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A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

How to Add Touches of Spring to a Mantel

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Would you like to add touches of spring 
to your mantel? 

If you are nodding your head, are you also thinking... 
Where do I begin? 
How do I decide what to include 
and where to place it?  
To begin, 
think about what comes to 
your mind when you think of spring. 
For each of us, 
there are things for which we watch  
to know when spring arrives. 

For me, 
flowering bulbs, new spring green leaves, 
and chirping birds 
catch my attention, 
make me pause for a moment, 
turn my head, smile, and...  
time sort of stands still... for an instant. 
I think, "Spring." 

That's how to begin. 

Think of what makes time stand still, 
just for an instant, 
that announces spring to you. 

Now, look around your house, 
and begin collecting objects 
that represent touches of spring for you. 

Choose something as your mantel's focal point 
around which everything else is placed. 

If your collection of objects 
is missing something that represents spring, 
you may want to create something to use as your 
mantel's focal point. 

Last summer, I made a set of four 
The robin print from that set is the focus of my mantel's display. 
Not only is the framed print near the center 
of the mantel, it is raised higher than other objects 
by being on a small carved pedestal. 
A stack of bird identification books 
would work well as a pedestal also. 

There is a certain bird that 
returns in the spring to my woods. 
I do not know the bird's name, 
nor do I know what this bird looks like, 
but the bird has a distinctive 
single sharp piercing chirp 
that he repeats several times with 
pauses between each chirp, 
as though he is waiting for a response.  
When I hear it, I know spring has arrived. 

What tells you spring has arrived? 

Each year I watch the progress of the daffodils and muscaris 
in my yard and woods, checking daily for 
new leaf growth, then for flower stems with buds, 
and then, for the first bloom that emerges. 

The three pots of faux bulbs 
scattered across the mantel  
are hyacinths, muscaris, and daffodils. 
If flowering bulbs are your focal point for spring, 
place a pot in the center elevated above your other items. 

Just below the mantel is a music stand that rarely has music on it. 
No, I use it to display books and magazines opened to favorite photos. 

British Country Living, the one magazine for which 
I still have a subscription, had a beautiful article 
about early spring bulbs a few years ago. 

British Country Living

Using magazines and books around the room 
opened to your spring inspiration 
adds another layer of spring to your mantel's display. 

British Country Living

In Texas, 
spring has not officially arrived until 
we see bluebonnets in bloom. 

Placed below and behind the bird print, 
the print of a bee pollinating a bluebonnet 
represents true Texas spring. 

Repeating elements in a display, such as using two prints 
using three flowering bulbs, and using three items with blue color, 
 helps give a display continuity, and helps the 
mind see the group of objects as a whole, 
not just unconnected individual items.  

Preserved boxwoods add the touch of spring green 
and are also scattered across the mantel. 

Muscaris (grape hyacinths) and a bird's nest with flowers 
on the coffee table 
repeat spring elements in the living room. 
The music stand, coffee table, and mantel 
form a visual triangle of touches of spring 
throughout the room. 

For even more details about how to create displays, 
I wrote previously. 

If you like touring houses, 
then you are in for a treat.

Ten bloggers are joining the five hostess bloggers 
for a tour of Spring Tablescapes. 
15 blogs over 3 days

Look at the hostesses! 
Everyone of them has 
style with pizzazz! 

I am so excited that 
Botanic Bleu 
is included.
Take a peek on April 22 at 
French le Lapin Spring Table. 
Then hop, hop, hop on over 
to the other four Spring Tablescapes that day. 

Come back on April 23-24 for 
TEN more inspiring Spring tables 
in The Scoop On...Spring Tablescapes.

Top This Top That
Setting for Four
Botanic Bleu
Hymns and Verses
Unexpected Elegance
Cedar Hill Farmhouse
Town and Country Living
Our Southern Home
Chateau Chic
Worthing Court
Lilacs & Longhorns
The Everyday Home
The Tablescaper
Confessions of a Plate Addict

Please join me at these inspiring sites...