Decorating For Spring

Spring has officially sprung here at TLC, and I. Am. Lovin’ it!

First, a whole buncha these guys popped up in the backyard…

I mostly used things I already had around the house…

Grass green, aqua, gray, white, black, brown and blue tickled my fancy this time…

I got this cute little bowl from a local flea market called J&G’s Flea Market and Antique Mall

The plant inside it came from Home Depot.

The pillar candle holders hanging on each side of the mirror we made came from

They were $34 for the pair, and I got them on a day they were offering free shipping. Love it when that happens!

I made the bird art out of a piece of green paper I found on the scrapbook paper aisle at Hobby Lobby…

(I darkened the area behind the bird in the photos above so you could see the mat better. The photo below is a true representation of what it actually looks like.)

I downloaded this Bird Silhouette, resized it in Photoshop, and then used the ol’ “pencil-it-on, pencil-it-off” method to transfer it onto my green paper. After that, I cut it out and used a glue stick onto an 11″ x 14″ piece of white poster board…

I got the blue frame last year around this time, and I’m cuckoo for cocoa puffs about the color of it, but the size is a bit odd. It’s 15″ x 19″- ┬áso I broke out my ruler and a sharp pair of scissors and cut a half an inch off each side of a 16″ x 20″ mat I had…

Tip Du Jour: Don’t let those awesome, old, odd-shaped flea market frames intimidate you- just cut your mats to fit!

I bought the ruler box a while back…I can’t even remember where. Seems like it was only a couple bucks. It makes us smile, so up it went!

Tip Du Jour #2: If it makes you smile, up it goes!

I got the mirrored frame several years back from a discount home store…

I printed out a Springy quote to use inside of it…

Here’s a 4×6 version of it if you’ve got a little frame you’d like to fill with one too!

My Aunt Julie shot this amazing photo of the barn on the farm my Grandma Beth grew up on in Minnesota…

She and my Grandma live in the farmhouse on that property now and I think of them (and the farm I grew up on) every time I see it.

Since it was the tallest piece of art leaning against the mirror, I thought I better keep it on the ‘light side’, visually. I simply used a glue stick to secure it to an 11″ x 14″ piece of white poster board, and then I taped it to the back of a 16″ x 20″ mat I had with easy-to-remove painters tape…

I picked up the little, blue, tulip-shaped dish at J&G’s.

It may very well be my favorite non-living thing in the house right now.

This little faux flower plant, and the pot it’s sitting in, came from Ikea in Atlanta…

It’s one of the best artificial plants I’ve ever seen, and it only set me back seven beans. Pretty cool considering it’s never gonna kick the bucket, huh?

And that about does it for the mantel!

Down below, in the firebox, I stacked an old Barq’s soda crate on top of a vintage picnic basket, and threw in a couple of succulents from Home Depot…

(Soda crate- The Old Post Office Antiques; Picnic basket- Seaside Sisters)

The striped pillow cover on the chair on the left is made by Pottery Barn. It’s called “Linen Stripe”, and although I don’t think it’s available on their website anymore, I have seen them spring up on eBay from time to time.

I really enjoyed decking out the fireplace area for Spring. It’s definitely my favorite season, and this particular vignette really reminds me of the colors and textures found on the farm I grew up on…

Don’t let that smile fool ya…I was about 2 seconds away from waterworks when Kev snapped that pic.

My Mom and Dad put that fence up with their own hardworking hands, and my brother and I raised many a kitten in that old barn standing there behind me.

Those days almost seem like a dream now….ya know what I mean?

Uh oh.

Waterwork alert.


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  1. Angie J. says

    I’m looking forward to seeing your little one standing in the same place having his/her picture taken….

  2. says

    Layla, I love your spring mantel! The pottery from the flea market are great finds! You have a gift, my friend! Thanks for sharing, especially the story behind the barn print. :D

    Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

  3. says

    Love, love, LOVE this…not just because it’s cute but because it’s pure and genuine. Design from the heart is what it’s all about.

  4. Rachel Pedersen says

    Wish I could sneak the Barq’s crate right up your chimney! L.O.V.E. some Barq’s – that is the soda I grew up drinking :)

  5. says

    You know, this may be my favoritist of all the mantles that you have done. And I REALLY liked your wooden flag one. LOVE this!
    happy thursday!

  6. patty says

    did you get new floors in your living room… for some reason i thought you had carpet but were thinking about getting new wall/wall… love your post layla. thank you!

  7. kathy says

    i love the mantle inspiration. i am looking for mantle ideas. Can you tell me where to find a mirror like the one you have above the fireplace?

