Fireplace Mantel Decor

My fireplace is one of my favorite things in my front room! Today I want to share with you the meaning behind the choices I made for my fireplace mantel. As you already know, I am a huge believer in decorating with meaning. I think you should surround yourself with items that have deep personal meaning and things that have a happy memory attached to it. Not every single thing in your home, but at least some :)

fireplaceThis is probably my favorite shot of the fireplace. I took a ton but this one stood out to me as “the shot”.

fireplace mantel decor

I will start with the clock. My mom collects clocks (among other things) and when we got married, my siblings and I all got to pick one of my mom’s clocks as a wedding present. I picked this antique mantel clock. I love it to pieces. I have to wind it once a week for it to keep time and I often forget. It has confused many visitors :)

brass pheasant

When I was a little girl my dad had a brass pheasant in his office. To be honest I never paid much attention to it. I knew it was there and that was about it. When my dad passed away from cancer when I was 15, some of his things were packed away. His pheasant fell and the tail broke off. When I was in the planning stages of my family room I knew I wanted to add more brass to the room to highlight the gorgeous brass door knob on my 1938 front door and the other brass elements in the room. My mind went immediately to the brass pheasant my dad had. I searched on ebay and was able to find several. I lucked out that they are not rare. I found one for a decent price and was THRILLED when it came. I teared up as I opened the carefully wrapped bird. It is such a little thing but it makes me smile when I see it on my mantel.

I have shared my love of the book Mandy before when I shared my secret garden. This was my favorite book as a child. It was what made me yearn for a small cottage of my own to decorate. I was gathering books for the mantel and discovered that under the paper cover it was the perfect shade of yellow for my room. It was meant to be! The other books are some I already had plus thrift store finds that I thought were fitting.


This key is the original key to this house. Can you believe it still locks and unlocks the front door! We have a deadlock on there now and use that key so I framed this so it would not get lost. I ADORE old keys and was so delighted when we bought the house and discovered a small bag full of the original keys :)

The frame it is in was one we bought when we were newly weds. I have a thing for frames. I buy so many and will never have the wall space for them all. Can you say addiction? Well, we were window shopping and I spotted this frame. I LOVED it. We didn’t have very much money since we were still in college. I really wanted the biggest size. They were at a boutique and were very overpriced. We were ready to leave and my husband went back and grabbed the smallest sized frame and bought it for me. I will always love this frame.


I love to garden and I love plants of every kind. That is why there are so many in my family room. I love to bring nature indoors. Plants just make me happy. I especially have a thing for topiary plants. I ordered some rosemary topiaries from Joss and Main. They were alive…. the real deal. I think when I opened them they took a deep breath of this DRY winter Utah air and went into distress. The were stunning and perfect. But I couldn’t keep them alive. I didn’t want to throw them out because even though the leaves had turned dark brown, they were still pretty and the leaves were still stuck on there. So I went to my trusty paint supply and guess what I found???


The hubby and I used this way back when he was in school for architecture because we had to build models complete with landscaping. We would make little trees and spray them with this. My habit of holding on to everything (cough, cough, hording, cough) paid off my friend. I taped the stems/trunk of the plant off and then sprayed them with this. The look great!!! They still look like they are alive :)

fireplace mantel decor

The tallest topiary is from a place called Tai Pan Trading. The harlequin pot is from Hobby Lobby, and the white flower pots are from IKEA.

Thank you for letting me share the story behind my fireplace mantel decor. Stay tuned for the tutorial on how I built the fireplace and what secrets it holds…….

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  1. Stacey says

    I LOVE that most everything that you use to decorate has a wonderful story to go with it. The mantel looks great…I love the clock & the key & frame & the pheasant & the books…oh MY! I just need to say I love it all!

  2. says

    Beautiful mantel! I just love your gorgeous rounded door, too….. I was hoping you’d also mention where you got the beautiful light fixture. My daughter just broke one of ours with a bouncy ball and now I get to replace it! :)

  3. Cathy says

    I understand your feelings about the pheasant. My mother died when I was two, and I treasure the pieces of Fiesta ware and assorted pottery that belonged to her. Certainly not “worth” much but priceless just the same.

  4. Rachel says

    Excited for the fireplace makeover!
    Did you already do one on the frame around the tv? I can’t remember that, and would love to know what you used!!

  5. says

    Love your mantle, especially that your decor has meaning. I too decorate with treasures collected over the years…means so much…

  6. Nicole S. says

    I just love the stories behind your decorating, such wondering memories! I too have a frame addiction, and my husband sighs everytime he sees a new one appear…oh well, such is life ;)

  7. Pam says

    Love, love, love this. I want that tall topiary on the left from Tai Pan Trading. I live in PA though. Do you know if I can order online or via phone?