How do you make a black mantel look summery?

Back last Fall when I painted our fireplace mantel black I was not thinking about how I would decorate it come Summer. Not that I regret for one second making the switch but sometimes solving one problem creates a new challenge.

Decorating for Autumn and Winter (Christmas) was easy but come Spring I realized I would have a harder time making it look festive then I did back when it was white.

I didn't blog about how I decorated it for Spring (Easter) but basically it was a woodsey egg theme. Here are a few shots I took before I dismanteled the 'ol mantel.

But what to do with a BLACK MANTEL in summer?

After some reflection (ha, get it? See that big mirror above the mantel) I decided I needed to keep it simple, graphic, punchy and bright. I needed some large vibrant elements that could compete with the heaviness of the black paint colour.

Well hello pink hydrangeas. Thank you for stopping by.

Here it is from a greater distance so that you can see the full effect.

Chef Kev bought a new (to us) beer to try a month or so ago and I loved the simplicity of the bottles so much that I washed and kept them. I thought they'd come in handy for something and this was their first task.

I simply filled five of my new 'vases' with water and added a single hydrangea bloom to each.

Hydrangea stems are very stalky (think tree branch) so to prolong the life of this type of bloom, cut a slit up the stem to allow for better water absorbtion.

Isn't the refection from the mirror neat? It makes it look like there are twice as many bottles and blooms.

And a few close-ups for you...

And one last shot of the room from a distance. You can see the painting I did of Chace. Aren't the bright colours in his painting fun with the pink hydrangeas?

What do you think? Ever changed something in your house for the better only to find yourself with a new dilema? Anyone else decorated their mantel for the summer? Turned any beer bottles into impromptu vases recently?

Weekend Bloggy Reading


Liz Marie Blog


  1. I love how you change for the seasons, I do a bit but my rocks seem to be my neutral thing. Maybe a room color change might be in order!
    Love the green pop of color E!

  2. I absolutely adore those bottles. What a neat idea on how to use them. Now my husband has a great excuse to buy more beer. Although he might not be excited that my beer criteria is an awesome bottle.

  3. thanks for sharing.

  4. So pretty! The green glass is lovely -- especially with that pop of PINK!


  5. I love the repetition of the green bottles against the dark color of the mantel--it is very pretty! And I never find pretty beer bottles like that!

  6. Adorable mantles. Everything so elegant according to its position. Thanks for sharing.

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  7. Hydrangeas are my fave, yours look soo pretty! Do you grow them or buy them? Every time I want to pick some up they look so wilted in stores. Love the combo of pink with the green bottles too :)

  8. I really like the repeating of the natural containers against the black shade of the mantel--it is very pretty! And I never discover fairly alcohol containers like that......


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