    • Heather says

      Pottery Barn, for a hefty price. If you’re up for a crafty challenge, Layla posted instructions on how to make it a couple months ago. Just hit their archives.

  8. Hollie says

    Lovees great! I love how you incorporate things with special meaning into everything you do! It makes your home so personal!

  9. says

    EW! EW! for some awesome artificial plants and trips to ikea. ;) and if you wake up in the morning and your bird print is missing, don’t worry. It was just me slipping in for a non creepy visit to steal it. WHAT? ;) LOVE your mantel.

  10. says

    I adore this mantel! It is so beautiful and fresh and just *perfect* for spring. The bird art I think is my favorite – great ideas on using the frames and just cutting the mats. Who woulda thought? Well done!! :-)

  11. Paulina J! says

    I LOVE it all! You brought tears to my eyes with the last comments. There’s something magic about going back “home”. My home is in Dominican Republic and when I go back I always cry lilke a baby at the airport. Memories are so vivid and melt your heart when you remember them where they actually took place :) (BTW, I had to go to the bathroom at work and compose myself. Definitely had waterworks alert!).

  12. says

    can i just tell you how much i love your blog. I’vebeen reading for a long while, but i don’t think i’ve ever commented. I love your style…but i think my favorite part is your down-to-earthness. you both are very talented, but it doesn’t go to your head at all & your humility is way cool…i love that.

    that spring quote is one of my FAVORITES, but i forgot about it!! Thanks for the reminder! I just put up a gallery in my L.R> but the frames are empty and need some love. So, i’m putting this in on of the frames. And the last part…made my heart hurt. :-( but, it reminded me about a picture i have of my old house, too. So, up on the gallery wall that’s going to go. Thanks for the reminders today!! :-)

  13. says

    I have a couple of those same tulip bowls that I bought years ago at an antique store. One of mine is white and bigger with JAPAN on the bottom and the other is blue and I’m certain it is the same size as yours. I love them… Great mantel by the way! I’m a sucker for light blue, green and black. Kinda my color scheme all over my house. Happy Spring!

  14. says

    So pretty! Love it when there is a sentimental story behind a photo/decoration too – just makes it even sweeter! Now I’m all inspired to do something with my dark pitiful looking mantel/fireplace. Love the black finish on yours. I have a monstrous brown brick fireplace/wetbar in our living room, and no idea what to do with the thing, until now!

  15. Sarah Teske says

    Mantel looks so nice. I especially like how it’s not covered in plastic pastel colored stuff.

    And your outside/fence/barn pic looks so good! You look so good! I need a serious lesson in photography!

  16. says

    Gorgeous Layla. So light and airy. Perfect for Spring. Those faux plants are too cute! I just might have to make that long IKEA trek!

  17. says

    Loving the matted bird frame. Really great idea. I so often forget how easy it is to just cut things to fit. Especially with a frame that will hide a big chunk of the edge so it is very forgiving. Thanks for the inspiration!

  18. says

    Layla, you just never dissapoint. There’s always something up your sleeve…love that about you, girl. Your Spring mantel is very refreshing and beautifully decorated. I hear you on the waterworks..sometimes all it takes for me is a Kleenex commercial. Still such a beautiful picture of you though..


  19. says

    hahahha, I had to laugh when I read your spring quote…I just did a sorta springy mantel myself and I sat there blank faced in front of my computer screen with the jeopardy theme music playing in the background while I tried to think of a clever quote to put in my frame…i ended up with “spring” lol!

  20. says

    Love it! And I have an almost identical vintage wicker picnic basket — my mom always used it on our large mantle. I never thought to put it IN the fireplace!

    The colors are all so calm and spring-ish. This shows the benefit of having a somewhat neutral room pallete to work with.

    I did a blogpost on mantle magic recently — I’m going to have to link to your post so my readers can be inspired by your ideas. Thanks for sharing!

  21. Celeste says

    Layla, your mantles are always beautiful! Quick question – do you put things up on your walls and then spackle and fill nail holes when you take them down? I would love to change out my decor seasonally but am afraid of making too many holes.

  22. says

    i LOVE your mantel…. and this whole room …..
    I always feel like our house can’t look bright and airy because we love the real wood color and look. Every time I see a light and bright airy room… it seems like they have painted all of the wood white or tan. I love that your wood is still there… and a decent darkness… but the room looks so bright and clean and crisp still. What color are your walls in here? Is that just white? it looks a bit cream or grey? I love it…

  23. kelly says

    Beautiful!!!! I NEED that ikea plant…I am always killing my indoor plants (so I rationalize and say that they are just fresh bouquets that I replace) but that ikea one looks like the real thing….got to go to atlanta tomorrow for a prom dress so i think we will trek over to ikea and get a bunch (if you girlies left any for the rest of us!)

