For as long as I could remember, the extent of my holiday decorating for the year exclusively featured a decorated Christmas tree and maybe a few pumpkins. Without family to host for the holidays and being without kids, it seemed like more work than it was worth. It wasn’t until I moved back to my hometown with an observant toddler in tow that I thought it was time to put some effort into decorating for each season.
My first area to tackle? The beautiful original living room mantle.
But first, a little backstory.
When we moved back to Buffalo in March of 2018, we landed in a 1950 Cape Cod with the unique quality of being a tri-story. There are original hardwood floors throughout and gorgeous built-in cabinets that I love filling with my thrift store finds.
As I delved into mantle decor I realized just how easy it is to adjust for each holiday — and also that my family was always eager to get on board to help!
This Valentine’s Day we made some slight changes that made the world of difference, adding in 2 easy DIY projects that were fit for the men in my family to tackle.
A couple months ago we upgraded from flimsy mismatched furniture to the brand new living room of our dreams, all from Joybird.
Working with Joybird is unique because each piece is handmade in warehouse, where you can get updates on what stage your furniture is at upon ordering. Being custom-made also means you can choose exactly what finish and/or fabric you’d like, making matching a breeze. Pair that with white-glove delivery service that places the furniture exactly where you want it sans boxes to recycle and it’s easy as pie.
We started with my husband’s choice in sofa, since he’s always wanted this color leather in our living room.
Next up, we chose a rug that actually fit our space. In the past we bought too small in a failed attempt to make it look cozy, but it just looked awkward instead. This rug offers plenty of room for play and entertaining, which we now love to do!
That sleek gray chair in the corner adds that mid-century touch we crave.
The craftsmanship is unmatched.
I’ve found that the dark green/gray/blue hue of the paint lends to a gorgeous holiday color scheme no matter what time of year. I went with red and mauve this time around.
My first step was to go to my favorite local thrift shop and do a bit of reverse Marie Kondo-ing: find an item that sparks joy and bring it home with me!
I wound up with a variety of vintage brass candlesticks to complement the fireplace and a stoneware creamer, paired it with books I’ve been collecting for over a decade, and the gorgeous statement mirrors that open up the space.
Then it was time to DIY.
I bought a frame for 40% off from the craft store along with a $1 bottle of deep red acrylic paint and put Fox to work. He helped me paint most of the frame and I made sure there weren’t any bare patches. He definitely felt proud that he contributed! I chose not to add art so as not to take away from the stunning mirrors, instead adding a layer to bring about a much-needed pop of color.
My husband loves making paper airplanes, so he popped on Netflix to binge watch one of his shows while cranking out a handful from run-of-the-mill construction paper. As he went along, I hot glued them to bakers twine and hung them from sticky back hooks (because you’re nuts if you think I’d put holes in that gorgeous wood).
They remind me of origami hearts! Next year, I may alternate between red paper and tea-stained handwritten notes that give off a “sending off a love note” kind of vibe.
My final touch was moving our firewood from a routine log holder into this stunning planter. I love the height it adds to frame the fireplace and since gardening is not my forte, I’m always into alternatives that do not include keeping plants alive.
Joybird recently spotlighted this room over on their blog!
It’s a great read that includes even more history on this home and links to the furniture used in the room. Click here to read.
Do you decorate for Valentine’s Day?