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What I Want To Be When I Grow Up | Eclectic Mantel Decor

Talking About My Eclectic Mantel Decor and What I Want To Be When I Grow Up

Some people buy a junk treasure or two and incorporate it into their home decor. I do just the opposite. I buy one or two new home decor items occasionally and mix them in with my junk treasures, example….my eclectic mantel decor.

Our home isn’t fancy. It’s comfy casual and it’s just right. I love to decorate…..when in the mood……but I decorate on the cheap. I tend to keep the junk treasures or thrift store finds for years. They might show up in every room of the house at one time or another in my decorating endeavors. When redecorating or changing things up with the season I shop my house or workshop.

I don’t have an interior design degree or anything close. I wish I did. Maybe that will be my next adventure. My dream job, or dream volunteer job, would be to go into homes and redecorate a room or the whole house with what they have on hand. Doesn’t that sound fun? Maybe that isn’t your cup of tea but it sure sounds like fun to me. I’m not saying I would be great at it but I might.

What I Want To Be When I Grow Up Eclectic Mantel Decor

Eclectic Mantel Decor

I still like to paint furniture and I sure love to junk shop. I enjoy blogging and connecting with you guys. But lately I feel I need try something new. Don’t know why. It might just have to do with my age and things going on in my life.

After talking with friends that are in the same age group and in similar circumstances, I find they are having the same feelings. Guess what I’m going through is normal.

How about you? Feeling a bit rudderless lately? You can leave a comment or if it’s too personal email me, kathy@petticoatjunktion.com. Just felt like sharing some of my thoughts and feelings today. Now I guess I better get on with today’s project.

ready to decorate the mantel

This is how our fireplace has looked for the past few weeks. I started taking a piece or two off of the mantel to use in photos and then dropping things off on the hearth as I brought them in to the house. Poor JTS, he never knows what to expect when he walks in a room. Sometimes a whole room will be in disarray because I’m talking photos of a project. And the room might stay that way for days.

Yesterday I decided it was time to take care of the fireplace mess. The push to redo the mantel came when I bought a new junk treasure at my favorite junk shop on Saturday.

Eclectic Mantel Decor

This is how the mantel and hearth look now. It took me about an hour to put it together. Once upon a time it would have taken hours and hours. The metal junk sign is brand spanking new. The JTS and I hit the road for a few days on a mini vacation. I bought the JUNK sign in Pigeon Forge, TN at a flea market. I mean…..it’s me. The price was $12.

The framed tapestry is my latest junk shop purchase. It was $15 and the colors are what caught my eye. The brass pieces on the corners of the frame are horse heads. The piece came from an estate in Hopkinsville, Ky. That’s all I know about it. The green wreath has been on the mantel for a few months now. Why not hang it off center over the framed tapestry. You can see the red barn in the center of the wreath.

When decorating the mantel I usually start with the focus piece which in this case is the framed tapestry. Then it’s all about the colors. I shop my house to find fun unique pieces that go with the color scheme of the focus piece.

Decorating the fireplace mantel with junk finds

The hubby and I were married in Hot Springs, Arkansas 37 years ago. I bought the Hot Springs license plate at a flea market in Arkansas earlier this year. The green bottles are also from the junk shop. This is there second (maybe third) appearance on the mantel.

vintage mantel decorations

The faux pumpkins are thrifty purchases from a couple of years ago. The vintage scale found at a local flea market/antique shop best I remember was around $10. Really good price. Moving on to the hearth…..

rusty vintage kitchen scale for home decor

I bought this rusty vintage scale at Alyssa’s Antique Depot in Pace, Florida (where my painting furniture/junk booth adventures started). The framed print is from Habitat Restore.

vintage multi color ceramic butterfly ashtray

The vintage butterfly ashtray came from where else……my favorite junk shop. The black shoeshine box was an auction buy.

unique and fun decorating ideas for the mantel

I really like the new look and everything on my mantel and hearth can be repurposed over and over again. I can’t believe that it will be Christmas decorating time before we know it. You can read my mantel decorating tips here.

What do you think of the mantel? And what about my dream job? Leave me a note please and as always, thanks for being here, Kathy

Author: Kathy Owen
Kathy Owen is the founder of the home decor blog Petticoat Junktion where she shares tutorials on painting furniture and upcycling thrifty finds into unique home décor. Her DIY projects have been featured on the Home Depot Blog, Plaid Crafts, Behr Designer Series, and in numerous magazines. Kathy’s newest website is HappyHomeDIY.com

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  1. I would love to visit Lyn but don’t know when that would ever happen. It’s great that you have bits n pieces from all over the world. I would love to travel like that. Have a great day!

