great blog!!
    Thanks for sharing :)


  9. Love your mantel, but especially LOVE what you did with the little lantern and the blue bird! Nice job! And, the rest of your livingroom transformation is pretty incredible!(ps- I found you from the weekend bloggy party-glad I did)


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