April 5, 2017

Living room update

The last time I blogged about my living room was to announce that I was removing my beloved gallery wall for something more simple and sophisticated. 

Since then, I have worked on two large canvases in my accent colors to hang on either side of the television unit, but after reworking them several ways, I was not pleased with the final look of the canvases {Boo-hoo #1}. 

A few days ago, I decided to start physically taking down the gallery wall in order to start patching the many holes in my swiss-cheese wall. But as I started taking piece after piece down, I started feeling really emotional... You see, there are many things in this gallery that have very special meaning, and taking them down means I would be putting them away as, let's face it, I don't have enough wall or shelf space to hang or display all these items somewhere else in the house.

For example, I had framed a beautiful doily that was hand-made by my Great-Grand-Mother Hachez. The rose from my Grand-Mother Villeneuve's funeral was inserted into a shadow box and surrounded with a string of beads. And then there are many frames from our wedding like a picture of Jon and I framed with my beloved damask fabric, or a frame with the date of our wedding, or the first words to our first dance song... all of these things are very meaningful. So needless to say, it was saddening me to take everything down {boo-hoo #2}.

Reluctantly, I went downstairs to find my left-over paint, only to realize that I had no left-over paint {boo-hoo #3}, and I have not yet bought the new paint that I want to try {basically because I haven't had time or energy to repaint the entire living room}. And seeing as I did not want to live weeks if not months with an unsightly wall full of patches, boo-hoo #3 led me to hang everything back... Thank goodness I had a picture of the gallery wall on my blog because it was like trying to make a puzzle without the picture on the box.

After all of that, I have chosen to keep the gallery wall for now, which is still very trendy, and instead I will update a few of the photos from my nieces and nephews with more recent photos of my two boys. And my two painted canvases will be tucked away for the time being until I have another crafty moment to rework them.

I have been working on some larger projects for Decor By Mylène, my decorating business, and I look very forward to sharing those befores and afters on my blog!

January 6, 2017

Mantle decorating

Happy New Year everyone and Welcome 2017!

I am excited to reveal the latest update in my home. It may not seem like much to some people, but I have been wanting a fireplace mantle ever since we moved in to this house almost 5 years ago.

After perusing Pinterest and Etsy for inspiration for some time, I asked my Dad if he could build one. I gave him a few photos for ideas.

With the help of these photos, my Dad came up with a beautiful design, made of oak and poplar. It looked stunning, even unstained!

As I wanted it to match my floor, I decided to stain it dark walnut. But, fearing that I would ruin it, I asked my father-in-law to stain it for me!

A few coats later, and a coat a clear semi-gloss varnish, it was hung on my fireplace.

Here is what my fireplace looked like when we bought the house:

After our renovation:

After a little face-lift:

And here it is today:

I couldn't wait for it to be hung so that I could play around with different decor groupings and setups! There are a few "rules" when it comes to decorating a mantle. You can decorate it symmetrically with the same items on either side:

Or asymmetrically with different objects at either end, all while achieving a certain balance:

Here is a nice little guide from Pinterest:
It is actually quite helpful and fool-proof if you follow the numbered steps!

So I got to work, gathering decorative items from all over the house to try different groupings.

First and foremost, my biggest item was my robin's egg blue clock. I had hung it in November, but had to move it up a little in order to accommodate my new mantle.

Then, I attempted a few different groupings on either side of the clock. My groupings were limited to odd numbers for a look that is more pleasing to the eye.

Here is a balanced look, closer to the clock:

Here is a triangle look {I liked this a little less than the other options}:

And then here is the look I ended up keeping for now:

I still would like taller pieces like lanterns and candlesticks for below the mantle on the hearth. Eventually, I will add an insert, either natural gas or electric. But for now, I am absolutely in love with this fireplace!