Daily Archives: December 20, 2012

Laura’s Inspired Advent Calendar and Mantel

Entertaining, Holiday and tagged , , | | | 2 Replies

If you’re looking for creative advent calendar decorating ideas — or simply gorgeous holiday decorating ideas in general — you’ll be pleased to read this interview with Laura, who’s the creative forced behind the blog Finding Home.

What was your original inspiration for the look of your holiday mantel?

“The original inspiration for my mantel was my desire to create an advent calendar this year.  I had been trying to figure one out that was my style for some time and finally settled on the idea of a window.  Once I decided on that, I felt it would be perfect center point for my mantel.  I knew I wanted to keep the color scheme simple this year, greens, creams and whites and natural elements.”

Can you tell us more about your advent calendar? 

“Once I had decided on the window idea, the task was to find a window with 24 panes.  It took quite a few months of looking through my regular vintage haunts, and finally found one in August.  It waited patiently for me in my garage until I was ready to start pulling it together.  I simply glued vintage sheet music with cut out numbers (I used an electronic cutter for the numbers) to each of the panes.  There is a felt snowflake taped to the window that we move to each number to count down the days.  I also put a small basket hanging on the side of the mantel with corresponding numbered envelopes.  Each one contains an idea for us to do together as a family each day.”

The cut glass doorknobs in the pack basket are such a brilliant addition! How did you happen upon this idea?

“On the left side of the mantel I placed a vintage scout basket filled with greenery. It is one of my favorite things because of the signature and name on it.  One of the main reasons I love to use vintage items in my home is when there is a story behind them — and this basket is a perfect execution of that.  Inside the basket are two small evergreen plants mixed with fake evergreens.   It was a little flat and I wanted to dress it up a bit.  I have always loved using vintage door knobs in my décor, so I decided to place them in.  They were too heavy for them really to be placed right, so I decided to place them on a wooden skewer and place them in the dirt of the plant as my own version of a ‘floral pick.’”

(A close look at the name and signature on the back of the pack basket.)

What greenery did you use for this look?

“The greenery I used was a mixture of real and fake.  I was careful in selecting my fake greenery in that it was realistic but not overly expensive.  On the stool in front, I used a small lemon cypress plant.”

We also love the Epsom salt in the mason jars, which you use to hold up the candles. How did you decide to try this? Any advice for re-creating it?

“I was inspired by some projects I had seen on Pinterest to use the Epsom salts.  I often use mason jars with candles in them in my décor, but I felt for this mantel it needed a little something more — and the ‘snow look’ was just what it needed.  This project couldn’t be simpler and is very inexpensive as well.  I used a mixture of tea lights, tapers and small votives in the the different jars.”

 

What are your favorite elements of your mantel?

“My favorite element of this mantel is how all of the elements pull together, it is in the Christmas spirit, without being overdone.  The colors are comfortable, but bring an element of elegance.  I do however absolutely love the drawing on the right side.  It is actually a vintage sap bucket lid, from back in the days when they were wood.  When I found it at a yard sale in Vermont there was  a very light sketch of the Victoria-dressed man and woman skating.  I used a chalk pen to go over the lines that were there so the drawing would be more visible.  This is especially meaningful for me because my husband grew up on a farm that made maple syrup and we now make our own in our neighborhood here in New York.  It is one of favorite times of year, after Christmas of course.”

Why do you shop at Pottery Barn? 

“My style is based in traditional but always mixed with vintage elements and a little modern edge thrown in. Pottery Barn’s products provide me just that element — and the unique vintage pieces that are offered from time to time are amazing.  Almost anything I can find at Pottery Barn fits within my style and allows me to still be unique and not too ‘cookie cutter.’ And all of the holiday products are always so inspiring. ”

 

All photos courtesy Erin Witkowski