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Tweaking things as I figure out My Own Style.

This is what our mantle looked like on move-in day last year.  What a huge blank canvas!
When we first moved in, I started the decorating process with things we already had on hand.
The area above this fireplace actually seems bigger in real life than it looks in this picture above.
The only thing that didn’t look dwarf-like on it was our city sign.
It feels weird posting a picture of our fall mantle in the middle of a gorgeous spring, but this is all I could find.
We love the city sign, but with our neutral walls and white mantle, 
we felt like the house was screaming that it needed a little more “OOMPH!”
We finally found just what we were looking for this past February.
A local artist here in Athens painted this for us, and we love it.  It’s the perfect size for our space at 6X4.
She’ll paint most anything you ask her to, but she’s kind of famous around these parts for her florals.
I know that I’d like more of her work, but starting with something she’s known for seemed right.
Her name is Cecel Allee, and if you can believe it, she’s a self-taught artist..18 years in the making.
Who teaches themselves to paint like THAT?  
She has a shop here locally, and she has a booth at Scott’s Antiques in Atlanta.  
Although, she’s usually only there for a few hours because her work sells fast.:)
You can see more of her art on her Facebook page, if you’d like.
I wanted to show you this close up so you can see the texture that she adds to her paintings.
Everything she makes is truly beautiful and unique.  
Y’all know I’m a sentimental fool, so you know I loooove that I know who the artist is.
I dig putting anything in our home that has a story & some real meaning.
I remember putting a picture of it on Instagram as soon as we hung it 
because I wanted suggestions on what to put on either side of it.  
Did I need to add color?  How big did it need to be? I needed some help!  Thank God for Instagram.
I think nearly everyone thought Lanterns would look best.  I was hoping that’s what they’d say!
I started at Hobby Lobby because I’ve admired lanterns there forever, but they were expensive.
I knew we were heading to Scott’s Antiques to sell our signs in March,
so I decided to wait patiently and see if I could find something there.
Let me tell you something about Scott’s Antiques.  You’ll basically always find what you want!
These lanterns that we found are handmade,
and I wish so bad I had written down the name of the booth that sold them!
They are a beautiful, weathered, gray-washed wood. 
 I’m clueless when it comes to this stuff, but they have a Swedish vibe going on, don’t you think? 
They stand about 2 feet tall, and the color of the wood is perfect because it doesn’t compete with the art.
I have no regrets about painting all of our walls with Sherwin Williams “Southern Breeze.”
It was my attempt to get as close as I could to white walls.:)
But, when I started looking at all the pictures I pin on Pinterest, I noticed that I like neutral with pops of color.
I started comparing some of the spaces in our home with my inspiration pictures on Pinterest
and it became clear that I had way more neutral than color.
This piece of art has been a game-changer in our color dilemma.
Slowly but surely, I feel like I’m figuring out my style.  It’s only taken 20 years.

{thankful for}
778. this post from karianne because Andy and I can relate.
779. the hugest tree I’ve ever seen.
780. Jeanne’s post on celebrating others and the truth that there’s room for us all.
781. God’s love and care for Tiffini.  Join me in praying for her as she bravely goes in for surgery.
782. Alicia’s healthy delivery of their 4th child, a sweet baby girl.
783. Sasha’s memory of her ticked out bike.
784. a very funny girl.

soulstretchesandsteps - For the record…I’ve always loved your style! But I sure love that floral rendering. That artist is a self-taught inspiration. Glad to see y’all have settled in so well. Love!

BeColorful - Always evolving. :D Neutrals are so sophisticated but I find I have to bring color in also. It just makes me happy. :D What a beautiful room this is. Love love love those big windows.

Suzan Sweatman - What a beautiful painting ( and room – wow – love that room )
I’m cursed with the constant need to change – so my style is constantly changing – and I mean constantly

Susan Stanford - I love sentiment and surrounding myself with things that touch my heart daily. I have one rule in decorating.. “Love every piece in my home…if I don’t love it, I don’t buy it” So I would say my style is “layers”…layers of times in my life, layers of items that I have loved over the years, and all combined together these layers of life make my house feel like home to me! … My husband and I went to Scotts for the first time a few weeks ago..I can’t believe I have lived in Georgia so long and have never been. I love it there!! Love your pic on the mantle!

