The Real Challenge

Living roomWithout question, the most difficult place to decorate in my house is the mantle, which is more an architectural detail than a functional space.  As you can see, the ceilings in the living room are very tall (28′) which makes scale a challenge, and the mantle, if you can call it that, is actually a ledge that is a bit wider in the recessed area.

christmas decorDespite the challenges, I’m going to attempt creating a bit of holiday feel.  Since burlap has been my material of choice this season, let’s see what can be done with it here.  No way can it lay flat so it’s bunched up to fit the space.   These holly trees haven’t been used for some time, but they seem just right with the burlap.  As for the needlepoint stockings, they are always hung with care.

That’s about all that can fit here, but it looks a tad blah.

Christmas decorChristmas decor christmas decorThankfully, there is lots of green in the yard, including holly fern and leather holly.  Don’t those seem a good match for the holly shaped leaves on the tree?  Hmmm, I’m starting to like this a little better.

Christmas decorWith his rustic and woodsy look, this Santa feels right at home.  I just hope he has something in his bag that will fill the stockings!

Christmas decorLooking down, it makes me happy to see a bit of Christmas here.  Maybe that will get me started doing whatever decorating is going to happen!

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

P.S.  If you have any idea for how to treat this challenging space, pass them on.  I’d love your suggestions.


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12 thoughts on “The Real Challenge

  1. Oh WOW! You’ve got such a beautiful house, with great architectural bones and details! Love the mantel, the blue Russian Santa (or so I think) and of course, the rug!!

  2. A 28-ft. ceiling??!?!??! Oh, my goodness!!! What I wouldn’t do to enjoy that view!!!!! Wow!!! I really like that stacked bank of windows over the “mantel.” That’s really cool!!! You get TONS of natural light in from all sides!!!

    I love the pared down look, but since you asked for other suggestions, I would venture to say a menagerie of paper whites (or even white poinsettias) and creamy white candles would look really cool all along the “mantel” area as well as the “hearth” space. It would still offer a clean look even though the space would be filled. The fragrance it would provide would be amazing!!! LED candles for safety, of course! And on timers so you wouldn’t have to manually turn them on and off every day!!!!!!!! 🙂

    1. I like the idea of the whites, however, all but the space directly over the fireplace is too narrow to put anything on. That’s part of my problem. Trying to balance any arrangement is more than difficult.

  3. I loved it when you added the greenery…Your room is amazing..I love the architecture of the room and the view is beautiful!

  4. Happy holidays, Lulu. You did a nice job because that is a minimalist mantle. Being an architect, I do love your house and garden.

    1. Thank you. I can never give too much credit to the architect for the wonderful job he did designing the house we dreamed about.

  5. Your home is stunning, and like my two homes, completely different from the other home. Someone visiting me in NC and then in FL must think I’m schizophrenic. To the question you posed, I would remove the little items on each side. The minimalist look of the greenery and candles is enough. Merry Christmas, Linda.

    1. How right you are, Billie, but the differences are what making having the two places such fun.

  6. You’re doing a pretty damn good job without my help:)

  7. Wow!! You do have some high ceilings there, Lulu!! Beautiful. The mantel looks wonderful. I love a bit of greenery to fill in places (although I think I went overboard this year!). I think your trees are so cute! I like the view of your sunroom, too.

    Happy Holidays!


    1. There’s no such thing as too much greenery!

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