Fall mantle decor

Okay so right away I have to admit, I don’t have a fireplace. Therefore, I don’t have an actual mantle to decorate. But what I do have… are cabinets! About four of them, in fact… and because each of them has a fine flat surface across the top, I use them as stand-ins when I feel like decorating a mantle. So even though I don’t technically have a mantle, I wanted to show you how I was able to do some Fall mantle decor using mostly just items I had on hand.

This “mantle” is actually the top of my three-tier barrister bookcase, which sits near my front door and has a large vintage gold mirror above it – off center, due to challenges finding a stud.

Fall mantle decor | Vintage Floral Cottage

So my main goals were to create something rather opulent… lots of layers, and lots of details to look at and enjoy… and to avoid traditional Fall colors of red, orange, and yellow. I wanted to capture that “Faded Summer” look, rather than straight-on Fall. The large wreath was a beautiful starting point – it had a bit of yellow-gold, but otherwise its colors were faded greens, deep plum, light brown, and even a dusty mauve.

Fall mantle decor | Vintage Floral Cottage

The only items I bought new for this vignette were the white pumpkins… about $8 worth from the local pumpkin patch. Everything else was already on-hand from prior visits to Goodwill and other second-hand stores.

I started my design over on the right – because the mirror is hung off-center, it left a bit of blank wall on that side and I wanted to fill it in a bit. So a tall Limoges coffee pot filled with silk peonies in “Faded Summer” colors was set in first. I then placed the real pumpkins, spreading them out across the surface.

Fall mantle decor | Vintage Floral Cottage

On the left side I used the largest of the pumpkins, then filled in all around with faux grapevine greenery. After that I just started tucking in random Fall-themed things wherever they seemed to want to go – Dollar Tree ceramic pumpkins, a hand-made sweater pumpkin in ivory, a pretty Noritake teacup with a pear motif, silk sunflower napkin rings, and other items of various textures.

Fall mantle decor | Vintage Floral Cottage

Fall mantle decor | Vintage Floral Cottage

Fall mantle decor | Vintage Floral Cottage

I tried a number of things on top of the small stack of books in the  middle, but the hand carved wooden duck seemed most at-home there.

Fall mantle decor | Vintage Floral Cottage

I created this bit of Fall mantle decor around the end of September, so I’ve been enjoying it for several weeks now. I’m keeping a close eye on the real pumpkins in case they start to go bad, but I love this so much I’m hoping to actually transition it into the Christmas season.

 

 

 

 

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Taking a walk in the woods – Faded Summer becomes Fall

Well it’s definitely Fall now, that’s for sure! I want to be sure to tell you about the walk in the woods that Greg and I took in October, but first, let’s catch up a little!

September was a good month for the most part: I began working at the antique mall where I have my booth, and began managing their Facebook and Instagram accounts as planned. My booth quickly doubled in size, as the store owner encouraged me to expand into the space next to mine which became available right after I moved in. And to top it all off, I had very good sales reports for both September and October. Here’s the booth as it currently looks, ready for Christmas, although I have filled it in even more since I took these pictures at the end of October:

Walk in the woods antique mall booth | Vintage Floral Cottage

Walk in the woods antique mall booth | Vintage Floral Cottage

Walk in the woods antique mall booth | Vintage Floral Cottage

Greg and I also took a trip over to Walnut, Iowa for their Fall outdoor antique market. I attended the Rustique outdoor market on my own, and I continued to buy and sell furniture on Facebook Marketplace with good results.

The weather took a turn in September as well. It was hot and humid at the start of the month, but by the end we were only reaching the mid- to upper-50’s in daytime temperatures with lots of rain. In fact, the entire first half of October was dreary, chilly, and rainy. But the second half of October was glorious!  Here’s where our walk in the woods comes into play.

I had decided that one of the things I most wanted to do this Fall was take a walk in the woods. But, because of my experiences earlier this year with a broken ankle (and frankly, for personal safety reasons), I was reluctant to go by myself. So I recruited Greg to accompany me to Brown’s Woods, which is a county park not far from my home. Now the short version of this story is that because neither of us was familiar with the trails at Brown’s Woods, we set off to walk maybe 1.5 miles… and ended up walking 4.5, which may not sound like a lot but it was not the easiest terrain and the most I have walked at any one time this year has been a mile. Fortunately, it was absolutely beautiful (if painful during the second hour – LOL) and I took quite a lot of photos showing the Fall color.

