Simple Fall Mantel & Thoughts on Decorating



I never actually “celebrated” it, but last month marked 4 years since I started blogging.  Actually, technically, I wrote my first post in January, but then I didn’t actually start blogging regularly until September.  I just reread that post.  I am kind of taken back with how similar a lot of my words still are today.  At least you have to give me props for consistency.



When I started blogging, whether you count January or September, I never planned to “become a blogger”.  I didn’t even understand what that meant.   Slowly but surely, I began stepping away from my design business and more and more towards the blog.  I remember really liking that  “the blog” held be accountable to be creative.  I was forced to come up with ideas and create them, not just write them down.  That was very good for my soul.




I would say I have a love / hate relationship with that whole accountability to be creative side of things.  Now, I am a blogger and it is my business so I have to balance things out.  I try so hard not to share projects that are just to meet an objective, but something that you might be inspired by or useful to you.

I am finding that I really prefer to share projects that are simpler and quicker, projects that are really able to be done.  The perfect example is the 10 Minute Decorating series I started.  I am fully aware that I am able to keep my home “decorated” because that is my job so it is something I have to make time for.  But of course, that is not the case for everyone.   But almost everyone still likes to have a beautiful and inviting home – so why not find ways to get there in 10 minutes.




If you were to look back on all of the mantels I have created over the four years and shared here, there would be some pretty elaborate set-ups.  And behind the camera was stress and a giant mess.  I would pull apart the whole house moving things around, taking stuff in and out of storage, so as to create those looks.

Was it worth it?  I would actually say yes.

Because, it was from those crazy and elaborate mantels that I have learned that it doesn’t need to be so complicated.

If is from the crazy and stressful days that I have learned I need to be organized in my approach so as to not trash my whole house.

It is from the managing of all the “stuff” of those mantels that I learned, I really don’t need all of that stuff and a huge yard sale and donating saga was completed.

It is from the “brainstorming” for those projects that I have learned that complicated and intricate does not actually mean it is more creative and sometimes the hardest creative challenges are the simple and easy ideas.

And is from the “possibly-over-done” mantels that I have learned it is more important to share projects that actually could be recreated and that are desirable and useful to my readers.




And so now I bring you a very simple fall mantel.  I made the chalkboard, because simplicity aside, sometimes I like to get my DIY on.   But, chalkboards are readily available or easy to recreate.  I used vintage bottles, but you could use mason jars from the grocery store.  The galvanized buckets are from the box hardware stores.   The flowers are from my yard, but they could be any flower from the grocery store or they could even be feathers from the craft store.  The grapevine pumpkins are everywhere – including Rite Aid.

All in all, a project that could easily be recreated with your own twist and style.



I chose to use the word “thankful” because in this season, that is how I am feeling.  But it could say whatever was on your heart or whatever tickles your funny bone.




And to quote myself from my first post:

“I believe how you surround yourself, what you live among and within affects your mood, your outlook and how you live. Through my design business and through our own experiences, I have found we are all trying to accomplish one thing. We are all searching, we are all FINDING HOME.”

Wishing you a simplified day filled with creativity and as always, thanks for reading.



About Finding Home

Welcome to Finding Home Farms where we share our favorite DIY and decorating ideas and inspiration. We believe your home should be a reflection of you and your family. Our blog is the story of our journey - and what we find along the way. Thanks for joining us!

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16 thoughts on “Simple Fall Mantel & Thoughts on Decorating”


  1. Until a year ago I didn’t even know what blogging was all about — I didn’t do media –zero. Then my kids said that my hubby and I should share our home experiences. Amazingly, the first blogs I looked up are the same blogs I follow today. They aren’t particularly the same type of blog I do but I enjoy them — like yours. Talent and ideas can transfer over to all kinds of genres. My blog is more food oriented — that’s because we are very food oriented. We are having more fun in the kitchen because we are always trying to find more interesting recipes as well as old favorites. So I can tell you a belated congratulations on your four year anniversary. I am sooo new I don’t have a year under my belt yet but I love what I’m doing.

