our neutral fall mantel

I'm so excited to be sharing our neutral Fall mantel today on the blog. I absolutely love decorating as the seasons change but prefer to keep decor rather neutral so that (1) it always looks good with the natural wood tones in our home and (2) it can be put out earlier and kept out longer even as holidays come and go. Silvers, grays, browns and whites are the prominent colors atop a rich dark brown wood hutch this season in our home.

We have a large antique 'hutch' (I've always called it that but when I use that word hutch nobody knows what I'm talking about) in our living room under our mounted flat screen. The hutch was the first piece of furniture that Dustin bought after buying this home years ago before we were even married. I think of it as his 'bachelor' piece but secretly believe he bought it knowing I would love it and one day get to decorate it after we wed. Side note: He was right, because it's my favorite piece in our home and I intend to take it with me no matter where we move. That, and all our light fixtures.

The hutch and its mantel have become the focal point of our living room and one of the main places I display special photographs. It is also a great place for breakable items since its one of the few places Olivia can't reach (yet). The majority of the photos I frame tend to be black and white because well, those are my favorite colors, but I also love B&W photos because they transition well into every season.

Height is something else to consider when arranging a Fall mantel -- I like placing tall pieces on each end and varying the height of all the items throughout by using vintage vases, various sized picture frames, and flowers or gold branches. Having one focal piece in the center -- such as a 5x7 photo in a glass frame -- draws the eye in without being overwhelming in size.

Many stores sell glass pumpkins and gourds in neutral colors (as well as some brighter oranges and greens) as well as small Fall figurines, such as pumpkins, pears or apples. Target had a lot of great neutral Fall decor this year and I found our silver iron pumpkin a few weeks ago at HomeGoods and fell in love. I knew it would be the perfect centerpiece for Thanksgiving and then decided I would probably be able to keep it out until December 1! I can make my own rules now that I'm a mom, right?

Another great way to add Fall flair to your mantel is by buying small white pumpkins. I found mine for only .69 cents each at Trader Joe's, and also chose them in varying sizes. They look great lined up in front of photos or alongside your other Fall decor. They will also work perfectly for our Thanksgiving table in November.

Finally, no Fall mantel in our home is complete without some type of candy. Our favorite homemade dark chocolate sea salt caramels and almond toffee tends to win out, and I dress it up by placing it in a glass candy jar leftover from our wedding day. I love working candy or food into displays because not only does it add to the overall look but it serves a delicious purpose. You can find inexpensive clear jars of all sorts at places like Home Goods or Marshalls or even use mason jars and fill them with festive candy or potpourri. As we move into winter in a few months, I plan to fill jars with cinnamon sticks and vases with pinecones and swap some of my pumpkins out for those.

I'd love to hear about & see your Fall mantels || Share your photos on instagram and tag @blessednestblog!

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