Jackie at Roots and Wings - The painting looks beautful on your mantle! And the lanterns are the perfect touch. :)
I think our styles are constantly evolving–at least I know mine is!

slip4 - I love every little thing about your mantel. You have a style (decor and attitude) that I aspire to :)

About Laura - The kitchen cabinets are in. The counters are in. Big definer of the space we live now. So to address the windows. Without rushing, but trying to have ‘some’ privacy. And then that whole pesky color issue. Much neutral in our house too. Love her art. It looks great. I think you captured it. :)
Must run, blessings!

Salena - The painting is beautiful! I love neutrals, too, with small pops of color. I have recently fallen in love with a warm, light brown and it’s on one wall in my living room as well as one wall in my dining room.

Sarah - Oh my goodness, yes! My style is so very different from when we moved into this house. But, some things will have to stay for a while because they were big investments. So I’m learning to work around them. Love, love that painting! It’s beautiful!

T - “Sentimental…a story to tell…real meaning…”

Identifying strongly with all those things.

It’s beautiful — the art AND the lanterns. I am drooling at that wonderful flood of natural light on either side of the mantel. THAT is what I hope to find in our next house.


You’re incredibly talented!

Lemonade Makin' Mama - Oh my gosh we are so alike. I do love color… but in pops and like you I am still figuring out my style. I think I like classic but with pieces of current/trendy… I have way more colorful pillows on my couch than I normally do but I know that has to do with my present heart state… still my pinterest boards are mostly neutral too. And I am always changing things. Can’t help it. Love this whole mantel set up. and the wall color. So you! :)

Megan - What a great painting. I love that it is a floral without being too feminine. Lanterns are a perfect choice for that spot. I have been eyeing some at Pottery Bran, but am waiting for my birthday. Maybe I need to check out Scott’s when I am in GA sometime?

Sarah - I love your style, too. I’m trying to work on my mantle right now. Love how you did yours… feel like I’m trying to define my style but it’s so hard b/c I like so many. Why can’t I make up my mind ;)

LLH Designs - The painting is perfect! And I love the natural, neutral addition of the lantern. It’s fun to find your style, don’t you think? I guess mine has evolved, but it’s been so similar for so many years (long before blogs and Pinterest) that I hardly know what influenced me. Hmmm. You’ve got me thinking. {Good, long pause.} A trip to Provence with my parents 11 years ago. That sealed my style for me. WIsh I could make my way back for a little more real-life style inspiration! xoxo!

Farmgirl Paints - honestly i think my real style is very different than the one i show. i’d love the white kitchen with marble countertops and subway tile backsplash. sometimes you just go with what you’ve got though:)

you have such an eye for design. i totally think you could be a stylist for people. yep! maybe me?? come on up for a few days…wink wink;) and i love swedish anything. they are good!

Kelly - Perfect. Love it.

Kelly Cach - I am CONSTANTLY trying to figure out my style….it’s almost a sin…hahaha! I stew over it…it becomes consuming and I usually don’t feel good about my style :/. So thank goodness I have a sign coming—at least I’ll know I’ll have made one good choice ;)

Lynn Richards - This is lovely! I think your style is evolving into something quite nice….

Anna & Co. - Love your style and your complimenting sweet spirit. Yes, my style is evolving. When I married everything was about jewels tones, dark rich walls, etc. Now, I love simple whites and very muted colors. I’ve never really been able to define my style… if I even have style. Ha! Anyway, you and your style is lovely. Blessings, Anna
P.S. I’ve been away for a while. So, I hope to browse around here and check this place out. I’m not a stalker. ;-)

Alicia - i just had a few minutes to browse the internet. we’re moving in June and i need house inspiration so I came here…your mantle, your style, your home…i love it all. i’m off to browse your kitchen. that’s where i need some help! also, so flattered to make your thankful list. :) we are so thankful too. thanks for thinking of us, friend.


Donna - I really love the work of this artist. I looked through some of her pictures. I have a big space above my fireplace too and would like something besides a mirror.your house and colors are lovely. The lanterns are perfect.

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