Sometimes I look at the glossy pages of a magazine filled with gorgeous fall foliage, golden colored trees and wheelbarrows full of pumpkins and feel the teensiest bit jealous. I’m super excited for the people that are featured, I mean, what an honor, right? But when I look outside my window I see pine trees, palm trees and oak trees – all green – and sometimes it seems like fall in Florida doesn’t quite measure up to those beautiful photos in the magazine.
Most of you know during our recent kitchen makeover we had a string of nasty storms due to tropical weather. It felt like it rained for almost two weeks straight every single day. All in all, we were very blessed to only have lost a few trees and had piles of limb debris to clean up. Last week, we walked around the property to just to make extra sure we had squared everything away and it totally struck me how many of these trees had helped to protect our home from two weeks of storms.
This notion led me to not only appreciate the foliage in Florida this time of year but to want to celebrate it. A few days later, I found this nature inspired wreath at 50% off and knew it would make the perfect fall statement on our mantel. Mixing new finds with vintage thrifted pieces is totally my jam and it can be your jam too. It’s also the base for today’s tips on The Busy Girl’s Guide to Fall Decorating your mantel and living room. Here are a few things to consider…(This post contains affiliate links. Affiliate links have been provided for your convenience. You can read our full disclosure policy here)
Mantels can sometimes be tricky to decorate so my best tip is to mentally divide the mantel in thirds. Start with the center portion and have it be your focal point. I hung a few thrifted plate and borrowed this old window from my mom (thanks, Mom!). You can usually find for less than $30 depending on the area you live in. Then I layered the wreath over the window. You might not be able to see it but on the very top of the window is a clear push pin and a piece of burlap ribbon which is how I hung the wreath.
Now that the focal point is good to go, you can address the other two third portions of the mantel. You’ll need a bit of symmetry to offset the focal point and make sure it has a varied height. Over the summer, I white washed terra cotta pots and recently planted several small oak trees that were windswept by the storms. If you don’t have a yard with oak trees consider using branches with fall foliage, eucalyptus or fall flowers of some kind.
Next add something with texture plus something related to fall that is smaller in height than your focal point piece and your symmetry pieces. The vintage apple picking basket is perfect because it adds texture with the weathered wood and also offers a place to highlight (think repeat) fall gourds and baby boo pumpkins.
Once you have one side that complements your focal point, address the last portion of your mantel. It will probably one take one or two pieces to complete this side depending on the size of your mantel. You guys know how much chippy scales call to me at every thrift store, yard sale, charity shop and antique mall. It fills the space and makes a statement without seeming cluttered.
Now step back and decide what is working and what is not. I usually need to edit at least one or two items until I get a look that is festive not fussy. If it still feels fussy, edit again!
You can decide if you want add something to the hearth of your fireplace or not after you have the mantel complete. Obviously, anything you add needs to be kept away from possible flames. I just added a simple chippy basket and plaid throw for a little bit of color so that it doesn’t take away from the mantel.
It’s up to you how much more fall decorating you add to your living room. You may want to add a few pumpkins to your side table. These are faux due to curious pets which is something you need to keep in mind when decorating.
You can a fall candle to your coffee table,
or a few fall inspired pillows to your couches. Just do what works best for you and your family. Our pillows almost always wind up on the floor…there seems to be a lot of napping happening lately.
You guys, fall decorating doesn’t have to be complicated or take a long time! Be true to your signature style and find easy simple ways to celebrate the season.