walk in the woods Brown's Woods | Vintage Floral Cottage

walk in the woods Brown's Woods | Vintage Floral Cottage

walk in the woods Brown's Woods | Vintage Floral Cottage

walk in the woods Brown's Woods | Vintage Floral Cottage

walk in the woods Brown's Woods | Vintage Floral Cottage

walk in the woods Brown's Woods | Vintage Floral Cottage

Coming up soon, I’m excited to show you a tablescape that I recently put together – although it has a few Fall elements, it’s decidedly more Summery in its color palette, but I finally had all the right elements to assemble it so I went ahead and did it kind of “off-season.” Also coming up, I created quite the sumptuous Fall vignette across the top of my barrister bookcase (I don’t have a mantle, but the barrister is a fine stand-in) and I’m excited to share that as well in a near-future post.

More soon!

 

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Back in the antique mall booth business

Lately I’ve been thinking about returning to the antique mall booth business, for a variety of reasons. So this past week I went to the mall where I had my first booth three years ago. Knowing it had changed owners, I went in to shop and scope out/inquire about available booth space. It’s called Memory Lane Antiques, Collectibles & Gifts, located at 208 Fifth Street in West Des Moines.

Original antique mall booth | Vintage Floral Cottage

Here’s my original space at Memory Lane in West Des Moines. This was two adjacent wall spaces, so primarily shelving but it was a great entry into the antique mall booth business!

In talking with the new owner, who is a gal I knew from my prior run as a vendor there, I discovered that not only did she have some space available, she also needed help with marketing the business via social media. So I’m very excited because I will once again have a small antique mall booth and I will be trading a bit of my time to help her with the marketing in exchange for the booth rent!

Antique mall booth | Vintage Floral Cottage

This is a booth we had at another local mall – it was quite large and we sold a lot of project furniture pieces here.

This is absolutely perfect for me because I do feel that having an established retail space could be helpful in selling my vintage and vintage-inspired merchandise. But I won’t have to worry about possibly having to pay out-of-pocket for my rent because I will be working it off instead of trying to reach/exceed it in sales. I’m also going to fill in occasionally at the checkout counter, which will further ensure that I have no out-of-pocket expenses related to maintaining my booth space.

So this week I’m busy planning (once again) an antique mall booth space and putting together a social media plan. It also feels like a huge opportunity to learn more about how the mall business itself operates, and to observe first-hand the types of things that sell in this particular mall. I move into my booth space on Friday the 14th!

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Quick and easy faded summer early fall tablescape

By now you know that while others are charging full steam ahead into Fall, I am hanging back here and simply enjoying my official self-proclaimed “fifth season,” Faded Summer. And you also know that one of my favorite ways to celebrate anything is by setting a pretty table! So in this post I thought I would share my 2018 Faded Summer tablescape. But don’t worry, you traditionalists have my permission to refer to it as an “early fall tablescape” if you wish!

In my last post I shared some silk flowers that showed the color palette of that brief time period between the summer brights and the fall bolds. This is the time when kids go back to school, oppressive heat has most likely broken (thought in my case the humidity is hanging in there!), and summer annuals are nearing the end of their life cycle. It’s those faded flowers that inspired this table for sure!

Faded Summer Early Fall Tablescape using antique Limoges china #fadedsummer #earlyfalltablescape #earlyfalldecorating #fadedfloraltable #tablescaping #prettytableideas

I wanted to use some of my growing collection of antique Limoges china for my Faded Summer/Early Fall tablescape, but most floral Limoges is decidedly more “rosey” than would be suitable for this table – meaning, lots of tiny pink roses and soft greenery. But I did have a few pieces of a lovely pattern that I thought would work well.

Faded Summer Early Fall Tablescape using antique Limoges china #fadedsummer #earlyfalltablescape #earlyfalldecorating #fadedfloraltable #tablescaping #prettytableideas

Notice how the leaves are soft green but tipped in the faintest pinkish-brown; the blue is almost gray; the pink is a bit bright on the outer edges but is faded/lighter toward the center. My main problem with this set was simply that I only had a few pieces of it – three dinner plates, three salad plates, and a lot of cups/saucers. So I set it as a table for two, but needed some appropriate elements to put with it.

Faded Summer Early Fall Tablescape using antique Limoges china #fadedsummer #earlyfalltablescape #earlyfalldecorating #fadedfloraltable #tablescaping #prettytableideas

Chief among them, one of my perfectly faded silk floral bunches plopped down into a heavily patinaed silverplate teapot, and big beautiful floppy faded green peony napkin rings that I found at Pier 1!

