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Simple Summer Mantel

Earlier this week, I sat with my toes in the sand,
the sea breeze in my hair
and a beach bag filled with flowers by my side.

I listened to the sound of the waves crash against the shore
and the seagulls talking to each other as they flew overhead.
And I breathed. And relaxed. And recharged.

I always bring my arsenal of photography needs to the beach when I go
because I am always inspired- and so...
yes, there was the occasional person walking by on the beach who stopped and stared at me
as I was taking photos of flowers.
In a bag.
On the beach.
But there was also a pair of older ladies who were walking by and stopped to ask about my camera and lens and then saw the flowers behind me and their faces lit up with surprise.

I smiled and explained that I was a crazy girl on the beach with flowers because... 
I am literally just a crazy girl who goes to the beach with flowers. ;)

And they just smiled and thanked me for such an incredible thing to see.

So I decided sometimes being that crazy California girl is a good thing.
Even if you get a few raised eyebrows.
I have learned over the years that if I am going to be true to me, 
I have to go with what I love and who I am.

In my house, sometimes that means a whole lot of something going on
or a much more subdued look.
Kind of like the decorations on the mantel.

In Summer, I like to think of decor like wearing a tank top
instead of a heavy sweater.
Less is more.
It is more breathable and airy
and comfortable and sometimes it is perfect.

Can I let you in on a secret?
Sometimes, I prefer the fireplace mantel with nothing on it. 
Zero, zip, nada. 

Sometimes the bones of the fireplace and wood plank walls is perfect.
So instead of decking this one to the nines
I kept it simple

I started with a vintage mirror-
complete with all of the loss of silvering, chipping paint and old shabby details.
 I love the interesting shape of it- and the subtle but warm coloring.
It was a perfect backdrop that added a touch of charm without
standing out too much or overwhelming.

A favorite for mantels for me~ vintage books. 
Stack them up
line them up
scatter them in different ways.

Vintage books with those old worn pages 
and soft coloring are simply perfect for a shabby cottage look.
I also love something white.
Normally a pitcher or tea cups but this time, 
it was a vintage gravy boat.

Why not? 

And even better- 
why not a gravy boat with just a couple lisianthus blooms inside?

I mixed in a couple of bottles filled with lisianthus as well
and a few candles to light in the evenings and create some ambiance

and it was good.
Well, for now anyway.
You know how things are always changing over here.

Coming your way tomorrow-

 sharing more about my fun sand and sea filled busy week over here
and yes, that bag filled with flowers on the beach

Christmas wedding ideas and links to my posts at Balsam Hill
(yes, I know it is June- but if you are having a Christmas wedding
you have to start planning early)
what is coming your way next week!

Happy Friday everyone

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  1. I am so ready to feel those beach breezes! It is in the mid to upper 90s here in the south - add on top of that 50% humidity, and it is HOT! Ready to cool it down! Summer really is a time to simplify decor!

    1. It is hot here too- not humid but definitely hot! Hope you cool down a bit soon!

  2. Very nice! Love the flowers on the beach!

  3. Gorgeous mantle. I like the idea of using the gravy boat. Beautiful pictures of the beach


  4. The beach looks so good. Flowers on the beach why not it looks so pretty. Love your simple mantel.

  5. The flowers look awesome!! The photos of the beach are really cool and refreshing to look at. I love your mantel and the simplicity of the design makes it interesting to look at. I miss having a mantel to decorate. I put a sofa table against the wall ,but it's just not the same.
    Have a great day.

  6. You are so fortunate to be able to visit the sea when you like. It is my retirement dream to have a little beach side cottage where I can just wander out to the beach at will. For now, I live vicariously through your posts!......One day......