Emerging of a Summer Mantel (or Decorating Indecisiveness)

Summer is just about coming to a close and yet today I am finally getting around to sharing my summer mantel.  Summer has been both slow and busy.  While my schedule filled up quickly, the days that did not have much were spent reading, puttering around the house redecorating, and spending time with others.  

This is our first summer with our fireplace and I wanted something simple but cozy.  As you will see, I just could not seem to get things where it felt right.  I loved how it all looked for a few weeks but after spending the last few months of rearranging things, I finally realized what I was craving was less.

I finally settled on a vignette that felt right for me in how I wanted for the tone of this room.  I will get to photographing and posting that hopefully before fall officially rolls around!

My most favorite aspect though was the fern in the fireplace.  When we built our fireplace last year I dreamed of these summer months and the big ol' fern I was going to place in it.  The fern is now barely hanging on for dear life but it lasted a good few months of bringing some joy and life to the room.

A few months ago I found these metal chairs for a great price at Marshall's and picked up two.  My husband and I have discussed making a large outdoor dining table one day and I would love to use these chairs to go along with our existing mismatched metal patio chairs.  Until then (who knows when that might be!) we are enjoying them indoors.

I have been craving decorative walls that make me happy with clean and cleared off table tops.

I got around to hitting up Ikea for these $5 black and white striped pillow covers.  They are just the perfect amount of bold contrast I was looking for at a very small price tag.

As I lived with my new mantel decorations, I started feeling like it just wasn't right.  So I started adding things.  I moved the bar cart over and moved around some books.

I then added in this giant marquee light (a Ross clearance find) to fill in the space a little bit more.  Just like the previous set up, I loved it for a few weeks but then it started to overwhelm me.

So I added more.  Art from another room to add some color.  Pretty things from the kitchen to fill in space.

And then eventually it all just felt too cluttered.  Some may find it silly to feel such discontentment over a space (especially if it is pretty!).  But these mixed emotions over how to decorate my mantel for summer was actually a bigger reflection of where my heart was at.  I realized I needed to purge and my dissatisfaction was actually coming from feeling overwhelmed by having two much stuff. 

So while I wanted to share these photos still for inspiration as well as where my heart has been, I am happy to report that through a whole house purge, I finally found just the right combination for our mantel that felt spacious and summery, decorative but not overwhelming, and true to my own decorating style.  Wow.  Isn't that the goal we all want for our homes?  I will be back with more about that and how I found it through living with less.