We Bought a Farmhouse

stories of renovation, home decor inspiration & sprinkles of country life

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Neutral Winter Decor: Pillows & Mantel

So, this is totally a bit late because we'll be going into Spring soon, but the good news is, even though I had Winter in mind while putting all these things together I'll be carrying a lot of it over to Spring & Summer.

It's always sad and also satisfying to put all the Christmas decor away. We actually keep it out until mid-January, and there's always a random day around that time that I say to myself, "K, I'm over this," and I start to pack it all back up. It's like a little mini Spring cleaning. But because I actually enjoy the Winter season, I always try to keep little sprinkles of it in our living room decor. I kept some of the same things from last year, and changed up some others.

The one thing I'm most excited about, though, is finally having a set mantel design that I can keep from season to season, and maybe just change it up for Christmas if I feel like it. I've said it before, I'll say it again, I struggle hardcore with designing mantels. They're narrow in depth (ours is only 5.5 inches deep), which really limits what you can put up there. My goals for the design have always been clean and simple but impactful, and proportionate to the height of the room. And during Christmas one thing we created for our coffee table gave me an idea for our mantel.

I love bringing the outdoors in because, like, I'm obsessed with nature. So after making little birch vases for some eucalyptus stems for our Christmas coffee table, I decided I wanted larger ones to go on each side of our window panel mirror for our mantel. And then from season to season, I can change out what to put inside (kind of, ridiculously excited for fall leaves in these bad boys).

Finding the birch logs was easy - we just went for a walk in our back yard and found a birch tree that had fallen down, and we sawed it down to the sizes we needed. Making them into vases, however, was a little bit of a pain. The smaller ones we made for Christmas aren't so bad because we just used the hole drill bit we have for our doors, and, you know, made an opening at the top. But, the size of these logs was much bigger, and we didn't want to buy a super expensive larger drill bit, plus its components, just for this one project. It was a lot of trial and error and a combination of a few techniques we found online. From the top, they look terrible, but no one can see the tops anyway.

I filled them with eucalyptus stems from Michaels that I recently found - I love that these ones are a soft and dusty light blue/green - and then added some cotton stems I had leftover from last year.

Yep, completely obsessed. Can't.stop.looking.at.them.

And since I'm a pillow freak, I changed up our pillows from Christmas to neutral/Wintery. I invested in a new pillow cover from my favorite pillow shop on Etsy JolieMarche, which combined my love of wreaths and natural looking botanicals into one perfect little pillow. And then I brought back our Winter snow owl pillow, and added a new throw I got myself during Christmas that's the perfect gray knit for maximum coziness.

I also found this cotton wreath at Homegoods for like $15, which I feel like is a steal because anything cotton-stem related tends to be a little pricey. And after Christmas, I just removed the red berry stems from our little coffee table tray eucalyptus arrangement, and added some cotton picks.

With all that said, I feel like come Spring, most of this will all stay the same, and maybe I'll change up a pillow or two (Mr. Owl will go away, and my bunny pillow will probably make an appearance for Easter). It's nice to finally have a set decor pattern that I can easily change out for each season.

And Our Mudroom Reno Begins ... Now!

Hi friends, long time no chat about home projects. The holidays were, like they are for everyone, hectic. Traveling, working, being as festive as all heck with Christmas movies, cookie baking and decorating takes a lot out of ya. After the holidays were over, and with everything going on in the world, with politics among other things, I had to unplug my brain for a bit. Josh has been working hard at keeping up with our guest bathroom installation, but I kind of hit a wall and did a lot of much needed relaxation and doing nothing. I've been in full on hibernation mode, and loving every second of it. I actually love the month of January because the world seems still and quiet, and it's always a month I look forward to because of that.

But now, I'm mostly recharged and ready to tackle a project I've been thinking about for months: our mudroom. Not an exciting project because it's so small in comparison to the other things we've taken on, but it's such an important room in the house. One we use every day. And I was just ready to go with a design plan in my head.

For this project, we'll be taking down the existing trim, installing a faux shiplap half wall for some texture, repainting the room and closet door white, repairing, reconfiguring and finishing the closet, building some storage seating and installing new coat hooks to the walls. And you know, some other fun design elements, too. I realized how much potential this space had, and we've just been using it all wrong since moving in. Once we're done, our mudroom will be so much more functional and allow us to be that much more organized.

Here's what my inspiration has been:

Photo creds: Top New England Home, Bottom Left Making It In The Mountains, Bottom Right Unknown

The start of the project.

Current status.

I'm hoping to have this done by the beginning of Spring. But, as we all know, things always take about three times as long to finish, so we'll see. I'm itching to get this done, though, and can't wait to see the finished space. Here we go again!