The Story Behind Everything on our Mantle
Our mantle is one of my favorite places in the entire house. I love the eclectic vibe it gives our living room as well as a peek into what Justin and I cherish. Since September and Fall are quickly approaching, I wanted to share the story behind everything on our mantle currently before I start switching things up for fall and the holiday season. I also wanted to share this because I know a lot of you are newlyweds like us or maybe moving in with your significant other for the first time or just decorating your first place. I know how tough it can be to decorate on a budget so I wanted to show that you don't have to spend a lot of money in order to decorate something like a mantle! There are only three items on our mantle that we purchased after moving to Georgia!
Now, I'm no Joanna Gaines, but I think everything on our mantle goes together in that sort of mismatched, eclectic way that I love, a la Anthropologie. I can't wait to start searching for key fall, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas/winter decor to add to it over the years.
The Plant - Affectionately called Sir, we picked him up at the local Farmer's Market on one of the first weekends we were in Georgia. Sir started my new found obsession with plants (we now have three). I originally picked him up because I wanted something to hang down from the windowsill in our kitchen but I ended up moving him into the living room where he now sits on our mantle. And let me tell you, he's thriving. I think he's doubled in size since we brought him home.
The Clock - I'm actually not sure why we bought this clock now that I think about it. We had just moved in, hadn't got refunded yet for our move so money was tight, and I was itching to make our place feel like home. We have no clocks in the living room so I convinced Justin we needed one. Like I said, I'm not sure why since we have cell phones that usually tell us the time and are usually with us in the living room. Anyways, we picked this little guy up at Target and even though we only use it occasionally to actually check the time, I think he adds a bit of character to the mantle.
The Candle - Justin found this candle at Home Goods back when we were dating and it stayed with him at West Point for a year before I somehow ended up with it at the apartment. The scent is so comforting and reminds me of the smell of cigars, which I love. We don't burn it very often but I love the apothecary jar look that the candle has so I think it'll be staying on the mantle even long after it's last flame has been lit.
West Point Books - Who knew that when you went to West Point that you accumulated so much memorabilia and knick-knacks? I knew that we were going to have a lot of West Point stuff lying around and it seemed a shame to just leave it in storage. Since we were on a budget I was very much in the "let's use what we have for decorations" mindset. And thus our built-ins and mantle became home to a bunch of stuff from Justin's four years at West Point. On the mantle, specifically, are his notebook from BEAST (their basic training), his copy of Bugle Notes (issued to every new cadet), and his Cadet Bible.
Misc. Old Books - This is hands down my favorite section of the mantle. I have always had a love for antique books and it's something I've unknowingly collected over the years. I'll go from left to right and explain each of the books and why they earned a spot on the mantle. The first book is Idylls of the King by Alfred Lord Tennyson. I read a snippet of Idylls of the King in college and fell in love. My mom purchased this edition for my 21st birthday. I love the way it's boxed instead of just the book. The next book is one I found at Lucille's Market Place in Clarksville, Tennessee when I was in Nashville for my bachelorette party. I knew the instant I read the inside cover that I couldn't leave it behind. The concept of the book is so hilariously outdated that I kept it for a conversation starter. And because one of my favorite quotes was on the front page (which I still need to frame). The next three books are very special to me. They belonged to my grandmother and I decided to take them when she passed away. I actually had no idea until after that my grandmother was such a fan of Longfellow and poetry.
"C" - Our wedding decor has been majorly repurposed all throughout our house. This "C" was picked up at either Home Goods or TJ Maxx when I was searching for random wedding decor. When I was looking for wedding decor, I really kept in mind the type of items I would want to use in our home so I wasn't spending a fortune on things for the wedding that I wouldn't use again.
Picture Frame with Wedding Picture - This picture is one of my favorites from our wedding that our lovely photographer sent to us as part of a gift after our wedding. We've been slow to print our wedding pictures so I'm so thankful to have a few on hand for places just like the end of our mantle. This frame was also used for both my bridal shower and our wedding so again with the repurposing of old wedding decor!