Mantle = DONE!

So, you may remember me mentioning in the living room post that I was ordering something from the Ballard catalog for my mantle. It arrived Friday, and I just may have squealed and done a little happy-dance when it got here.
I am in love with my Ballard Designs and Pottery Barn catalogs. I pour through them every time I get them in the mail, circling everything I wish I could get. I have learned to see them more as inspiration rather than actually catalogs to buy from, since they are overpriced. I have actually been able to find or create near-replicas of many of their products (more on that at another time…)
All that to say, it recently occurred to me that as much as I love both stores, I have never actually BOUGHT anything from either. That has now changed! I bit the bullet and bought these mirrors from Ballard.
They are inspired by the New Orleans Garden District. I like that they have that whole white-washed-yet-sophisticated vibe going on. They come in a sets of two, so I didn’t feel like the price was all that outrageous. And I thought their height would be great for my mantle.

So, I eagerly tore into the boxes and got the mirrors put up in like, 5 minutes flat. Once they were on the mantle though, it just seemed a little empty (I only got two). So this weekend has been full of searching for the perfect accessories to go on each side.

And here’s the finished product:

This was another test of me fighting my “matchy-matchy” tendencies. Mantles are hard because you feel the need to be symmetrical, but you don’t want it to be exactly the same on both sides.

I am sure the employees of Marshall’s and Hobby Lobby began to recognize me, since I went to both stores three times each this weekend, searching for the right combination of green/blue glass jars. I originally had six jars (three on each side). Yes…it was quite matchy-matchy. I kept staring at it, and it was lacking something. Since the mirrors are so tall, I just felt there needed to be a bit more variance in height.

I swear, all my best ideas seem to come to me around midnight. Last night, it just dawned on me…maybe some layered picture frames behind the jars would add that height it needed. And since I wanted to keep the light and airy feeling, I decided to just use the frames…no pictures inside.

Luckily, frames were half-off at Michael’s today! Wahoo! I knew I wanted something dark or brassy (to tie in with the dark elements in the mirrors). The frames I settled on were labeled as “barnyard wood.” I liked that they added a bit of the rustic elements that I am trying to bring in to the living room. Lately, I’ve been really drawn to that faded grey wood color.

I edited down the bottles to three on one side and one on the other. I like how it gets rid of the “matchy-matchy, tacky-tacky” look, but still coordinates both sides. I added a cute little white-washed frame that I already had, and declared the mantle finished. (Well, after a ridiculously long amount of time spent slightly moving a jar, stepping back, looking, slightly moving a frame, stepping back, looking…)

I asked Nick what he thought, and he uttered the most beautiful words I’ve ever heard. “It gives off that shabby chic vibe.” Wahoo! Success! Just the look I was going for! 🙂

As I speak, Nick is actually working on adding some decorative moulding to the fireplace…not a lot, just a bit to make it look more finished. I will post pictures once its finished.

And an update on the light fixture front…these mirrors have pretty much solidified my pick for that entry way light. But I’m not telling yet…you’ll just have to wait and see 🙂

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