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DOES ANYONE else get the blues after putting away their holiday decorations?  The house just seems so empty after all the lights and sparkly baubles are lovingly wrapped in bubble paper to be stored away for the next 11 months.  Rather than bellyaching about the holidays passing too quickly, I looked at all my clean surfaces as an opportunity to do some serious restyling.  I made a few tweaks here and there, but the biggest change was to my living room mantel.

The mantel has undergone many a transformation in the 15 or so months we lived in this house.  We started out with a red mantel backed up by a flesh colored wall.  All the styling in the world couldn’t hide this hot mess.  Like putting lipstick on a pig so to speak.Embrace My Space: Living Room BeforeThis spring we transformed the whole fireplace wall with some fresh paint and new window treatments.  See the full posts on those updates here and here.
Embrace My Space: Bamboo ShadesOur mantel displayed a few treasures from our travels until fall rolled around.  When the air turned cooler I brought some natural grasses and pumpkins to the party to pay homage to the season.
Embrace My Space: Fall MantelFor Halloween I maxed out the mantel by covering the entire surface with spooky bottles and other glassware.

Embrace My Space: Halloween

I swapped out the ghosts for a few more pumpkins and gourds, plus added a homemade banner for Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving Mantel Christmas came with an explosion of lights, sparkle and color!
Embrace My Space: Colorful Christmas

After I packed up the stockings and lights, I started to put all of my original mantel stuff back out to style the mantel in its non-holiday look.

Embrace My Space:  Living Room

Then I realized I was really over this overly symmetrical look.  In fact, if you look back at all of my mantel styles from 2013, you’ll notice that symmetry was the name of the game in every look.  Change was overdue.  I pulled all of my mantel items from storage, as well as things I had displayed in other areas of the home, and lined everything up on the floor to take inventory of my stash.

This is a really great thing to do before you decorate for any season.  That way you don’t forget about things you love that you already own or buy something new when something you already had would work just as well!

After playing around with a few combinations, I settled on this minimalist, asymmetrical look.

Embrace My Space: Minimalist Mantel

I’m sure a true minimalist will look at this and say it is not minimal at all, but for me this look was a great exercise in restraint.  I have a tendency to over decorate surfaces, mainly because I have so many things I love to display.  This year the name of the game is organizing these items and reimagining ways to display them throughout my home.

And in case you wanted to see what the whole fireplace area looks like……

Embrace My Space: Minimalist Mantel

Hahahahaha.  Just call me Dr. Jekyll.