Monday, January 28, 2013

Winter Mantel.

Hubby and I want to start a new trend.  We are determined to make it totally acceptable to keep Christmas lights up throughout the winter.  And no, I’m not talking about our icicle lights hanging from the gutters. ;)  I am referring to the lovely glow that indoor Christmas lights create in a space.  We had so many lights up during the holidays that after we took everything down, it never felt quite right without that cozy factor during the dark winter nights.  We missed it like crazy.

My solution for our dilemma?  Decorate our mantel in a wintery theme, and buy a strand of white lights to give us our cozy back!  {I couldn’t use the strands of white lights I already had from Christmas...the cords on those were green, and they would have stuck out like a sore thumb.  I needed white to work with my winter theme.}

To begin the process, I wanted to transform the mirror we already had on our mantel.  The size and pattern of the frame was great, but the plastic-ish, black color just didn't do it for me.  I tried to remove the frame, keeping the mirror in tact.  I was going to use some 1 x 5's I had cut down at Home Depot to create a new frame, but for the life of me, I could NOT get the frame off of the mirror.  They used some major league, permanent adhesive on that sucker.  So it was on to plan B...spray paint.

You saw me priming the mirror here {when I transformed the quatrefoil mirror from Tar-jay}.  I'm not sure if it was the weather, or if I didn't clean the frame up enough, but the spray paint didn't seem to stick that well to the beaded part of the frame.  After one coat of spray primer, I decided to switch to my tried and true Behr Paint and Primer...in white semi-gloss.  It gives great coverage, and I already had an entire can of it leftover in the basement from when we painted our trim.  {Free = awesome.}

I painted several coats and after a few days of curing, I put the mirror back up on the mantel.  Hubby and I both agreed...we loved it 10 times more in white.  It was much more “us”.

With the mirror back in place, it was time to add some accessories from around the house, some snowy branches I found at the grocery store {Stop & Shop's floral department has some great things at even better prices} and the pièce de résistance...the white lights.

I am super happy with the mantel and we adore the light it casts at night.  Until we can get a gas fireplace installed, string lights will give us the ambiance we want at night, and for a WHOLE LOT LESS money. ;)










Anyone else want to jump on the “use Christmas lights allllllll throughout the winter months” bandwagon?!?  Come on.  You know you want to! ;)  Or do you think we are being totally tacky?  You can be honest. 

36 comments:

  1. I will jump on that bandwagon! I love white lights all year! They're so pretty! Your mantle is gorgeous!

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  2. Our mantel looks so drab now that all the decorations are gone! If it's snowing outside it's totally legit to have some Christmas lights up!

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    1. Super, then we are good to go since it was snowing and freezing rain here all.day.long. ;)

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  3. it looks sweet! wintery and not christmasy. perfect.

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    1. Thank you Ceci! That is exactly what I was hoping for...wintery, NOT Christmasy. :)

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  4. I just wanted to stop and say Hi! I found you on Pintrest and boy am I sure glad I did!!! We just recently reno'ed a ranch as well and I will admit I have totally stalked your blog and thought it was time to give you credit. You have done an AMAZING JOB!!! Cant wait to keep watching all the fun decorating that your doing!

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    1. Aw, thank you so much!! You totally made my day. I'm so glad you found me!! :)

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  5. Very pretty! I'm sad our lights are gone too. Love the color scheme too. You do good work.

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  6. Aw, I love it. Your house is so homey. I'm not a very good seasonal decorator. I need to work on that :)

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    1. Thanks Kate!! I'm not great at doing every little holiday or anything, but I'm getting better at doing things seasonally. Just takes a little trial and error. I bet you'd be great at it! :)

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  7. We decided to leave up one set of white lights too! Ours are on my vintage dress form in the corner of the living room: http://www.annabelvita.com/2012/12/24/merry-christmas-from-our-home-to-yours/

    I love that wreath!

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    1. I absolutely adore the lights on your vintage dress form. I think it's gorgeous!!!

      Thanks...it's the first one I made, and I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.

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  8. I love it! I was really thinking of putting Christmas lights in my classroom so that I can turn off the glaring overhead lights and still have a good amount of light to see so the kids can draw. There are windows, that help, but sometimes I need a happy medium. I love your teal throughout the house. I need more colors like that in my house, and I already have teal in some rooms.... maybe I just need to do some simple touches, like you did with your teal candles and a vase. Hmm...

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    1. I love all the teal and turquoise in our house...it's one of my favorite accents. :)

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  9. Very pretty. Those lights almost appear like branches! That is a super cute owl :) Where is it from?

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    1. Thanks so much, Antonella! I have them intertwined with the white branches so they blend really well. I found the owl at Michael's. It's actually a vase, but i have nothing in it since I have branches in the vase behind it.

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  10. I couldn't agree more! There is something so cozy about lights in the house during the winter. I miss our tree and thinking this post just inspired me to bring some light back inside! Looks fantastic!

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    1. Aw, thanks Jenny! Do it!!! You won't regret it...promise. ;)

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  11. Nice! I like the approach here. We never have a winter theme going on after Christmas.. instead we go right to Valentine's day and then St Patty's. Looks great though!

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    1. Thanks John! This is the first time I "decorated" anything for winter. I kinda' like it!

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  12. I couldn't agree with you more! With the lights inside, it creates this cozy warm atmosphere, so I am TOTALLY with you here! Your mantel is adorable and I don't think the lights are tacky at all! I love your new wreath up there too. Super crisp and clean and inviting :)

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  13. Not tacky at all! It just feels all pretty and glowy and sparkly! Still heart that wreath. :)

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  14. That looks so pretty! We actually have two stands of lights in the apartment that we keep up all year long. There is nothing better than cuddling up in the living room to watch a movie with the two strands of lights on. :)

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    1. Thank you, Erika! I love that you have lights up all year long. I am determined to work this strand into my year long mantle decorations. I just love it. You are right...it makes the best atmosphere for snuggling!! :)

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  15. This looks so pretty. Very cozy and warm. I love twinkle lights, too. And I love love that big mirror.

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  16. Your mantle is gorgeous! I love that wreath! How did you make it?

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    1. Thank you so much, Mary!! I cut some felt into strips and hot glued them around a wreath form. Then once everything was covered, I just started gluing pearls in a cluster until I liked how things looked. You can see better explanations in this post about the wreath. Hope that helps! :)

      http://retroranchrenovation.blogspot.com/2013/01/winter-wreath-say-that-5-times-fast.html

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  17. hey! Looks great! Can I ask when the shade of grey you used on the walls is called??

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    1. Hi Sophie! The gray on the walls in our living/dining room area is Behr's Gentle Rain. Hope that helps! :)

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