Monday, October 28, 2019

Three fall mantels at the Boarding House

I wanted to share the mantels I designed at Balsam Mountain Preserve as these will work well right on into Thanksgiving. 

You all know my love for natural and organic elements, and this is definitely not the place to do anything faux. However, because there are two fireplaces, the air gets dry inside and anything installed needs to last. Fall branches dry out quickly here, so I wanted to find an alternative that wasn't the typical faux silk.

I found these fig leaf garlands at Michael's online and thought they might work. 

I was pleasantly surprised when they arrived. They really look like paper or leather and have such a unique feel, I am really happy with how they look here.

I put two together and draped down one side for an asymmetrical look, then filled in with dried hydrangeas, seed pods, dried ferns, pine cones, and grapevine pumpkins. 

I think adding the natural elements really made a difference.

I love how nicely it coordinates with the beautiful painting, but doesn't outshine or overpower such a statement piece. I love that is says, "fall" but not in an overt way.

For the next mantel, I really wanted to keep things true to the mountain and Appalachian culture here.

I added cornstalks to the antique gas can, then stacked books, pumpkins, and some woven pieces I found at a local antique mall several years ago. 

I also reused a garland I bought several years ago as well with dried leaves, pine cones, etc. 

Again, the natural elements are so important here, and this little touch brings all the other elements together as far as color, texture and style.

On the back side of that mantel, I really wanted the mirror to stand out, so I added a rag garland, birch-wrapped candles, antique crocks, dried leaves and eucalyptus as well as some pine cones and dyed seed pods.

Again, I wanted to reflect the mountain culture, nature and keep things simple.

Hopefully there are some ideas here you can take for your own fall/Thanksgiving mantels. It won't be long before we are in total Christmas mode, so I'm trying to finish up all my fall posts before it's over!

I'll be joining:


  1. Absolutely gorgeous! I love all of them but I think if I had to pick (or could recreate myself) I would try the second. Any of them would go on my primitive mantel. Beautiful job!

  2. this is such an amazing place, Love the pinecone wrapped mirror!

  3. You are so talented. All the mantels are beautiful.