  24. Leah says

    Great inspiration Layla! My family is from Minnesota too, so this post put a big smile on my face: )

  25. Anne says

    I am inspired! My new Spring inspired mantel is going up tomorrow and Layla, I absolutely adore your website! Thanks

  26. says

    Hi sweet Layla!

    Awww, you’re so sentimental. I also love your style, and came here know that I’d get ideas for my daughter’s wedding day brunch. I had already decided to use the pretty, soft greens and white. I’m just going to decorate as much as I can with it and then continue it with the dishes and serving and dress it up with some glass, crystal and silver. I need to add some of the great, crisp black for accent, too. Thanks for your inspiration!

  27. Susan says

    Just discovered your blog and I LOVE it!!!!! I also love the fact that you are a fellow farmgirl! We still live on a farm and I am so thankful that we do. thanks for the inspiration! I now have projects for the weekend!

  28. says

    I absolutely love the bowl from the flea market. And the whole mantle. The wall behind mine’s maroon, which has made it tricky to make it feel like spring. Any ideas?

  29. Michelle says

    Layla, aren’t we blessed to have memories of a barn and kitties? I, too, think about what isn’t there anymore and the waterworks threaten…but thankfulness spreads over my heart…I’m so thankful to have been raised that way. I wonder how many books I read up in the hay mow :) Thanks for the lil journey down memory lane and LOVE your spring mantel!
    Hugs from Iowa….I know you wave when you drive thru!

    • Layla says

      Hi Michelle!
      Thank you for your sweet comment. :-)
      I miss living on that old farm SO much. Kevin and I plan to start searching for one to call our own after we’re done fixin’ up this fixer upper! Gotta have more barns and kitties!

  30. says

    Very beautiful photo of you even if you were 2 seconds away from waterworks. But I just have to tell you…Have you guys watched ‘Portlandia’ yet? If not, you just HAVE TO WATCH THIS:

    And then you will understand why I was howling when I looked at your mantle pics! I love your spring mantle and knew that you would do something fabulous!

    • Layla says

      I was wondering how long it would take before someone linked to that!!!! LOL!!!!
      I was thinking the SAME THING while I was making it! :-D

      • Kelli says

        I started laughing the minute I clicked on your blog…a friend of mine has been “putting birds on things” and we have laughed our heads off! Love it!

  31. Annie says

    Well I assume that when you put this stuff up you don’t mind if we copy, so I am going to Kohl’s or Hobby Lobby today. Thanks for the great look. I have a huge Elk mount in the middle of my stone fireplace, but I think it will still look great.
    Thanks for the ideas!!!!!

  32. says

    Layla, your mantle is so pretty and so springy. Love it! I really love that darling ruler box. I can just see it filled with lots of little seashells. Time for a trip to Tybee? :)

  33. says

    Hye Layla! Thanks for taking time out of your busy day to comment on my lighting inspiration blog post : )
    You made my day!

    And I have a stack of vintage yard sticks that are just begging to be made into a little tray like yours! Thanks for the great idea!!

    Liz @ bon temps beignet

  34. GinaE says

    Your mantel looks so great! I hope you don’t mind, I’m going to copy your bird pic idea. But, I have to say, I just looooove the photo your aunt took of the white barn!!! She could sell those if she wanted to. I would buy one.

  35. Wendy says

    Another beautiful mantle! Love the photos of the barns. I too grew up on a farm (in Wisconsin) and our barn looked very much like the white one you have on the mantle. Thanks for all the wonderful posts – I really enjoy your blog!

  36. says

    LOVE your new spring mantel!
    and I know all about the waterworks! I can’t even think about the house I grew up in or it’s cryfest 2011!!!!!

  37. Jenny B. says

    What a beautiful, special photo of you! I often think about how I took my home from granted when I was growing up. I wish I could look out my windows now and see more nature and less privacy fences! :) Love the mantel, and I appreciate you sharing all the how-to’s! I think I could do some of those things…

    • Layla says

      I agree, Jenny B!
      Someday, Kev and I hope to move back out to the country and raise a few farm animals. Sheep and kittens and chickens, oh my! :-D

  38. Kelly Miller says

    Layla I love the little blue tulup bowl it brings back great memories of my grandmas set and how she would serve us grandkids everything in them. It also reminds me of my mom and the special deserts that we would get in them. Now one sits in my house and I think of them often. Thanks for bringing those memories back today on a beautiful spring day in Ohio.

