A simple fall mantel that embraces less is more for autumn decorating… and a discussion on how less decor has helped my sanity!
We’re having a few rainy days here and it’s like magic, all of a sudden I’m in the fall mood. I was hanging on to summer. Wanting a few more weeks of slow mornings and long nights but school is back in, I’m dressing the kids in sweaters and I decorated my house for fall. Just like that, friends.
Today I’m excited to be sharing my fall mantel decor with you guys and with a bunch of other amazing bloggers for the Seasonal Simplicity fall mantel hop hosted by my friend Krista from The Happy Housie! Every time I do these hops, we get the images ahead of time so we can share it at the bottom of our posts. And most of the time I’m really confident in what I create. I love to create, craft, and decorate and I feel like I’ve really found my own style over the past couple of years. But sometimes I look at all those beautiful pictures and I feel like what I’ve put together is lacking.
I mean… it’s certainly not over the top! But more than that, I feel like I didn’t do enough to be inspiring. Does that make sense? Like… when you’re hopping around looking at mantels, you want it to be full of ideas and this mantel is not FULL. But that’s also what I’m so drawn to lately. This is what works for our family and I don’t want to put on a show for you either.
I actually shot this mantel twice. I shot it once with a floral arrangement in that large vase (see it below). But I walked by it all day and it bugged me. It felt too fancy for our family. So while dinner was on the stove, I pulled it apart, ran into my yard and snipped some more branches and made it a wild foliage arrangement. I gifted the flowers that were in there to a friend that night.
This is it with the flowers. They were honestly super pretty. Just not our jam!
I’ve just been drawn to LESS for a while now. I think you can see it in the way I ‘decorate’ almost every space. There’s less and less stuff on surfaces. When I get ready to photograph a space or when the house is being cleaned, I clear everything out. I only put back what I feel like is missing. Shane walks in and says that it feels so good to have things clear. We have enough chaos in life! I’m sure any of you with young families (or older families, I just don’t know what that’s like yet!) can relate. They are everywhere, all the time and building forts and launching legos and if I want to be okay with them sprawled on the floor with all their books and stuffed animals and blankets, I need to have order and calm on the surfaces that I get to control. And really, a clear space for me to pop my coffee when the toddler charges me is not just nice but necessary.
These are just my thoughts on how my style is evolving to have less style in a way. And if you’re feeling overwhelmed with life right now (because fall is the time that it ALL starts up again!) why not try clear some of your decor as well and see if it helps you out mentally? It’s a game changer for me!
Hitting home-ish? Want some resources? If you’re looking for more inspiration on doing less/having less/ decorating with less, my friend Kala from My Breezy Room talks about minimalism (and plants) all the time in a totally relatable way over on Instagram, so does my friend Bridgett (who’s aesthetic is freaking amazing, but I will never ever be as clean as her), and then for super practical resources- I really love listening to Allie Cassazza (you’ve just got to be okay with a little cheese/pump up to go with it!).
Okay let’s talk about decor, friends! Lately, I’ve been getting so much love for this canvas over my mantel and I’m totally flattered and excited to hear that. I’m obsessed with this quote. It’s such a good reminder and I love having it in my living room as one of the first things I see when I walk out every day. I know that I spelled Mother Teresa wrong. No need to tell me ;) But I’ve been thinking it would be fun to do a tutorial on how to get that brushy look with paint so I bought all the things and have it waiting for when my studio office reno is complete and I can get crafty again!
Since the canvas is pretty busy, I like to keep everything else simple on here. I love this large vase I snagged from HomeSense last winter and if you’ve seen my mantels before… it’s been in this exact spot since I got it! Ha! It balances out the stub wall on the opposite side of the fire place to me. I just swap out seasonal greenery and the mantel is instantly seasonal!
On the other side, I have tried a few different things since moving here last year. I like to try and balance the height of the tall vase and foliage so I stacked a couple books and a taller pumpkin. I usually try to avoid buying seasonal decor of any kind (except for real pumpkins because OF COURSE. But this year, I didn’t realize that our fall/autumn decor box was packed away in my inlaws basement until I had cleaned my house top to bottom to photograph it and went to get my hand lettered autumn pumpkin (see it in this tour) to pop up here. *sigh* But one trip to HomeSense and I picked up this lovely wood look pumpkin and the funky heirloom looking green pumpkin on my magazine stack on the hearth.
That’s it, you guys! It is honestly hard for me not to feel like I should be adding more in. A garland, a floral bouquet, a stack of mini pumpkins… but this is what makes me enjoy my home the most!
But if you’re wanting MORE fall decor ideas… well I have you covered with this Seasonal Simplicities hop! Look at all these amazing fall mantels and vignettes from some of my fave bloggers!
And today I’ve been joined by some of my blogging friends who are also sharing their Fall decor ideas through their Fall mantel decor or Fall Vignette. Just click on the links below the images to see more…
The Happy Housie
Rooms FOR Rent
The Turquoise Home
The Handmade Home
So Much Better With Age
Grace in My Space
House by Hoff
The DIY Mommy
Jenna Kate at Home
Home Made Lovely
Maison de Cinq
Clean & Scentsible
Tatertots and Jello
A Pretty Life in the Suburbs
All Things With Purpose
Town and Country Living
She Gave it a Go
Sincerely, Marie Designs
Life is a Party
This is Our Bliss
My Sweet Savannah
The simplicity of this is so gorgeous! I love that sign
Thank you Rhonda!
I love that quote and the brushy look. I look forward to that tutorial! Less is more and your mantel is beautiful. Thanks for sharing on the blog hop!
Thanks so much Krista!
perfectly styled. simple yet beautiful! pinned to my fall group board
Thank you so much Ashley, I appreciate the pin :)
I’v also been feeling less is more, through the years I also love & displayed it all, mantle lights, fall garland, pumpkins, candles, fall flowers, etc. I loved it!!! Now when I look around, I see clutter, maybe it’s my age, “65” kids are long gone, but grandkids come by often, & I still love for the home to look festive!!!
So I’v been battling with myself not to rebuy all that “stuff”, mine has long been giving away, I have one large ceramic orange lite up pumpkin I put out every year!!!?The mantle has a tall vase with fall eucalyptus, grandkids photos, “looking for a few “add in”?? maybe just tiny pumpkins!!! Plain for me, so I appreciated your post….love your mantle…..Thank You!!!
Jennifer S. Hadfield
I’m in love with that sign! So pretty! Pinned!
I loved reading your post, Colleen, and totally relate! When forts are being made, you just want everything uncluttered everywhere else. Loved this and feel inspired!
Rachael @ This is our Bliss
I’ve been feeling the same way lately. I want all the “stuff” outta here! I love your simple styling. To me, it is VERY inspiring. Its a beautiful mantel!
I really really understand what you mean. Sometimes I just want to get rid of everything…but then the next thing I know I’ve put pumpkins everywhere hahaha! I really love your style…it’s classic and timeless and really gorgeous.