Summer Mantel

I recently re-did the mantel for summer!

Lots of shells, coral, and some crusty and rusty elements rule the day.

A mostly white palate helps lighten the room and add to the cool summer feel.

Everyone always asks me where I get all my shells! The truth is I love the beach, but am not a fan of sand....yes, an oxymoron, I know! Needless to say most of my shells have come from yardsales and thrift stores! I've also picked up coral the same way. Other pieces came from either Marshall's or Home Goods.

A yardsaling/thrifting buddy of mine frequently makes the 2ish hour trip to Norfolk, VA to do some serious junking. Every once and a while, I'll go with him. It is much fun! With Norfolk being so close to the beach, some of the thrift store finds are amazing.

This cloche is actually the dome off a cheap anniversary clock I picked up at a Goodwill back when I could afford to shop there. I don't know about you, but the Goodwills in the Richmond, VA area are getting out of sight expensive! They've been pricing junk furniture at antique shop prices! I'm talking about stuff you'd LEAVE on the side of the road if you found! I can't even believe they have the gull to sell some of the stuff they put out--it seems like people are leaving their garbage in the donation center--and it's being priced and shelved! Oy Vey! I hate to see things like this happen to such great charities. I've tried to contact upper management to voice my concerns, but have only received polite form letters in return. Local management has a lot to do with it, too.

This shell wreath was a buck at one of the Norfolk thrift shops. Grandma was going to throw the dried baby's breath away!

I rescued this great wire basket from the trash! Can you believe someone was going to throw this away!?!

The nice starfish came from Target in a mixed bag of shells. You can find shells and starfish at most crafts stores, too.

This pink coral is one of two pieces I own that are real. Most is resin. It is a 1950s beach souvenir from Florida. I picked it up at a yardsale for a quarter!

I've been seeing these aqua mineral water bottles all over blogland. I've had these for years! I love love love them! I hope you have enjoyed my summer mantle tour!

Five Tips to create your own Summer Mantel!

1. Pick a simple and light color palate. Think beach colors--white, sand, & aqua.
2. Mass like items together, fill a bowl or basket with shells of varying texture and color.
3. Layer. Different heights and depths of items create interest. Don't just line up everything in a row. Don't be afraid to overlap any wall art you have hanging. Now, if you have the TV over the mantle, that's a horse of a different color!
4. When doing any mantel, especially a nearly monochromatic one, having some shiny objects really helps break up the blah! Think about clear glass bottles, a cloche, sea glass, etc.
5. Don't go overboard! Sometimes more is justs too much! Step back and look at everything from a distance. You don't want it to feel heavy or cluttered. You should be able to see everything, but not notice just single objects. Once you have it perfectly how you like it, it will all meld together in unison!

Featured at Sally Lee by the Sea!

Outdoor Luxury Bar-B-Q and Finger Buffet

Oops...crooked tablecloth! How did I let that slip past me? Probably because guests were due to arrive at 6:30pm and I hadn't begun to set the tables and it was just after 6pm! Oh no! See the great vintage shutters on the shed? They didn't happen until about 5 min. before everything was supposed to start! Ha!

Vintage table linens, antique silver plated flatware, and white ironstone plates were the way to go. The plates were several different patterns, but all the same white color. All of the silver was mis-matched.

I used mercury glass and vintage silver creamers, sugars, and trophies to disguise citronella candles and tea lights.

Though I used napkin rings, I used paper shop towels for napkins.

Here are my new chairs in use! You may remember them from a post a few weeks back. I did my usual color wash technique on them. Tutorial coming soon, along with my vent hood tutorial. I'm sorry to be dragging that one out for so long!!!

I used that same paint treatment on my other chairs, too. It gives them a mottled, well-loved look. I put vintage mirror under all of the centerpieces for extra sparkle. I also layered table linens for a more casual look.

Here, you can see, I didn't have quite enough of the white ironstone (or knives for that matter...) to go around, so I used these nifty tulip plates (also from grandma). My grandmother really likes square plates, and has several sets. She recently bought a set of really modern looking stark white square plates at Target and loves them.

Oops...missing chair--actually it is next to the grill, just out of shot! My conscripted burger flipper needed a spot to sit! I placed these two smaller tables together so whomever sat there didn't feel left out, since the rest of the tables sat 4 - 6!

I finally was able to put my steeple to good use. Here I used it to anchor an outdoor 'room'. Plus, I made sure it is no longer crooked! Yay!

What garden is complete without a chandelier?

A vintage bed makes a great place to curl up. I love the drippy goodness from the candles! This tea cart was a birthday present last year. It actually came in a flat pack box from a Big Box hardware store! It was black, but I painted it white.

I love my steeple!

Similar chandelier available on Amazon. 

I displayed glasses on a rather large wine bottle drying rack. (Glasses came from Dollar Tree)
Similar bottle rack,

I used as many vintage serving pieces as possible. This galvanized tin basket made a great place for buns. Always remember to throughly clean and line vintage containers! I used these (new, from Tuesday Morning) flour sack tea towels.