  2. Loved this post and I’m off to my basement to find my vintage milk jars, I don’t have a mantel, but I have a shelf! Thanks for the inspiration!

  3. Truly less is more and I’m a believer! I agree that our type of blogging holds us accountable for pushing that creativity envelope. And that’s what makes us feel so good! Sharing our creativity, plain and simple with a little DIY 🙂 Happy Friday Laura

  4. Laura,
    I have been a fan of your blog since the beginning. I remember one post that I read and commented on. You replied back to my email “I was wondering if anyone was out there”. With your continued success and my continued enjoyment, You sure have a great deal of people out there now. Your success has been an amazing thing and I am not surprised. You have real talent Laura. Dana certainly has many talents as well. I often wish that on your way to New Hampshire one day you could make a stop in Connecticut. Redecorate for me, build things for me! lol. Your Christmas Decor is always totally amazing and we both seem to like the same things. You and your wonderful family are an inspiration to me. Happy anniversary Laura and I wish you many more. Tank you for enriching my life. Janet A.

  5. I have been reading several decorating blogs this year, and I was beginning to feel rather lazy, frustrated and dull. All the bloggers seem to be so creative. I feel I hold my own on that point, but it decorate and create my vignettes and am done. I don’t change them every couple weeks. But then you commented that this is your JOB, and that you feel obligated to be creative. Light bulb moment! I always love seeing the things you do and especially love your 10 minute segments. Thanks so much for your inspiration, and making me realize you, too, might not change everything so often if it wasn’t your job!

  6. Beautiful post! Thanks so much for sharing your time, talent and love for decorating with us all! Happy anniversary!

  7. Laura Congratulations and thank you for all the beautiful posts and ideas you have shared, including this one. I love hearing your reflections about how you and your life has grown and changed since you began the blog. I really appreciate what you share about simple decorating as everyone does deserve to have a beautiful home and not everyone has time or the desire to create it. But referencing your closing statement, searching for home is such a beautiful phrase and idea to have in mind as I believe that it is so true. Home means and is defined by so many things; the things we place in our home, the people that surround us, the events that happen. But, in the end I think it is true that what we are all searching for day in and day out, is a home and a home that makes us feel and be the person we feel we are.

  8. Awesome. I am thankful that I found your blog through KariAnne’s Thistlewood Farms blog! The older I get, the simpler I like things. I think it’s because you treasure time differently – when you’re younger, you take much joy in the DOING (which I still do, from time to time!), and as you get older, you take joy in the results and how they affect the people around you.

    Happy Fall weekend!! 🙂

  9. Laura,
    Congratulations on your beautiful site. You are talented and I love the way Home and Family spill over into your Blog. My wife and I are gearing up for Thanksgiving and Christmas. This year we may finally get our Open House party(s) done.
    When I first started reading your site I was pleased to see your Liberty Blue dishes just like my wife”s set.
    The Farm House country style you infused into your home is wonderful. I get ideas to use or tweek what I already have.
    Thank You. rick

  10. HI Laura, I enjoyed reading how you ‘got your start’ in business and blogging. I love your simple mantle and wish I had one to decorate. I have a bookshelf half wall next to the stairwell that I decorate like a mantel but I can’t lean anything or hang anything on ‘air’. 🙂 One day I may hang up my old pine shelf (after I paint it!) again and re-create the wall over our sofa. I enjoy visiting your blog and beautiful home. Blessings to you. Pam

  11. I would rather receive one authentic post from you four times a year than have a contrived entry to read four times a week. Keep it real!

  12. I’m stopping by through Monday Funday! Your mantel is simple yet so beautiful! I too have a bit of a “love-hate” relationship with my blog. It’s been an amazing outlet for me to express my creativity and write the way I wish, and some days I feel I could create around the clock. But others, I just want to turn my brain off! It’s been a good lesson in time & creativity management for sure!