Monday, January 25, 2016

What To Do With That Mantel!

Just like the rest of the house, dismantling the mantel after the holidays leaves a big hole in my decorating scheme. I miss the warmth of the greenery, the glow of the lights and candles - and just the general fullness (is that a design term?) they bring to the living and family rooms. So when the decorations go, I'm looking for something that brings in the beauty of the winter without feeling stark or cold.

For me, that means less color but reflective surfaces, something that mimics the light from the sun coming off the snow. While I'm not a great fan of mirrors on the mantels, now might be the time to use one. And perhaps include something reminiscent of the bare tree branches.

I stay away from a lot of color, other than the whites, silvers, grays, and perhaps icy blues of the winter landscape. And that includes any artwork. I'm fortunate to have a beautiful winter photo my husband took that looks stunning against the fieldstone of the of the living room fireplace. Appropriate greenery can be nice, such as evergreens (not the swags or trees of Christmas, but something that doesn't scream "holiday") or perhaps Narcissus or Amaryllis.

And, of course, a lit fire. What brings warmth to the house like the glow of the fireplace on a cold winter's night. Maybe I can wait just a little longer for spring.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Lighting the Darkness

One of the hardest things about the end of the holidays is the lack of light. During the season we have lights everywhere - indoors and out. They are in the front yard, the back yard, on all of the Christmas trees (inside and out), on both mantels, on the staircase roping . . . you get the idea. Several years ago we decided to leave up the back yard lights (that only we can see), calling them winter lights. They stay up through February, when you really can tell the days are longer. But inside has still been a problem - but now I've found solutions!
Apartment Therapy
Lamps Plus
While I will not go the traditional route of putting white lights on a large indoor plant or tree, I do like the idea of white lights on branches. The branches can be large like these and come from the back yard, or smaller, like the kind sold at craft stores for decorating projects. Or use the string lights to create your own wall art tree for a stunning effect.

I like the idea of a curtain of lights. From a few simple strands of star string lights all the way to a puddle-on-the-floor curtain, they certainly keep out the darkness. And the best news? When warm weather comes, hang them on your porch for beautiful summer nights. These beauties are good indoors or out.

Now that's what I call lighting the darkness.