  2. You can come to my house any day and sort out my stuff! I love to collect bits n’ pieces but don’t seem to have the knack ( may be a british saying) for displaying. I travel the world with my husband and I collect all kinds of treasures! You’re displays are fabulous! I live in Ontario Canada so a bit far from you, maybe someday you’d like to visit here

  3. 71 isn’t old and I think it’s great that you change things up in your home. Love your attitude Kathleen.

  4. I don’t intend to stop, thanks! I would love to see your pieces after you get them painted Rita.

  5. Remember when it was said You can be anything you want to be…well I still believe that. If you want to go in a different direction…go for it! I like different…I don’t follow what everybody else does…I like what I like…if others don’t that is okay. I like painted furniture..I have a table and chairs and another piece sort of like a sideboard (Asian influence) that I intend to paint. It’s always interesting to see what you have done…don’t stop!

  6. I always love anything to do with houses-inside and outside. As a child I drew houses and people-that was it. I wanted to be an interiordecorator still do even though I am a “young” 71! LOL So I decorate my small home and change things once in awhile. I’m not a fan of painted furniture love the warmth of wood, but it does work for some things. I do paint other “things” tho when I can make space-short on that here! Having dreams of what you want to be “when you grow up” is what keeps us going I think. Keep on dreamin’.

  7. I am always restless at this time of year but this year has been especially bad. The whole World seems to be heading towards something and I think we all feel it. Thank you for sharing your words as well as your ideas with us. It is an important contribution and I hope that even if you do new things, you will share ?. One thing that is unique to blogging is the level of sharing we do creates a cer feeling of knowing the person. That means, we may never meet in person but we still care about you and your life. Hope you realize you’re special. Hugs from Saskatchewan!

  8. I’ve been feeling restless lately, too. Like I’m wrapped in a cocoon and just struggling to get out but I don’t know what I’ll be once I’m free. It’s just a pervasive feeling of restlessness and a need to do something but I don’t know what that something is. It’s frustrating because I’m perfectly happy in my life and don’t want anything more than what I have – my family. But that feeling just keeps me antsy and kind of dissatisfied. It’s very hard to explain but it’s nice to know someone else is experiencing it with me. Maybe it’s the season or my age? Who know what I’ll be when my cocoon finally ruptures and I crawl out. Thank you for sharing your feelings and experiences. It truly helps.

  9. Kathy,

    I think once you hit a certain age, you realize that life is changing and you may not like the changes. I hit 60 a few years ago and I felt the same way. I think it comes from being tired of wanting to please everyone and feeling like maybe you don’t fit the mold. The trouble with that is that our generation never wanted to fit the mold. We were taught to embrace who we are and be an individual. That desire has completely died in the last few years. Everyone wants to look alike , have the same furniture ( thus, the lessened interest in painted furniture ) the same house, etc. To me, that is sad. I like being an individual. I like looking different. I decided to continue being me and stop trying to be everyone else. Its made a world of difference. You seem to have the same mindset. Follow what your heart tells you and you will be fine. Who cares if no one else likes it if you do. My grandmother used to catch a lot of flack for wearing really big jewelry. Her response was always to her critics ” If you can’t see it from the street, what’s the use ? ” I LOVED that attitude. So who cares if no one else likes it. Wear that individuality proudly. I do. BTW….LOVE the mantel . Very YOU !

  10. I’m adding a comment to make everyone laugh. When I was a girl, I saw many cars of newlyweds had a sign hung on them that said “Hot Springs Tonight”. Well we live in Indiana and I ask my Dad why everyone went to Arkansas for their honeymoon. He said he guessed it was a good place to go!! Love your site. I’m 77 and I’m not planning to grow up anyways soon!!

  11. I would love to see a picture of the strange picture! I have a hard time with wall decor too so I can relate.

  12. Thanks so much CC! I would share the REAL more but it might drive people away. I get kind-of nuts sometimes, lol.

  13. hi Kathy, just hang in there and keep on keepin’ on! (remember that sayin’ from back in the day.) ‘IT’ will come to you as you continue to bless others with what you do. i always enjoy your posts – especially when you share the Real. take care.

  14. I’m 64 years old, and I still don’t know what I want to do when I grow up! I liked painting furniture, and did that for a while, but it seems to be losing favor in this area where I live.

  15. Love it! I have the hardest time putting things on my wall. I could live in a house for years without hanging a single thing. I change my mind a lot and once you nail things up, well it’s hard to change. Right now I have a gallery wall of family pics that are hung with command hooks, just so I can change my mind!!!
    I also have a strange framed picture that I LOVE, is weird colors but painted on fabric. My husband inherited it from a friend. So I get the tapestry picture.

  16. I love EVERYTHING about your style. You are a real artist when it comes to your work. Fearless with your colours and always giving me the courage to try. Thank you for that.

    Hugs and prayers,

  17. You never regret what you do in life, But you’ll always regret what you don’t do. I started out wanting to be a doctor, I ended up being a banker. Retired now and enjoying my junkin days! Love your blog!