Although we had a wonderfully snow-free winter (almost, except for the freaky Halloween and one other little storm), I always look forward to the warm weather, swimming, barbequing, sailing and just enjoying going outside without a coat! I’ve already been in our pool – the water temp got up to 79 degrees (and I know that most of you have to wait til it’s high 80s and above) – but I just had to kick start summer by jumping in.So, my house had to get a summer thing going on…and the first place is the mantle! Since we live a block and a half from water, I had to add some sea fans, starfish and coral. And – the birds are a must. My husband’s favorites are the small piping plovers, which are endangered here on Long Island.
I picked up the bird carvings last summer when I went to pick up an outdoor rattan seating group on Craigslist. The young man selling me the rattan told me that he had some other items from his dad’s house that he needed to get rid of and so…of course I had to take a look. The carvings, done by his father, were sitting in dusty boxes but I could see they were wonderful. In fact, one of them got an Honorable Mention in a National Decoy Show.
Here’s the winner! My husband’s favorite.
And whenever I decorate anything in my house, there always has to be things that jog my memory and bring me back to a different time in my life. One of these is the centerpiece, the framed antique print. I’ve had this since about 1979 and I bought it in Manhattan at the Argosy Bookstore on 59th Street. The Argosy, still in business after 87 years, is a treasure trove of old prints and books that I always loved to browse in. Back then I only had a little bit of money to spend on artwork – but this wasn’t too expensive and it reminded me of myself with my children. I was a single mom then and this image helped get me through some hard times.
The title “The Good Mother” gave me solace when times were bad
I didn’t even have the money to get it framed but years later a wonderful boyfriend got it framed for me. It was done beautifully with an gold and antique blue frame – which used to go with my living room furniture. But in my home now, I had to re-stain the frame in an antique green to blend better with the decor on the mantle.
And the urns? Well, these were the first things I bought at the New York Gift Show when I went into the design field. They look antique (although they aren’t) and the landscapes on them seem to go well with my antique print.
So, I hope you enjoyed my little homage to summer (with some of my memories thrown in!).
You might also enjoy reading how I created the mantle and gilded and antiqued it. Click here to read about it!
I am sharing this project with….