My fireplace was originally a grey/pink concrete faux stone, accented by planks of yellow knotty pine, so I happen to love my charcoal grey painted fireplace even when it’s unadorned.  But I’d been anxious to try my hand at bleaching and dyeing bottle brush trees, so this year I decided to create a wintry mantle with a pared back, Scandinavian feel.  A grouping of bottle brush trees was a great way to decorate my narrow mantle because the look is lush and layered, without requiring a lot of space.

I chose a palette of blues, greens, and shades of turquoise to complement the rest of my living room.  To add some real greenery (and that amazing evergreen aroma!), I clipped some evergreen branches and arranged them in a vintage West German pottery vase.

The bottle brush trees turned out so well and the project was so simple!  I dunked my trees in a bucket of bleach, rinsed, and then dunked them in a bucket of dye.  I added more dye as I dipped subsequent trees so the shades are really varied, even though I only bought two colours of dye.  I love the vintage feel of the pastel hues.

The candle holders are a thrift store find, spray painted a cheery mint.

Behind the trees are two DIY painted skies, inspired by the moonlit look of my teal bottle brush trees.  They cleverly disguise two unsightly vents which help circulate warm air, but are so noisy we rarely use them.  To add some height and drama to my mantle decor – and to hide those vents! – I grabbed two scraps of wood from my scrap pile and painted them black and teal, to mimic the Northern Lights.  I added specks of white paint to look like stars – or falling snow.

I am so thrilled with how my mantle turned out this year.  The colours are pulled from my home and the look is a little bit vintage, a little bit Scandinavian, and a little bit handmade – perfect!


Love this mantel styling idea? Thalita shows us how we can use Tassel + Texture to create a warm and neutral design in this post.

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