My Summer Mantle

by Kimba on July 7, 2009

in Seasonal Projects

My poor, beautiful mantle is always neglected in the summer. Fall, Christmas and winter are prime mantle-time. But summer? Not so much.

But this year? Much mantel love.

That glorious driftwood sailboat came from my friends at White Flower Farmhouse. Isn’t it gorgeous? I’ve put it in at least 17 places in my house, but this is my favorite spot. If I had a piece of beautiful coral, it would be up there too. Maybe I’ll snag one when I’m at the beach.

I love the way the empty frame highlights the stonework without being heavy. That frame was picked out of someone’s garbage about a year ago. A quick coat of white paint and it was ready for business.

Psst…A little secret for those of you who ask how I keep my house neat with little kids around…If you look closely at that last picture, you’ll see what I mean about the power of selective cropping.

Do you want some more summer mantle inspiration?
Summer mantle ~ Blooming in the South
Bottles and blooms ~ Secret Notebooks
Vintage bottles ~ Secret Notebooks (again)
Summer mantle inspiration ~ Delightful Home

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1 Pamela July 7, 2009 at 5:05 am

Love the tiger reflection! Also love your mantle! You are so right abt no love during the summer months. Perfect solution!

2 Jennifer Juniper July 7, 2009 at 5:12 am

Ha, ha! I saw your secret! Wait until you see my bathroom on thursday, there is a box of toys hidden carefully around the corner of the tub 🙂

I love the mantle, I need to change mine up but I never do.

3 susan July 7, 2009 at 5:42 am

Until I started posting pictures I never really appreciated the term "picure perfect"–now I GET it 🙂 Your mantel is just right for summer. I love the driftwood!

4 Vanessa July 7, 2009 at 5:46 am

Kimba, it is lovely! Simply yet elegant!

5 Amanda @ Serenity Now July 7, 2009 at 5:49 am

I love it. 🙂 Love the reflection too…that looks more like my house. 😉

6 FOR THE SAKE OF TIME July 7, 2009 at 5:52 am

Kimba – The reflection of children "at work" is delightful. I love the mantel – simple and fresh. Have a great day.


7 Sandy July 7, 2009 at 5:58 am

Hi Kimba! Love what you did! Perfect for summer. I wish I had a mantle. We need to completely reface our fireplace.

Happy Day!

8 Victoria July 7, 2009 at 5:59 am

Ohhh I love the summer mantle!

Do I see a tiger staring at me? 🙂 LOL!

9 Claudia@DipityRoad July 7, 2009 at 5:59 am

Seems to me that in Utah when we get some whopper of winters and stay inside that the minute we can get outdoors when the weather changes we are OUT! Thus places like our mantles and other insides get to also take a break from us fussing round them 🙂

I love your special cropping– celebrate our imperfections too– helps us all feel a little more normal!

TTFN~~Claudia ♥

10 Jen - Balancing Beauty and Bedlam July 7, 2009 at 6:06 am

oh come one…turn the camera around and really show us. hee hee
The simplicity of your mantel is gorgeous. 🙂

11 Kristen, The Pajama Mama July 7, 2009 at 6:23 am

love it. my mantle is such a challenge in the summer, too, because the colors in my home are so dark…need to find some deep blooms, i guess. love how simple your is!

12 Imperfect July 7, 2009 at 6:25 am

The mantle is beautiful and refreshing. I love the sailboat! And are those trucks I see?

13 sara July 7, 2009 at 6:27 am

LOVE the crispness of the white frame against the stone. So pretty! 🙂

14 Michelle@Fromhousetohome July 7, 2009 at 6:29 am

The mantle looks great, love that boat! A perfect summer look, even with the toys in the background. lol

15 tales from an oc cottage July 7, 2009 at 6:37 am

I always love an empty frame…leaves so much to the imagination

m ^..^

16 Kate July 7, 2009 at 6:40 am

Love your mantle. I love the trucks on the carpet too. 🙂

17 Kari July 7, 2009 at 6:41 am

Love it! Belongs in a magazine.

18 Stacey @ The Blessed Nest July 7, 2009 at 6:42 am

Love the summery mantle! It looks just perfect! 🙂

19 Songbirdtiff July 7, 2009 at 6:48 am

Um, do I see a reflection of a Leopard print? hahahaha! I'm assuming that's in place for a future project. 🙂

20 Michelle Smiles July 7, 2009 at 6:50 am

That is perfect. I love it!

21 Megan {Velveteen Mind} July 7, 2009 at 6:51 am

I am terribly jealous of that driftwood boat. And yes, you made me laugh when you said to look closely at that last picture. Of course, it took me forever to see it!

22 Sarah July 7, 2009 at 6:52 am

Your mantle looks great. I, too, know the power of cropping. What a blessing!

23 Southern Fried Gal July 7, 2009 at 6:56 am

Oh my word! What a CUTE sailboat!

24 Richella July 7, 2009 at 7:01 am

Thank you for the inspiration! I am in such a mantle rut. I haven't done anything different with my mantle since I took the Christmas decorations down. I love the casual, breezy feel of what you've done with yours this summer.