Faded Summer Early Fall Tablescape using antique Limoges china #fadedsummer #earlyfalltablescape #earlyfalldecorating #fadedfloraltable #tablescaping #prettytableideas

Here are some views around the table:

Faded Summer Early Fall Tablescape using antique Limoges china #fadedsummer #earlyfalltablescape #earlyfalldecorating #fadedfloraltable #tablescaping #prettytableideas

Faded Summer Early Fall Tablescape using antique Limoges china #fadedsummer #earlyfalltablescape #earlyfalldecorating #fadedfloraltable #tablescaping #prettytableideas

My blush-pink tablecloth is a recent garage sale find – it was in a bundle of table linens all for $3. As this was only going to be a table for two, I used my third dinner plate off to the side as a serving platter. You can see above it that I also used a couple of the spare saucers as butter plates. All of our flatware is my treasured Oneida Chandelier, which was a gift many years ago from my great-Aunt Hazel.

Faded Summer Early Fall Tablescape using antique Limoges china #fadedsummer #earlyfalltablescape #earlyfalldecorating #fadedfloraltable #tablescaping #prettytableideas

Faded Summer Early Fall Tablescape using antique Limoges china #fadedsummer #earlyfalltablescape #earlyfalldecorating #fadedfloraltable #tablescaping #prettytableideas

Here is the overall place setting:

Faded Summer Early Fall Tablescape using antique Limoges china #fadedsummer #earlyfalltablescape #earlyfalldecorating #fadedfloraltable #tablescaping #prettytableideas

Faded Summer Early Fall Tablescape using antique Limoges china #fadedsummer #earlyfalltablescape #earlyfalldecorating #fadedfloraltable #tablescaping #prettytableideas

Faded Summer Early Fall Tablescape using antique Limoges china #fadedsummer #earlyfalltablescape #earlyfalldecorating #fadedfloraltable #tablescaping #prettytableideas

Faded Summer Early Fall Tablescape using antique Limoges china #fadedsummer #earlyfalltablescape #earlyfalldecorating #fadedfloraltable #tablescaping #prettytableideas

Faded Summer Early Fall Tablescape using antique Limoges china #fadedsummer #earlyfalltablescape #earlyfalldecorating #fadedfloraltable #tablescaping #prettytableideas

Faded Summer Early Fall Tablescape using antique Limoges china #fadedsummer #earlyfalltablescape #earlyfalldecorating #fadedfloraltable #tablescaping #prettytableideas

I also placed a little square nursery-themed dish at each seat, suitable for a knife rest.

Faded Summer Early Fall Tablescape using antique Limoges china #fadedsummer #earlyfalltablescape #earlyfalldecorating #fadedfloraltable #tablescaping #prettytableideas

Faded Summer Early Fall Tablescape using antique Limoges china #fadedsummer #earlyfalltablescape #earlyfalldecorating #fadedfloraltable #tablescaping #prettytableideas

Here are our faded summer flowers in the silverplate teapot again:

Faded Summer Early Fall Tablescape using antique Limoges china #fadedsummer #earlyfalltablescape #earlyfalldecorating #fadedfloraltable #tablescaping #prettytableideas

Faded Summer Early Fall Tablescape using antique Limoges china #fadedsummer #earlyfalltablescape #earlyfalldecorating #fadedfloraltable #tablescaping #prettytableideas

And a few additional silverplate pieces with beautiful patina.

Faded Summer Early Fall Tablescape using antique Limoges china #fadedsummer #earlyfalltablescape #earlyfalldecorating #fadedfloraltable #tablescaping #prettytableideas

Now here’s where my ignorance – or at least, lack of refinery – lol – might show through… While I think the heavy patina on that serving piece is gorgeous, particularly in an early fall tablescape, my inclination would be to polish it up before using it to serve food. So I had to look it up – is it safe to eat off of genuine silver, even if it has patina? The short answer is yes, it is safe, especially Sterling silver and most antique/heirloom silver! But there are some foods, such as eggs, that are best not eaten off of silver because they will discolor it and infuse it with an unpleasant taste. You might find these links interesting regarding the food-safety of silverware.

Here’s a final birds-eye view of our pretty table!

Faded Summer Early Fall Tablescape using antique Limoges china #fadedsummer #earlyfalltablescape #earlyfalldecorating #fadedfloraltable #tablescaping #prettytableideas

And, here is everything all gathered up, waiting to go back into the cupboards – the “put-away shot”!