A large thrift store clam shell dishes up salsa!

Tomatoes look so much nicer on an antique ironstone platter. I think this one is Johnson Bros.

My friend, Brenda, made theses great HOMEMADE cupcakes! She is so creative!

Of course there was angel food cake with berries! This is a must for any summer cookout! I had some leftovers of that for breakfast this morning!

I snapped a few photos once the sun went down.

I'll leave you with this one last photo and some tips to achieve a really great vintage vibe for your next cookout!

1. Scour Thrift stores, flea markets, yardsales, and antiques shops for vintage linens, silverware, and dishes. (I still need more vintage knives) 
2. Put said finds to good use! Pull out the china, linens, and silverware for your outdoor event! Don't be afraid to use it. There's nothing that a little Oxyclean can't handle!
3. Ask for help. All my guests brought a side or dessert. Some threw a hand getting the house cleaned, setting the tables, etc.
4. Borrow! I didn't have quite enough plates to go around. So I went to grandma's house! She gave me 12+ additional place settings of white ironstone! 
5. Music--to further enhance the elegant mood, I picked a playlist of classical music--string quartets, piano concertos--nothing heavy or daunting. Simply light and airy music to fit the occasion. I even threw in a few beautiful instrumental piano covers of some Lady Gaga and Celine Dion hits!
6. Sparkle. Add sparkle, whether it be from candlelight, silver, napkin rings, etc. Bling out your table! I had about 20 folks over for this event, I didn't have that many of any one napkin ring, so I matched those per table. I do have 25 or so matching place card holders, but I forgot the blank cards and couldn't do it! Oops again....
7. If you don't have all white china, it's all right with me! Mix florals or transferware or depression glass or what have you together. A word of advice, if you're using depression glass mixed with an ironstone, always use the depression glass dinner plates on white or light colored tablecloth and put the opaque mis-matched dinner plate on top, as if you do it the other way around the color sometimes gets lost!
8. Use table linens! A picnic is so much nicer when the table is nicely dressed! Even a hot dog seems to taste better!
9. If you have several smaller tables, push them together, so guests do not feel disjointed from the rest of the group. No one likes to sit at the kid's table!
10. Bring usually indoor furniture outdoors, even if just for the party. Having an upholstered piece or two outside really makes everything feel more cozy. Of course if it looks like it might rain, or you're having a pool party, that's a different ballgame!!! 

I LOVE comments! If you have any questions--I'm all ears! If you haven't already, I'd love for you to become a follower! I try my best to follow back, and must apologize, as I'm a bit behind from where Google Friend Connect was on the fritz the past few days. You can also find me on Facebook!

Disclaimer: I am not associated with nor am I affiliated with or compensated by Greenbriar International dba Dollar Tree, Target, Oxyclean or its parent companie(s), or any other companies or products mentioned in this blog post. All opinions are my own and not paid advertisement. Exception: The link(s) to featuring a product described may lead to my own personal profit, if a purchase is made, but nonetheless, this is a personal favorite item and a heartfelt personal recommendation, not outright paid advertisement!

Modern Estate Sale in Period Colonial Home

I went to a wonderful Estate sale this past Saturday. This home belongs to an avid artist, floral designer, and antique and art collector. Her home is packed full of amazing goodies.

 This is the second or so run of an Estate sale she's been having, as she is moving soon.

Her home was built in the early 1700's and is an excellent example of Colonial Architecture.

She has a huge collection of religious items, in fact, I bought a few things at her last sale.

She will have a private showing for friends here soon. I can't wait, as I will be there!

On top of the great items, her home is beautiful. I love the wall treatments!

This vibrant raspberry color really makes everything pop!

Just look at that built-in. It's about 14 feet tall!

Great Harlequin pattern highlights the wall with the fire place in the dining room.

Fantastic furniture was in every room.

Great prints, lithographs, paintings, and sculptures were everywhere.

Check out the two toned Empire table!

I'd love to add that cabinet to my new kitchen!

I want the urn table.

This beautiful chandelier is by no means an antique, it is probably from the 1940s- 1960s. It goes to show than you can mix modern and classic, even in an Historic home.


Beautiful paper roses. Yes--those are PAPER!

This super chic sideboard would look great in nearly any decorating style!


These last few photos showcase some of her faux florals! Plus, I had to include one more shot of the paper roses! I hope you've enjoyed this tour! What's your favorite Estate Sale or Yard Sale find? I'd love to hear from you! Oh--I PROMISE I will finish the tutorial on my Cottage Chic vent hood ASAP! I'm getting the house and garden ready to welcome Summer, and my guests at a cook-out this week-end!

~Mikey @ Shabby French Cottage

Newer Posts Older Posts Home
Please be sure to click on "older post(s)" or "newer post(s)" so you don't miss out on anything!