25 Amy {The Red Chair Blog} July 7, 2009 at 7:04 am

Love the stonework, the open frame, and that FABULOUS sailboat…and I'm not usually much of a decorate-with-boats kind of gal in general. Thanks for sharing your "secret" in the last photo. I wish the magazines would print little disclaimers to make readers less intimidated: "Psst, that art is held up with duct tape, that closet is jam packed with Cool Whip containers, and that pretty glass pitcher is filled with glue and not milk!"

26 Madison July 7, 2009 at 7:19 am

Kimba your mantle is beautiful! I love the sail boat it is gorgeous! Have a great day!!

Love, Madison

27 Blushing hostess July 7, 2009 at 7:33 am

It is perfect. I love the texture behind the white. Absolutely pretty, and classically whimsical summer… Newport, anyone?

28 cakescraps July 7, 2009 at 7:52 am

Love it! I agree with you on the frame too…a great way to really draw the eye to the stone.
BTW…I'm doing a home tour on my blog, if you wanna check it out!

29 Runner Mom July 7, 2009 at 8:12 am

It looks great!! Mine is in sad shape at the moment…and company is coming tomorrow! But, it's a group of high school boys who will NEVER even look at the mantel, so I'm not too worried!

I have a question that I posted at Nester's blog. Do you think that duck cloth–not sure if I got that right or not–sorta like muslin–would work on a slip cover? Or is it not soft enough? Help!!


30 Chris July 7, 2009 at 8:18 am

Is that a cheetah eyeing me from your fireplace? The mantle looks great. LOVE the sailboat!

31 marty39 July 7, 2009 at 8:24 am

I love the summer vignette. The boat and the empty frame with the candles are so pretty and perfect. Hugs, Marty

32 m. heart July 7, 2009 at 8:41 am

very pretty! thanks so much for linking to my mantle today as well!

33 Lee Laurie July 7, 2009 at 9:03 am

Beautiful mantle! I use to have a stone fireplace at my old house and it was my favorite thing in the whole house. Now in my little cottage, I don't even have a mantle. I think that I might have to make one!

34 Ms. Tee July 7, 2009 at 9:04 am

I love your sailboat so much! Your mantel is so fresh and calming. 🙂 Thanks so much for linking to mine, too!

35 AnNicole @ OurSuburbanCottage July 7, 2009 at 9:07 am

Love this! I haven't been able to get those sailboats out of my mind. I think I need one.

Oh, and I hear you on the strategic cropping thing. If people only knew what lurked outside those borders…:-).

36 Caroline July 7, 2009 at 10:10 am

Love the simplicity of this…very pretty!

37 Flower Patch Farmgirl July 7, 2009 at 11:19 am

I don't have a mantle anymore, but I have a shelf and it's in a bad way right now. Why is Summer so hard? Thanks for the inspiration. I love empty frames!

38 Amanda@Imperfectly Beautiful July 7, 2009 at 12:05 pm

LOVE that driftwood sailboat! It looks right at home up there. I just redid my mantle too. It needed freshening up. Thanks for the inspiration.


39 Ashley@AshleysBusy July 7, 2009 at 1:49 pm

Hi Kimba! I love your summer mantle, that sailboat is so cute 🙂 We just took down our mantle and mounted a flat screen over the fireplace…we're not sure if we should put up a new mantle or what? Working with a tv and a fireplace in a living room with only 2 walls drives me nuts!!!

40 Mrs. Querido July 7, 2009 at 1:53 pm

LOL…love the crop job 🙂 Your mantle looks like it is happily enjoying summer 🙂

41 Katy July 7, 2009 at 1:59 pm

I love the simplicity of it all put together.

42 jeanne July 7, 2009 at 2:19 pm

Hi Kimba, your mantle is beautiful and I agree, perfect for summer. I too never know quite what to do with my summer decor. After all the holidays, it is just plain as can be. I need to put more thought into the summer decorating. Maybe there is a book about it??? BIG smile here. I love to crop my photos too.
(or the same reason) Not because of small children) My dh is the messy one here.

We have been gone and with our grands this summer for two months. I am happy to be visiting my blogging friends again. That would be you!!! smiling.


43 Joanna July 7, 2009 at 5:06 pm

I love the sail boat! I think it's all quiet lovely.

44 Katie July 7, 2009 at 6:33 pm

I LOVE your mantle!! I may need to get one of those sailboats.

45 Our Complete Family July 7, 2009 at 8:04 pm

That sure does scream summertime! Love it!
Happy summer to you~ Les

46 Holly and Sean July 7, 2009 at 10:16 pm

Summery, fresh, and simply delightful! I think summer mantles are my favorite.

47 Laurel @ Ducks in a Row July 8, 2009 at 5:40 am

What a perfect summer mantle. I love your boat- and you can even use it when it's not summer!

48 Abbie July 9, 2009 at 6:50 am

I just love your stone wall. I was thinking of doing a faux, stone facade on an interior wall in my home. We don't have a fire place, but I love the textural interest your wall inspires. And, I love the open frame. Very summer I feel. Abbie

49 Heather July 12, 2009 at 1:23 pm

Your mantle is lovely – simply inspiring … so inspiring in fact that I made my own version of your 'sailboat' with this and that from the woodpile and fabric stash – I even added a life buoy for safety! Pop over and see!

50 ~OurGalSal~ July 30, 2009 at 6:27 am

There is something so primal and comforting about the sea and I love a nautical theme. Your pictures are so comforting and I cant help but smile when I look at them. Sally

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