Spring Mantel {Dreaming of Adventure}

spring book mantel

 Spring mantel decor

I love love love to putter around the house looking for what I can use to update my mantel for my mood or the season. My Valentine’s mantel was still cute other than the hearts and the X and O part (which was fun for the holiday but I was ready to move on!) so I just wanted to make a few adjustments. Since it is still cloudy and dark and cold here, I have a case of the “in betweens” on how to decorate. It really isn’t nice out, but I want to start gearing up for sunshine and warmer days.

I find it helps my mood if I anticipate the season ahead and start acting like spring and summer WILL come. Ya know what I mean?

books and globe on mantel

Lots of times in the spring I use flowers or plants on the mantel. That’s always nice in the spring. And of course there is always the option of bunnies and Easter eggs when it is almost Easter. Sometimes I even change my mantel a couple of times in a season. I like to let my decor evolve as my moods do!

So what was I in the mood for this week? I’m dreaming of adventure, but still cozy in my house! Not ready for Easter eggs, but doing a little Spring dreaming!

All year long, I love looking at books. Right on through spring, I love sitting by my fireplace going through my favorite home decor books and sipping a hot drink. I day dream a little, plan a little, and just enjoy being inspired by pretty rooms. Stacks of books make me almost giddy. I just love them! I love that I can mix up the colors to suit the in betweenness of this season.

spring book mantel

Not only are books colorful and fun to look at, but they are USEFUL. And you all know how I feel about meaningless decor. WHY put stuff out that is just tacky clutter and stuff? Unless you made it and it makes you happy even if it is useless! But for me, I think why not actually ENJOY being able to USE what is around you and find beauty in that? That is what brings me the most happiness in decor!

mantel styling idea

I have traveled quite a bit in my life. This time of year I get the urge to venture out of my cozy little nest and hop on a plane to the south of France or maybe Venice.  Or how about Australia? I’ve never been to Australia. Wanna join me? Or are you already there, you lucky person you! Do do you want a visitor? Heh heheh. Sigh. Yeah, well, since that probably isn’t happening this year, I can gaze at my globe and dream.

Mantel with books

Globes and sailboats are symbols of adventures and a life well lived, not only within your four walls, but traveling outside, taking in the beauty of the world.

nautical mantel decor

As a kid, my family had a sailboat. I have many happy memories of sailing through the Puget Sound area, sun on my face, wind in my hair and freeze breeze to inhale. I love the carefree peace and energy that comes from the adventure of life, piles and piles of books surrounding me, breathing in sea breezes and fresh air! That’s what inspired me in this “in between the seasons” kind of week. Guess I desperately need to get out of the house, but still feel like nesting inside with a good book. HAHAHA. That makes sense, right? #crazyme

I’m looking forward to Spring. I have more Spring ideas to share soon!

Are you starting to prepare for Spring? What’s inspiring you this week?

PS. Don’t forget the fun Going Stir Crazy Spring Twitter Party tonight at 8PM ET! I’ll be hosting with Annie Sielke of Dash & Albert, how fun will that be? Use the hashtag#StirCrazyASC

Fireplace Makeover {Before & After}


Other than painting it all with a fresh coat of paint, my fireplace makeover is FINISHED! I’m THRILLED, okay more like GIDDY!, with how it turned out!  I may or may not stare at it several times a day, pinching myself.

Our fireplace before was always a bit of an inconvenience and distraction. The giant unused fireplace hole always created a challenge. While I leaned shutters and mirrors and generally found ways to hide the hole, it really wasn’t ideal for us long term.

The black tile was so shiny and reflective and the gold glitter flecks on the black just gave me a “bachelor pad” vibe rather than the more cottage look I was after.

It looked like a big black galaxy in the middle of our fireplace, distracting everyone from the pretty mantel.

We used an inspiration picture found in this post to come up with a doable but more permanent fix to the giant hole. A simple wood frame built around horizontal white planks created a more interesting backdrop. It will even be prettier once it’s painted, right now it is just primed wood.

The simple molding and trim work in the room (which I will show more of soon!) adds a more cozy cottage vibe and better shows off the beautiful mantel we already had.

A lovely new split face gray and white stacked stone from DalTile (see sources, below) transformed the front of our fireplace. I think it looks amazing!

The black flecked tile and old stained carpet around the fireplace hearth needed to GO!

In came the honed vein-cut limestone tile for the hearth! Framed by our new Mohawk hickory wood flooring, the stone hearth now looks clean, finished and gorgeous! The kitchen/family room is coming together and the fireplace is now a beautiful focal point. You’ll see more of this room makeover in future posts!

Jack is pretty cozy, lounging by the fire on his new doggie bed!

Below is an updated peek at our mantel!

Simple Fall Mantel - The Inspired Room Fall Decorating


The wood is tongue and groove beadboard planks (turned backwards).
Stacked split face stone on fireplace is from DalTile #L757 Arctic Gray 2 x 6″
Limestone hearth #L191 chenille white vein cut honed via DalTile
Our rug is an indoor/outdoor rug from Overstock.
Wood floors by Mohawk.
The mirror is from Restoration Hardware.
The Christmas canvas is from Red Letter Words.
The metal buckets on the mantel were from LuxeYard.
The basket is from World Market.
The pillow on the chair is from Target.
The chair is a rattan chair of unknown origins.
The topiary is from Holly Mathis Interiors.
The dog bed was from Joss & Main.
Jack the Goldendoodle is from a farm in Newberg, Oregon.

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