  39. says

    Layla, love the spring decorating, actually just getting to post a Barq’s crate to the site, I only have 1, so they better order fast, and the little blue bowl, have that too, hopefully added tomorrow.

  40. says

    Layla, I love the detail that you put in your posts! I also love the photo your aunt took of the old barn. It has so much character! Anytime I can incorporate green in my decor I’m on board. By-the-way, you are very photogenic…cute photo of you.

  41. Lisa Shovlin says

    Hi Layla,
    I’ve been reading your blog for a while and just wanted to let you know that it’s kept me sane while recovering from a broken wrist that I got when I fell on the ice. I can’t wait to get this cast off…. Of course the cast is a HUGE pain, but mostly I can’t wait to try some of your crafty ideas.
    Your sunny personality shines through blog land and has really brightened my dreary six weeks! Thank you so much.
    Many blessings and prayers for you, Kevin and your future young’uns!
    Lisa in Pennsylvania

    • Layla says

      Well, your sunny comment just made my night, Lisa. :-)
      I appreciate your kind words so much, and I hope you can get that pesky cast off soon!

      BIG e-hugs,

  42. Sophie says

    This is so pretty and cheerful!
    I’m definitely feeling Spring here in London, too. This past week, I’ve been on a field trip with my school (to study rocks for my geology class – how fun…) and we stayed in the countryside. All the tiny little lambs got me in the mood for Spring! :D

  43. says

    Love the daffodils and the Mirror frame and quote. The snow’s still too deep for anything to green up yet, but maybe in a month or two it’ll *finally* melt and the crocus’es will come out (fingers crossed that the ones I planted last fall didn’t die).

  44. says

    Love the spring mantel! I still need to figure out how we are going to decorate ours, thanks for the inspiration! Also- speaking of Minnesota, I had to tell you we put some new bedding in our Guest room that you and Kevin redid for us in September. If you get a chance to look at our latest post, I was curious if you’d like the new look? It is still the room we get the most compliments on in our house! Oh, and we still can’t figure out the right window treatments, working on that! Hope you and Kevin have a good weekend!

  45. says

    Layla, your spring mantle is so beautiful and fresh. I LOVE the old barn photo and your little bird. We’ve still got snow and mud everywhere up here in Maine so it encourages me to see that spring is arriving in other parts of the country.

  46. maggie says

    Love your spring mantle! It’s very zen. And I never thought I’d like anything with artificial plants/flowers, but they’re not bad!
    I do love your aunt’s pic of the barn so much. Do you sell those?
    I love old barns and hate that we’re losing so many of them around here. I have a lot of good barn memories from way back…we used to spend a lot of time in ours!

  47. says

    I love your post about fresh things, spring and using creative talents to make a piece of art. :) Spring is a time of creation, so making our homes fresh and our own art is what it’s all about~!
    I especially love the way the barn photo brings so much of who you are into the mantle display. I think that’s one of the most important things about our homes…. our personal stories.
    Thanks for sharing!
    Warmest Spring Wishes to You!

  48. says

    Your mantel is beautiful! I love the little touches of green and variation of plants you chose. I’m also loving that pic of you on your farm. GORG girl!

  49. says

    Love all of it, but especially love how you filled up the interior of the fireplace. I have a fireplace that’s crying for something more interesting that this winter’s ashes! Thanks.

  50. Kim says

    I want to do the country theme in my house seeing that my husband and I live in the house that his father grew up in, but I am not a decorator and have no idea where to start.

  51. says

    Your fireplace and mantle are just gorgeous – looks like it’s straight out of an interior design magazine! I love how you decorated the inside of the fireplace…instead of it being an empty, black hole, you lightened it up and made it pretty. Gave me ideas! ;-)

    I also love the picture of you by the fence. Could you be anymore stunningly gorgeous?! Wow.

  52. Cynthia says

    Hi, I love your mantel!! The wood part of your mantel…is it refurbished wood? If not, how did you get the look? Thanks!

  53. says

    This blog is soooo inspiring! (but I’m sure you already know that ;) I can’t wait until we no longer rent, so that I can do EVERYTHING I want, but for now i’ll keep turning our rental into a home <3

  54. Lari says

    Love the “Spring” mantle! I really loved reading that you went to The Old Post Office Antiques…just went to it last month! I moved from Prattville to Pace in December and have been checking out all the local antique/thrift stores…..if you head back down this way check out Alyssa’s in Pace and The Copper Possum in Milton…both are great! Wish you would come down and give me ideas on the 1966 house I am updating :)

  55. amy says

    So beautiful! My husband and I are designing a mantle and I love the simplicity of everything you’ve created. You mentioned that you made the mirror, may I ask how?
    Thanks for the inspirations!

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