Friday, December 12, 2008

The Mantels of Christmases Past...

Last year was the first Christmas with our new white fireplace. (I think my husband did such a good job boxing in the old brick fireplace!)


I started thinking about some of the different 'looks' this fireplace has had at Christmastime...


Christmas Eve 1992... These are the teddy bear stockings the girls have had since they were infants. That year the pine garland was placed on top of the mantel, and not much changed for many years...


Christmas Eve 2000... The living room got a new paint job and since family photos had taken over the mantel, the pine garland was hung underneath. One thing that didn't changes was the teddy bear stockings...


Jumping ahead to Christmas 2005... The prim-to-cottage transformation has begun. The old mirror above the fireplace has been replaced with a vintage paint by number (I love that old mirror though - it now hangs in the entryway)...The ancient (24 year old) wall-to-wall carpet has been ripped up and the plywood subfloors painted white. The walls are now creamy white, a white fireplace screen has replaced the old black one, and a white berry garland has replaced the pine garland of years past.... And the teddy bear stockings were replaced by pink stockings... Not!!

Same year, Christmas Eve 2005... There's no way those teddy bear stockings are ever going to be replaced! They are (and always will be) hung on Christmas Eve so Santa can fill them when he arrives...


Christmas 2006... We're getting there. Family photos have been removed from the mantel (but are elsewhere throughout the house, no matter what the decorating experts say!)... Bottlebrush and sparkly trees and reindeer sit on a white table runner...


Christmas 2007... We're done (sigh of relief). I now have the beautiful white fireplace that I've dreamed about since falling head-over-heels for the shabby/cottage look; and beautiful hardwood floors (first photo) were installed over those terribly hard-to-clean white painted sub-floors... A leafy garland (from Wal Mart) has replaced the white berry garland (which didn't really show up against the white fireplace)...
GARLAND HANGING TIP!! Two years ago I purchased reindeer and mirrored glass snowflake stocking holders from Target - mostly as decorations for the mantel because I don't really trust hanging filled stockings from them ... But I discovered they're perfect for hanging the garland and lights from! (I didn't want to put any nails into my new white fireplace... the old garland used to hang from cup hooks I had under the mantel, but I didn't want to do that either). The weighted stocking holders have been a perfect solution for me!
I think I'm going to make a cup of hot chocolate now... It's rainy and bone-chilling cold here today... I hope you're toasty and warm wherever you are!!
Donna

15 comments:

Sue said...

The first picture is beautiful ...what a nice look. Perfection!
Happy Holidays ! Sue

Lady of the Mote said...

your husband did a beautiful job!

Deb said...

Hi Donna
Your white fireplace is stunning! I enjoyed looking through all the different Christmas past looks your fireplace has had :-) It looks so pretty in the shabby chic/cottage white look!
Have a wonderful weekend
Deb

Adrienne said...

Good morning, Donna -
Your fireplace is gorgeous! We redid ours a couple of years ago and I just can't make myself put a nail in it, either. Thanks for the stocking hanger tip. So far I've kept my mantel decorations fairly simple so the design of the fireplace will show. Yours is wonderful and I totally understand how happy you are when you look at it. That's the way we feel.
~Adrienne~

laurie said...

Wow! How neat to see this transformation! All of the fireplace decor was beautiful, but especially the current one! What a great idea to hang the garland from stocking holders! laurie

Victoria Lynn said...

Donna,
I hope kitty is doing better. I enjoyed your home tour and also seeing the transformation of your home through the years with your mantels. Wishing you a joyous holiday weekend!
Hugs,
Victoria Lynn

Linda's Blue Gate said...

fun to look at the different looks for your mantel..... times do change.... I dearly love the white one..... so pretty....
HUgs
Linda

Connie said...

I LOVE the current mantel! I think you definitely did the "right" thing with it, chickadee. Yep, gorgeous!!
Smooches,
Connie

Nola @ the Alamo said...

Your mantel is beautiful! Thanks for the tip on hanging garland; I hate to make a hole in anything.

Cami @ Creating Myself said...

I love seeing you go from country prim to shabby chic! The transformation is amazing!

How sweet that Santa still fills the teddy bear stockings even if they don't match the decor. ;o)

Peggy. said...

What a great idea for the stocking holders!!! I love love love your fireplace...your husband did an awesome job.
Peggy
http://pegslifeinthebuttonjar.blogspot.com/

ksarra said...

LOVE your ideas, especially about using stocking hangers to hold garland. Isn't it sweet to look through old photos to see the look of Christmas' past? Your new cottagey look with all the trees on the mantle is gorgeous!!!!

Mo said...

What a great post! I love the lovely white delight decor!

TattingChic said...

Oh, that was sweet! Thanks for sharing! :)

Mary Ellen said...

I LOVE you're fireplace. I think it's the most romantic setting. The soft white, illuminated by the garland, and the pale pink stockings. It's a joy to the eyes. And that hearth is stunning. I've never seen a raised hearth with wood molding like this. The blue delft tile is a beautiful match. This is better than the White House!