Sunday, February 10, 2008

Pick a Spot

Today's Project Heidi: Decorating 101 lesson is on one of the decorating essentials--a fireplace mantel or simple shelf. Actually, you just need to pick an area that you will keep beautiful and fresh. A spot that is self-contained and devoid of life's clutter such as car keys, sippy cups, cell phone chargers, and wayward dirty socks. For those of you taking notes: Choose and dedicate a spot for beauty.

I liken this spot to Flylady's shiny sink. Start small. Pick an area that isn't overwhelming and focus on making it beautiful. Then you will have a place to rest your eye. You'll smile. You'll notice that it is contageous. The feeling of accomplishment will encourage you. You'll want to extend the beauty to a new spot.

Our first house didn't have a fireplace. When we moved into our new home a year ago, I was thrilled to finally have a mantel. It was the very first place that was cleared of all screwdrivers, paintbrushes, and new doorknobs still in their plastic packaging. Maybe those who came to see our house laughed at the one or two little decorations on the mantel when the rest of the room was a chaos zone, but it gave me a peaceful and lovely place to rest my eye when I had no control over the visual atmosphere in the rest of our new house.

I live in a small space with three destructive little boys and a chaotic husband. I know how hard it is to dedicate a spot to beauty. Much of our furniture must be sturdy and functional. I need storage space and work areas. As lovely as it is to have a table covered with a delicate table cloth and a gorgeous centerpiece, that isn't my reality. It happens on occasion, when I'm entertaining perhaps, but usually we are eating, doing school work, paying bills, or playing with playdough on any large flat surface. That is why a mantel or shelf works so well. It doesn't lend itself to a catch-all or utilitarian purpose.

A shelf or mantel (or piano top, or...) takes very little to adorn but is full of endless possibilities. Take, for example, Sarah's white shelf.

In the Beginning:


Donna Boucher said...

I will pick a spot.
And I do try this on my piano or on my ice chest. But mine don't turn out looking very nice.

Are there some rules to arranging you can share with us.

Cause my spots don't turn out very cute at all.

Thanks :o)

Your spots are fabulous :o)

Heidi said...

Yep.... tips are a-comin.' :)

Renee said...

I have always wanted to keep the area above my mantel as a place of beauty. But somehow, I always neglect my family room. It is always so full of random legos, as you said "dirty socks", and...people! So I am much more focused on our kitchen area. I change out little racks and centerpieces all the time in there! I think I am going to make those silhouettes and then use that as my inspiration above the mantel to change things up from time to time! Do you keep the other things (the metal star, etc.) stored together in an area when they are not being used? Or do you put them elsewhere? Sounds silly, but once something is stored and up in the attic, I am proned to not want to go and get it again. And that leads to discovering a beautiful metal star or vase 3 years later when we move that I forgot about. Do you change things around with the seasons, or as the mood hits you? My family room might look a lot like yours, as I plan to make the silhouettes and the paper circle canvas project and put them both in that room. You are very inspiring. Thanks for the ideas. I feel like right now I have no time to think creatively, but I can make time to create if I have good ideas. You are my think tank!!

Sarah at SmallWorld said...

Oh, I am sooo honored to be on your blog!! Funny, i was just thinking this weekend: "I should take a pic of my mantle and ask Heidi what she'd do with it." I'm just...tired of the same old thing. You are really inspiring me to think fresh!

Anonymous said...

so inspired and in love with your blog. it is like oxygen to me right now. making it a goal to work on all of your "project heidi" your style and your flair for making the simple look so beautiful. you are amazing. do you mind me asking.....where did you get the shutters on your windows? double love them.

Heidi said...

The Good~ I am so glad you are inspired! Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. :)

I know exactly what you mean about storing decorating items that aren't in use. I am the same way. I'm currently working on a way to store stuff, so I might cover that in a later post.

I have been bad about changing things around in the past few years, but I'm getting better... usually it happens as the mood strikes, although Christmas or specific entertaining opportunities are a great incentive to get creative.

Small World~ I'll have more specific ideas and tips for the mantel or shelf as we go along.
I loved your white shelf post back when you posted it--I though of it immediately when getting ready to post this one...

Maggie~ I'm so glad you came to visit and take time to comment. Welcome! Thanks for the compliments! The shutters were here when we moved in a year ago. We loved so many of the touches the previous owners did. When we saw the house, I just knew it was for us!

Unknown said...

Wow, I didn't know that once it's decorated you're supposed to CHANGE IT!!!! lol I don't even have enough stuff to decorate a spot once! :) Ok, I'll look around and see.

Anonymous said...

so, i think i am officially stalking a good way. can't wait to try all of your fun ideas.....good motivation to be crafty have been to my house (though i'm sure you don't remember) was a gift...from my mom....for my birthday... and sadly i must say i have fallen short of the inspiration you once gave....i did, however, paint my bedroom walls a lovely red that lasted for about 4 years until i just had to let them are motivating me to "pick a spot".....would love to see everyone's spot....mine is in desparate need of some attention...i have good intentions....but, i think i will just have to copy for now. thanks heidi! :)

Heidi said...

Caralyn~ Start with what you have. If you really like what you put in your spot and don't feel like changing it, that is just fine! As soon as you are ready for something new, go for it. :) More ideas coming soon about what you can invest in (or find around the house) that is easy to change around.

Kambria~ Of course I remember you! I specifically remember being jealous of all your wonderful scrapbooks you had finished. Thanks for delurking on the blog. I love interacting with the people who visit. :) I know how hard it is to put ideas into practice. Someone could come to my house and tell me the best was to clean it, but that doesn't mean I would actually do it, LOL. Copying one little project at a time is a great way to get started.

Precision Quality Laser said...

WOW! I love the different ideas for the seasons. You are sooo creative! The idea for picking a spot for beauty is fabulous. I'm going to have to work a little on that trying to keep up with three kiddos and the housework is a challenge in and of itself! I stop by almost daily just to see what's new...really loving this decorating 101 course :) Thanks for being an inspiration.


Precision Quality Laser said...

LOL...I just realized that I was commenting on a post almost two months old...oh well, good style is timeless..right? :)