Living Room Love: A New Mantel?

When we first moved into our home we fell in love with the large living room space and the beautiful arched ceilings.

We were also thrilled to finally have a fireplace! A fireplace of our very own.

High on our priority list was tearing down the white brick to reveal (hopefully) the original Spanish-style fireplace within. Well… two and a half years later that big fireplace reveal has moved quite a ways down the list.

The mantel decor has seen a few changes over the past two years, but here’s a look at in-progress photos from 2010:

Remember the big mirror or photo collage debate? Here’s a shot of the mirror option.

So while the fireplace is now low on the re-do totem pole, I’d still love to give it a quick, attractive update before it gets its big makeover somewhere down the line.

My initial thought was a simple, sleek beam that would grace the top of the fireplace and sit like one large block right on the existing brick mantel. Something like these photos:

It might even function like a hollow wooden box that sits on the top row of bricks with all of the edges mitered to create a seamless look. Easy, right? A little staining and a new mantel? We’ll see. I’m off to share my idea with a carpenter friend to see what the options (and cost) might be.

More living room posts: bookshelf styling tips, decorating in layers: stage 1, inspiration boards, picking the perfect couch, custom lampshade, coffee table-to-ottoman, and the ‘before’ photos.

Finally, I’m headed to New Orleans this weekend! Any suggestions?

DIY Entertaining Idea: Paper Flowers

Here’s a fun little tip for all of that left over wrapping paper you might have lying around.

Paper Flowers 1

I’m a huge fan of using a roll as an impromptu table runner or cut up as individual place mats (it helps incorporate beautiful patterns and colors – plus you can toss it when you’re done), but I love the idea of using this simple Martha Stewart tutorial to create small flowers for either a bouquet or even as individual stems wrapped around your silverware or wine glass.

Paper Flowers 3

Here’s the full DIY instructions.

Paper flowers 2

Beautiful, right? Perfect for a shower, birthday or even a wedding. I love how simple and classic it looks!

Going Green: A Natural Way to Eliminate Toxins

A friend of mine recently brought Liv a most unique gift – a plant for her nursery that’s known for eliminating harmful pollutants from the air.

Maryam, & co-founder Jennifer, began the company Green Your Air earlier this year and specialize in selling plants that have unique chemical-eliminating properties.

toxin eliminating plant

I was checking out their new website and they have a great selection of plants in the cutest pots. I love this pink zinnea print (even the pots are made from bamboo fiber, rice husks, wheat straw, and corn stalks that can biodegrade in 2-3 years after discarding). I’m sure I’ll use it again and again though!

From their website: “Green Your Air products are a natural, effective way to eliminate harmful pollutants in your home or office. Each live plant is backed by NASA research proving its ability to green our air naturally – each with its own specific and unique chemical-eliminating properties. (Oh yeah, and they’re designed to look as good as they work). Green Your Air: Brought to you by two moms trying to make the earth a little greener.”

And I love how it looks in the animal-themed nursery! (Gotta love that cute little Olivia the Pig book, too – have you heard of the series?)

Can’t wait for the nursery reveal. The glider’s custom cushion covers, DIY crib bedding and basket liners are all nearly finished!

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