Faded Summer Early Fall Tablescape using antique Limoges china #fadedsummer #earlyfalltablescape #earlyfalldecorating #fadedfloraltable #tablescaping #prettytableideas

Here is an image to Pin if you would like, for future inspiration!

Faded Summer Early Fall Tablescape using antique Limoges china #fadedsummer #earlyfalltablescape #earlyfalldecorating #fadedfloraltable #tablescaping #prettytableideas

P.S. – I’ll be sharing for Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch!

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Faded Summer 2018 seasonal decor

Some folks may call this time of year late summer, or even early Fall. But last year I officially named it Faded Summer – a Fifth Season… with a proclamation and everything, so you know it’s legit! 😉

I’ve noticed especially in the home decor community on Instagram that people start putting out their Fall decor in mid-August. But I simply cannot with the pumpkins and sweaters – not yet! That’s why I created Faded Summer in the first place: to put a name to that time period in between the Summer “brights” and the Fall “bolds” of orange, yellow, and brown. Now make no mistake, I love traditional Fall colors. But I am just not ready for them and probably won’t be until the middle of October – so, Faded Summer it is!

Last year my Faded Summer consisted of setting a couple of pretty tables that explored the color palette, then sneaking off to Orlando for a visit to Disney World. This year, I’m kicking off the season with a few silk floral arrangements around the house and another pretty table. Thought I would share those with you, in hopes of making Faded Summer an actual thing… even if I don’t get to go to Disney again, although in all fairness it should probably become an annual tradition. But I digress – where were we? Oh yes – Faded Summer floral arrangements!

Faded Summer floral arrangement for late summer. #Fadedsummer #driedflowercolorpalette #colorsoflatesummer

The whole thing for me is about the faded versions of summer colors. This bowl is simply filled with silks in appropriate shades from Dollar Tree. The vignette includes my little gold-painted ceramic squirrel and milk glass lamp. I think this sort of burnished gold, and squirrels, and even milk glass should all become traditional elements of Faded Summer. Kind of like candy canes and Christmas!

 

Faded Summer floral arrangement for late summer. #Fadedsummer #driedflowercolorpalette #colorsoflatesummer

Now this grouping technically has some traditional Fall yellow in the little painting, but that painting is like 2 x 3 inches so… it’s not much. And besides, the flowers are in a very pretty crazed crock and the little painting goes so well with it, I couldn’t leave it out.

 

Faded Summer floral arrangement for late summer. #Fadedsummer #driedflowercolorpalette #colorsoflatesummer

I am always moving things around here in the dollhouse, but I have had the same Spring/Summer floral arrangement in this handmade wooden box since March because I loved it so much. It took a lot to convince myself it might be time for a change… fortunately I can still be bribed with chocolate so I bought a couple Peanut Butter Cups and I was good to go.

 

Faded Summer floral arrangement for late summer. #Fadedsummer #driedflowercolorpalette #colorsoflatesummer

I always feel very fortunate to find silk flowers in this color palette – this is actually one pre-made bunch, in all the right colors, that I have had for a couple of years. It has lived in a variety of containers around my home!

 

Faded Summer floral arrangement for late summer. #Fadedsummer #driedflowercolorpalette #colorsoflatesummer

And, I recently found this little pip-berry wreath at Goodwill for $3.99 – that heather/purple is Faded Summer perfection!

When it starts getting really cool outside, I will throw the chenille bedspreads over the living room furniture which has the added bonus of keeping things “light and bright” as the days get really short. For now, the only other change I’ve made in the house is that I put a Faded Summer quilt on the bed and put my Shabby Chic quilt away for now. The denim pillow shams are a little dark, but they are currently all I have that looks good with this quilt.

Quilt in perfect faded summer colors for late summer. #Fadedsummer #driedflowercolorpalette #colorsoflatesummer

That’s it for me and seasonal decor right now… I am milking every last moment out of this beautiful time of year and won’t even BEGIN to call it Fall until at least late September. For now, how about joining me on the patio for the bright warm days and cool-ish nights of Faded Summer?

I’ll have a fifth season tablescape to show you in my next post! For now, here is an image to Pin if you would like to!

Early Fall Faded Summer color palette home decorating #earlyfall #falldecor #falldecorating #fadedsummer #fadedsummercolors #fadedsummerdecorating #fifthseason

 

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