Most Magnificent Mantle

It seems like it took a lifetime to get our mantle made and installed.  It was totally worth the wait in my opinion.  Before our house even had studs for walls, I saw a picture of this kitchen with a raw wood countertop for a bar.  Raw edges, wood grain, oh my beauty!  I had to have it for our mantle!

A local Amish man built our kitchen cabinets and he had another Amish friend who could help us find a log for our mantle.  This lovely chunk of walnut sat out for ages to dry, all the bark had to be picked off by hand, and after some light sanding it was finally ready for a little clear coat.

I absolutely love that it’s not straight across.  The knot is visible when sitting in my chair and creates such a unique shape.  It’s perfectly imperfect, raw, natural, and I am in love. ?

It’s actually been difficult to decorate – I have so many ideas but terribly expensive taste in vases apparently.  Who knew?  I didn’t really care for vases until the last month or so.  The Mr. & Mrs. sign was a wedding gift and I think the rustic-look fits perfectly between the mantle and my husband’s deer (he calls him Billy – Bobby is hanging in an opposing corner ?).  I am obsessed with white porcelain right now and had gotten this hand-me-down Fiesta Ware pitcher from my mother-in-law and stuck it up there one day (and it seem like it will come down anytime soon).  The sphere on top of it is from Hobby Lobby.  I bought 5 for a bowl on our sofa table but only 3 fit so I had extra to add a little teal up there.  The three little bowls are stacked.  They are from Target and were a shower gift from some co-workers.  I thought stacking them gave an interesting look and a little height.  Lastly, the mercury glass candle holders are the newest addition that I feel helped make things seem a little more complete (I am not actually done decorating this in the slightest).  Our local hardware store has a gift shop and they have EVERYTHING on sale for 50% off right now in preparation for some remodeling.  We picked up the 3 for a total of $15 last weekend.  Not too shabby!

The whole fireplace isn’t finished but it has definitely made a huge improvement and feels more like a home with the mantle.  The tile on the step is what we plan to put around the fireplace up to the mantle.  It will also cover up that aluminum looking strip right above the unit.  To be honest, I don’t even notice those imperfections any more because it’s so nice looking above!  I can’t wait to continue to decorate it, especially seasonally.  We’ve celebrated two Christmas’s in this house, believe me when I say I have ideas waiting to execute!

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