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Natural autumn mantel in the cottage

You already know that I am a huge fan of non-traditional colors for autumn.

Those sage green and muted dusty cafe au lait look pumpkins? 
They are everywhere.
And what about little white baby boo pumpkins? 
Yes, those too.
My house and style definitely lean towards the softer side color wise
but the little cottage?
 Well... that is a different story.

The cottage is where I play a bit and flex those design muscles a bit more.
More bold. More pizazz. More ooomph.
More 'pump you up' type colorful - like on the mantel.

Okay, I am laughing that I wrote that the mantel is colorful.

Honestly, this mantel is far from colorful.
But when you are more soft and faded blush and simple greens and whites
grapevine pumpkins and a traditional rust tartan throw feel pretty bold and colorful
in the scheme of things.

But sometimes,
I am definitely feeling like walking a bit more on the traditional side of autumn.
With the front door or the fire pit for example.

Bring all the orange pumpkins and warm and cozy wool throws.
I love it.
I smell pumpkin spice and the smoke from the fire
embrace all the colorful leaves on the trees and underfoot
and feel the crisp air and warmth of flames from the fire on my face.
And honestly, I love those chunky, long stemmed orange pumpkins in that setting.
It is like a cozy Hallmark movie set in a little vintage town surrounded by mountains covered in trees that are ablaze in colorful leaves.
That create a perfect cozy backdrop while you sit in an old coffee shop sipping away
when that guy walked in and spilled on you.  But who knew that he was THE ONE and you would fall in love. With a clutz. That was cute and charming.
Am I right?
Not sure how pumpkins brought that to mind...
but I will have to share the story of how my husband and I met one of these days.
Let's just say I was on a road trip and stopped in a town where the temperature on the sign outside said
and I thought it was broken. Until I stepped out of the car.

But back to this mantel in the cottage.
well, it begged for a more rustic cottage color and look this year.

And I have a confession.

This was styled in August.
When it was about 95 degrees outside
and there were no pumpkins to be found anywhere yet.
So, it was either grapevine or velvet pumpkins.
And I went with grapevine.

Here is a closer look:

The cottage is far more rustic in feeling than our house.
And the living room, dining room and kitchen are all rolled into 
so I can't go too crazy and put decorations in every corner.
It would probably make you dizzy.
And make you feel claustrophobic. Or maybe that is just me.
But either way,  I concentrate on just a couple areas-
and the mantel is always #1.

This fireplace is an electric fireplace that is actually a heater- so it works
for being charming and also for heat.
It also means that I can drape greens down low and stack pinecones in the firebox
without worrying about them catching fire.
Which is awesome.

On the mantel top- it is all about a sprinkling of elegance with gold.
I stacked a vintage gold framed chalkboard in front of the huge (and heavy) 
antique mirror and then stacked a few more grapevine pumpkins in front of it.

I thought about moving the mirror- but, in the interest of not injuring myself 
I decided it was best to leave it and simply stack.
Stacks of 'like' frames are always a simple way to add charm.
In this case, it beefs up the gold layers a bit and adds more interest.
And it was safe.

And after a few tweeks and adjustments to the greens
I stepped back and called it good.
Totally not French Country Cottage traditional- I know.
But, I kind of like it.
(and did you notice I snuck a couple of dried roses in. ;)

And the best part?
All of these grapevine pumpkins are available at HomeGoods inexpensively
and are great for using right on through Thanksgiving.
And the chalkboard?
A thrift store frame that I made into a chalkboard.
So this mantel styling is inexpensive as well.
A win-win.

(And the throw is from HomeGoods as well if you are wondering)

But if you are looking for the more of my signature French Country Cottage traditional look-
the one sprinkled with romance and blush and soft elegance...
well, you know it is coming your way.

For fun, I played with these pumpkins and gourds and eucalyptus...
and styled another mantel using almost all the same elements
but gave it a completely different look.

Soft and shabby, floral, French - it  might be one that ran away with my heart.
 Stay tuned for a closer look 
and tips on how to take a mantel from bold to soft in a snap
without spending more money.

And also coming your way:
My bedroom for Autumn- and 3 looks with bedding
A most amazing French mirror 
an elegant autumn table styling- and recipe 
the orchard this year
and much more.

Hope your week is off to a great start everyone.

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  1. I need a cottage to play in. I wonder if the mister will build me on. No, probably not. I can't even get my garden shed built.

    1. Haha! Oh man... tell that guy you need it!! I am just playing in half of our cottage right now- my middle guy and his gf moved back home from L.A. and are living in the top half (and I am loving it!) :) Btw- are you going to High Point this fall? Miss you!!

  2. It is gorgeous and rustic romantic. I love it. So pretty.

  3. Just by reading your story I can feel the warmth of the fire, the smells of a spiced candle or hot cider...the beauty and warmth are abundant....yes, a mantel and hearth straight out of a Hallmark movie set in a very romantic lodge...cue the guy with the coffee..