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Soap & larkspur

Did you see my post yesterday about falling for pretty?

larkspur, french cottage, mantel

I have a confession bright and early this Monday morning.
I might also be the kind of person who buys...

a bottle of hand soap
merely because it is pretty.

Or a bottle of wine that might not even be the type of wine that I enjoy- 
but the bottle it is in 
has the perfect label and color to the glass 
and well, it is just plain amazing.

I can't resist a pretty glass bottle with a simple,  elegant label
especially if it has a little touch of twine tied around it.

My husband shook his head when I brought home 5 or 6 different bottles 
filled with hand soap that all looked the same
(but you know- between you and me?
They totally didn't.)

I just smiled and said that I bought them for the bottle and that
they were an investment in a future mantel styling.

He just stared at me and had nothing to say.
Not really unusual around here I suppose. ;)

Seriously though, 
normally bottles filled with soap just like this one 
are plastic.  Which is fine... 
but sometimes, you will bump into a few of them that are glass 
and that have seriously pretty labels on them.

And you know me,
 I am always looking at something and seeing what it could be.
It is that whole seeing potential to a fault thing. 
So where some might see soap in a bottle...

I am seeing a centerpiece, a bouquet on a side table 
or even a mantel styling.

And this particular bottle of Argan and Sea Salt hand wash
was destined for the fireplace mantel in my office.

This fireplace is a huge favorite of mine with all the details and old charm it has.
It is an old cast iron fireplace surround that came along as part of a whole truck full of vintage 
furniture that I bought- 
and truth be told, I would have paid the same amount I paid for everything
for just this mantel surround alone.

Since it is such a beauty all by itself, I tend to keep the styling fairly simple to allow
 that architectural charm to 'speak' and play a part of the look.

I find that when something has a great patina with old chipping and worn paint
and intricate or interesting details like this piece-
keeping the rest of the decoration a little more simple is far better.

So, I chose larkspur for the styling for several reasons
but mostly because it is such a delicate bloom and it softly compliments without overwhelming.

 Larkspur is tall and dainty and a single stem is absolutely delightful. 
 It is one of those flowers that you don't need a whole bunch of-
just a handful of them pack a punch of color and cottage garden charm.

The salmon, pink and greens in the larkspur paired with the cottage white and the touch of gold... 
well, I am pretty much in love with it.

I also added several white peonies that are dried nearly perfectly
and another favorite of mine- a stack of 'naked' books.

 The blue bottle was added  for a little something unexpected
and - that was a wrap.

A seriously simple French cottage style mantel
 that was all inspired by a little bottle of soap.

Happy Monday and June 1st

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  1. I totally understand you. An eye for the beauty always see beyond the obvious and always finds new meaning to ordinarily things.Nevertheless, beautiful things found us, even when we are not looking for them. And we immediately recognize each other. How could any man understand that? They see only one dimension, don`t they? :)

  2. Courtney!
    Absolutely love the simple beauty of the way you have styled your office mantel! I don't blame you for wanting the beauty of the design to speak. Are Larkspur annual or perennial? They are so delicate looking, almost like snapdragons! I would have done the same thing had I the good fortune to find beautiful glass bottles, without a care to what they held! My husband would have been just as in the dark as yours! They are so funny. Well, out to the garden I go, it is finally warm here in Northern Michigan and I just need to be outside. Happy Monday! Teri

  3. Pretty. Pretty. Pretty. I have a similar "affliction" - I can't resist average things that are especially pretty (like soap in a gorgeous glass bottle). Sometimes my hubby has a very hard time understanding why I have returned from a flea market with even MORE dishes. However, he appreciates how it all comes together in the end.
    Your mantel looks stunning!
    Michelle from

  4. Your bottles are beautiful and so are your flowers

  5. The photos are just beautiful. Love how the mantel turned out. There are times when I'm reading the post an those that have posted before me and I can see my self think the same type of logic or do the same things, nice to know I'm not alone. ;)
    Have a Blessed Day

  6. Hi Courtney!!

    I love bottles!! And I've been known to buy a bottle of wine for your exact same reason...The bottle!!

    Love your mantle and your new bottle!!

    Have a great week!!


  7. Such very beautiful photographs. So gentle and lovely, and beautifully composed.

  8. I am also a sucker for pretty bottles old and new labels or not

  9. This is so beautiful, I love it !
    Love the bottles, the flowers and the colors.
    Have a nice day !

  10. So pretty! And thanks for reminding me that I have two lemonade bottles that are calling for some vintage French labels.


  11. I have that same disease......collecting things for the container!!! Bottles of all types are my downfall!! I once bought a bottle of brandy for the bottle, now that was expensive, but I still have and love that bottle!!!

    I also like to decorate bottles and add labels from the net that I find. They are listed on my
    You make everything so pretty with your flowers, enjoy all your posts......xoxoxo

  12. OH, be still my heart, those bottles, those flowers, your mantel....just too perfect. I too am on the look out for bottled soaps with labels that are different. I have always been drawn to packaging. I totally get this post.

  13. Simple and stunning! I absolutely love this. I know what you mean about buying something just for the look and not it's use. But somethings are just meant to be admired. Never heard of Larkspur until now but I must have some :)

  14. Is there any other reason to buy things? Like you, I come home with things because they look beautiful. Let's just say we have a vision for repurposing things, and leave it there. Beautiful photos from beautiful you. Whenever I have a chance to stop in and visit your blog, I leave inspired. merci, mon amie!

  15. Courtney, such a beautiful display. I love to find a use for something other than what it is! I look forward to seeing what you are doing in your office..Happy Tuesday..Judy

  16. I have always loved larkspur, and these are gorgeous the way you have used them. Glass packaging is getting hard to find. I agree about buying just for the beauty of the container. Love your fireplace surround.

  17. Simple and beautiful! I love that blue bottle is adds such a subtle punch of something. I adore blue bottles theres something so cool and unique about them

    Lauren Baxter | LB Designs