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May mantel update - ready for a beach picnic!

It's May and the sun is shining in Southern California! Time for a new look for our mantel. I love our mantel and fireplace - you can see it right as you come through the front door so it sets the tone for the look and feel of our home. I always want our home to feel welcoming and fun. We keep all the walls and the brick on the fireplace white so we have a nice clean template to work with. My house has a beachy vibe and my favorite colors to decorate with are all shades of blues and greens.

One thing that is challenging about this mantel is it is just over 2 inches deep so there are not a lot of things that fit on it. I found the large hydrangea picture at Pier One and I knew it would fit perfectly over the fireplace. For everything else I just shopped my house. I have had that sweet double shutter for ages. It adds some nice texture to the white background. The straw hats are favorites - the top one used to be my dear friend Carolyn's ... I am blessed that I have it to remember her by. The antique bottles came from a flea market in NYC. I ordered the sconces a couple of years ago from an artist on Etsy. And the pencil starfish are usually somewhere in my house. I always have a "4" on my mantel - I will have to tell you the story about that soon!

We have a large hearth in front of our fireplace so I make sure to decorate it to match the look of the mantel. With the vintage picnic basket and handmade quilts I feel like we are ready for a picnic at the beach!

Here's the whole thing in one shot! That basket of silk hydrangeas is so dear to me. When I was at City of Hope for my second stem cell transplant, I was not allowed to receive fresh flowers because they could bring bacteria into my sterile room. So my friends and family got creative and they brought me all kinds of gorgeous silk flowers! These are always displayed somewhere in my home to remind me how grateful I am for the love of my family and friends. I even use the white ones on our Christmas tree!

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