Styling a mantel sounds easy for someone who loves to decorate. And usually it is – it’s a fun place to have as a focal point. Especially at Christmas! But styling a 12ft mantel for Christmas can be a daunting task! It can look overwhelming – even for someone who loves to decorate and wanted the 12ft mantle in the first place so she’d have lots of space to display things.
Now technically this isn’t even a mantel, it’s a shelf. But since I don’t have a mantel, and in the blog world styling a mantel is a big deal, I sometimes call my shelf a mantel just cause it sounds better and everyone gets the idea of what I’m doing better. Mantel – shelf – whatever 😀
Because I get a lot of questions about how I manage to style my loooonnnng shelf every season. So I was going to be all calm and cool about it and show you exactly how its done. So you would all be inspired to install a 12ft shelf and style it.
And I was doing it early – 2 weeks before I normally decorate for Christmas. Because I also had a store to decorate and I needed to get my house all decked out so I could use my leftover decor to add to what I had for the store. It was going to be so great. I would have all these great ideas and it was going to go so smoothly and I would be so relaxed and not stressed cause I was getting it all done so early.
Maybe you know me well enough to already have this figured out, but I don’t do well with decorating my home on a set schedule or on a day I’ve marked on the calendar! I do best when I’m winging it and when I feel really inspired. And not surprisingly, on the day I had set as the day to decorate I wasn’t at all inspired. At all. Nada. Not one little bit. I had a ton of other stuff going on. Pillow orders. Blog posts to write. All kinds of stuff that needed done on my computer. I don’t even remember what all was going on but I do know that my stress level was HIGH. And as the afternoon hours started ticking by I knew that if I was going to decorate that shelf and photograph the process, I was going to have to get on it while I had some natural light. Cause only natural light works for really good photos for the blog.
So out came the boxes of Christmas decor.
And the decor that had been on the shelf all summer came down. Mostly throughout the year I just change out a few things here and there with the seasons. But for Christmas I usually empty the entire shelf and start fresh.
The Christmas decor boxes get opened and shuffled through so I can refresh my memory with what all I have and start formulating the look I want to go with. This is just a very small part of my Christmas decor. Not in the photo are about 6 more tubs.
I decided I was ready to try something in the center of the shelf besides the old window. So I switched it with this old door. And tried to ignore the knot in my stomach. By now the whole room was a mess from tearing the shelf apart and getting the Christmas decor out. And I just wasn’t feeling it. The decor fever was not taking hold. But I had started now and I didn’t want the mess around for days while I waited for inspiration to strike.
At this point I admitted defeat. I was not going to be able to force myself to get my decor on just because I had decided it had to be today. So I turned it over to my daughter and said ‘have at it. Do what you want and I’ll change it later if I can’t live with it’.
She had a few things she tried that I said ‘no’ to but this is pretty much her creation. I sat in my chair and did some things on my computer that were desperately needing done. I checked some things off my to-do list and that knot in my stomach started to loosen. I reasoned with myself over all the stuff I had thought I would get done that day and started mentally shuffling them to other days and deadlines. And I felt much better.
I added a few things here and there to what my daughter had done to the 12ft
mantel shelf. I vetoed her idea of stringing the lights along the underside of the shelf too. And I stood back and proclaimed it good. And I’ve been enjoying those twinkle lights for weeks now. And I just ordered a new light for this room. I very much dislike ceiling fans. As of a couple years ago we don’t need this fan anymore to circulate the heat. When we used the stove in the corner we needed the fan. Now we have a furnace and we don’t use the stove. And the ceiling fan has been bugging me. A lot. I had a few ideas about what I wanted for a light. I was hoping to take a few elements that I love and create my own light. But since it is a project I can’t do on my own, and I will have to have my hubby’s help, it isn’t done yet. So I gave up and ordered a chandelier. I hope it works well in the space. And maybe I’ll still create that light I had plans for but at least for now I can get rid of the ceiling fan and like the light in my living room. Now to get the stove removed from the room too…
So there you have it. My shelf got decorated, and I love how it turned out. But I didn’t do it all myself and I didn’t end up with an epic tutorial on styling a 12ft mantel to wow you with. Can’t win them all I guess. 😀
Be blessed these last few days before Christmas. Take time to reflect on the meaning of the Season. Savor the time with family. Drink yummy hot drinks. Smile at everyone as you shop. Say ‘Merry Christmas’ often.
Believe. Believe in the hope of Christmas. Believe in the Child of Christmas.
May Peace reign in your hearts today and always.
linking up: savvy southern style