This week finally feels like Spring is making it’s way to Massachusetts. There are new signs around us that Mother Nature is awakening and warmer weather is on it’s way. Everything around our home is starting to show buds from the Hydrangeas we planted last spring (we were nervous they would not make it through the winter), to the Oak trees in our yard, to the thorny brush that grows along our wood line. The sun is higher in the sky and feels warmer on the skin. I’ve even started exposing my toes on sunny days with a pair of my favorite sandals. And, a sure sign of spring at our home…bugs. There are mostly positive things having a home in the country surrounded by wetlands, but one of the negatives is certainly the bugs. Spring starts off the bug season with tiny black gnats that incessantly fly around your face, then we progress to Mayflies & Mosquitos, and then as the weather gets warmer so do the amount, variety, and size of the bugs. However, despite the bugs and their annoyances, I must admit that spring is my favorite season. It’s the season of rebirth and living in the northeast that is made clear by the shades of greens and yellows that suddenly appear on the brown branches, poking through the mulch beds, and sprouting through the dead patches of grass. That was the inspiration for this mantle styling, shades of spring. Ever since painting our fireplace Pewter Green by Sherwin Williams last summer, I’ve been envisioning adding vibrant yellow flowers to the mantle to add a pop of spring color against the dark green of our fireplace mantle. So, I decided to bring my vision to life!
When I started to think about how I wanted to style our spring mantle, I knew the color palette I wanted, but I also knew I wanted a framed rabbit print as the main focal point. Over the past couple of years, I’ve developed a love of rabbit décor. I like decorating with rabbit prints and figurines all throughout the year, but this time of year is my favorite, especially with Easter right around the corner! I searched high and low for the perfect rabbit artwork for this space, but I could not find it. So, I took to Etsy to look for a print. I actually do this all of the time. I have some of my favorite shops that I purchase digital download photos from, and then print & frame the photos myself. It’s actually a great way to save money and it eliminates having to buy multiple picture frames (you can reuse the frame each time you switch out your prints). I found this vintage rabbit sketch here on Etsy. I purchased the JPG file of the rabbit print for $5 (which came with multiple print size options), and then downloaded that file onto my phone. I then went to the Walgreens website to purchase the actual print. I always make sure to use a coupon when ordering prints. They can be pricey but for the most part I can find a code that gives me anywhere from 20%-50% off. I purchased this print on 16×20 print on poster board. Within twenty minutes my order was ready for pickup! Now that I had the print, I needed a frame. It is hard finding a good quality wooden frame as large as 16×20 so, Dave (my handsome handyman) was kind enough to make a frame for me. This print could very easily stay unframed, or you could order a smaller print size, and use a frame you already have in the house.
Here is how Dave created the custom wooden frame in his own words (maybe this will inspire him to make an appearance around here a little more often!):
- Purchase a pine board that is 1″x6″ wide and 72″ long.
- Rip it down to 1.5″ wide x 3/4″ pieces.
- Cut the pieces to length by measuring the size of the picture.
- Rabbit the ends of each board and fit them together with wood glue and brad nails.
- Stain or paint your frame.
- Add the picture to the frame, then add simple thumb screws threaded on an angle to the back side of frame to hold the picture in. This will allow you to take the print out at your leisure and use the frame on another piece of art.
To bring shades of spring to the mantle, I kept it simple by only adding two yellow flowers. Daffodils and Tulips. These flowers more than any other signify spring to me, and are some of the very first flowers to bloom in the northeast. To make the flowers the focal point of the mantle, I decided to keep the vessels holding these flowers plain and uncomplicated. I found long glass jars around our home (some vintage, some not), filled them with water, added Daffodils to the shorter jars, and added Tulips of all assorted heights to the taller jars. I wanted an organic look, so I loved when I added the Tulips to the jars they started going in varying directions, just doing what they would typically do in nature. I added four jars on either side of the rabbit print, with the shorter jars next to the print, and the taller jars (alternating in heights) flowing out to the end of the mantle. Typically, I do like to group things in threes or odd numbers. However, I found myself drawn to the groups of four jars on either side of the print, so I stuck with that. Remember to play around, nothing is set in stone when it comes to the décor in your home, do what feels right to you!
Because we have a glass cabinet right next to the fireplace, I wanted to make this entire area look and feel cohesive. To do that, I added just a few simple touches that I think brought these two connected spaces together. I added a stout, round, glass vase to the top of the cabinet, filled with more of the yellow Daffodils, and then added multiple rabbit figurines on top of and inside the cabinet.
I love how our mantle came together and how it feels like spring to me, minus the bugs! What does spring look and feel like to you? Is spring your favorite season too? Let me know in comments, I would love to hear from you!
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