How to use unique home décor items

Searching for mantel ideas for spring? Look no further, we have an unusual surprise for you and a welcome to new friends. 

Wow!  I just want to thank you all for all of your kind comments, it really does keep me going.  Since we have so many new faces around here I thought an introduction was fitting.  First, thank you for subscribing and welcome!  I am Cara, just a regular gal married to one Mr. Vintage, and we live in our cozy cottage with one peanut who is very mischievous.  He has quite the attitude and spices things up around here on a daily basis.  You can click to read About Vintage Style Gal.  

We purchased our home about eight years ago and have been working on her ever since.  I call our home "her" since she is a charming stone cape cod cottage.  She has several different design elements, dormers in the front, three sided stone exterior with siding along the back, one room that juts out about twenty feet from the rest of our home in the front.  She seems a bit English too...   

She needed some sprucing up that is for sure.  Something I have not shared here before, but nearly every window had a crack in it.  We decided we were up for the challenge to take her on, and bought her the second day she was on the market.

We knew there was potential here.  Mr. Vintage saw the potential in the kitchen, I saw it everywhere else.  I am still working on the kitchen in my mind.  I just may have to give up and let someone help me, but I really have had this dream of making it mine... knowing I had a hand in every decision made dreaming up this cottage kitchen.  

I actually made the first big change that really spruced up the kitchen recently, you can click to read about our $15 backsplash makeover.  Of course, we stripped wallpaper, so I guess that made a big impact too, and added paint...  

I wish I could say I am a designer, but I have a day job like most, the blog is where I get to allow my creativity flow, share my creative ideas, how I come up with unique décor for our home, and my dreams for our cozy cottage.  

Sometimes what I envision is really far off from what is really here, but sometimes when the idea turns into the project, that turns out how I see it in mind, that is what makes me tick... getting to see those visions come to real life is the most thrilling experience for me!  

So I have been getting questions about the backsplash.  Someone asked if removing the napkins would be easy later on?  I can honestly say if you have ever worked with Mod Podge then you know it is not going anywhere.  To our reader: I would be hesitant to cover anything my mom and I had created together.  Covering those memories up would be a tough cookie for me to swallow.  I am sentimental like that, just a big ole' bowl of mush, that is me... but shhh... do not tell anyone.  

Mr. Vintage and I discussed if the project did not work, what would we do?  He suggested we use a razor blade to remove the napkins.  Personally, I thought that was pretty labor intensive and I was unsure what we would be left with afterwards.  Lucky for me this turned out how I saw it coming together in my mind.  I love it when a plan comes together!   

If you really like this idea, but are afraid to try it... I had another idea that I considered.  I thought I could purchase foam board, cut it to size, and hot glue it to our backsplash, then add the napkins to the foam board.  I know you can remove hot glue from a wall.  If you ever wonder where I get some of my ideas, well, my Mother would be a good place to start.  

Mom wanted pictures hanging on the walls of her breezeway, but she has brick walls.  She did not want to drill into the brick, so she used hot glue to hang the pictures.  Those pictures have been there about 30 years now... so, hot glue, it works for everything and has longevity!  I use it a lot, especially if I am not sure I want something to stick around forever, or at the same time, I use it when I do want something to stick together forever... goes both ways...  you are in a better position to remove something with hot glue since you can get under it and every square inch is not fully glued down.  

Amy, one of our readers suggested using liquid starch. If you want the same look, but afraid to try Mod Podge, this sounds like a great possibility.  I have read many articles about military wives using sheets to cover walls for a wallpaper look without actually putting wallpaper up.  Since they move around so often and things are not meant to be permanent, they have chosen this option to give them the sense of home while they stay in one place for a while.  I thought it was ingenious at the time I read it, but Amy reminded me since I had forgotten.  Thank you Amy for this suggestion!  

You know when I have difficulty sleeping, I cruise Amazon's site searching for really anything that tickles my fancy.  This week has been filled with sleepless nights... I was busy getting kicked in the side, and a ball that seemed to find home in my posterior area Sunday night, and I decided to do my "can't sleep thing".  It's called search random words on Amazon and see what comes up.


Isn't that some Victorian loveliness?  Are you not grinning from ear to ear thinking my, what a fancy pants item... and then you are wondering what it is and how do I get my hands on one?  Well, that is what I thought when I saw it... look at that beautiful vintage looking detail... 

I queried French Urns in my search for fancy pants décor... I had beautiful outdoor urns on my brain at TWO A.M. I was thinking flowers, bushes, the whole nine yards. What comes up? Well, there were outdoor urns, urns for cremation.  When I saw that, I thought maybe I need to improve my searches... 

Then I came across ashtrays... now you may be asking why in the world would Cara tell us about ashtrays?  I do not smoke, she doesn't smoke, why is she looking at ashtrays?


One, if you have a smoker in your life, this is the most beautiful ashtray I have ever seen to give to someone, it is fancy pants to boot!  Then I thought of something else, something totally off the wall... I had to order it and see if my idea would in fact work for what I saw in my mind's eye...

When I looked at this small, silver, detailed, beautiful rose embossed piece, I saw fancy pants décor at a really good price! I saw a pair perched on my mantle with a small flower arrangement in each one. I thought if it would hold a single cigarette then most certainly it would hold a single flower and some leaves. I’m telling you, the two A.M. night shopping isn’t always a dud. I thought I can put together a small flower arrangement and put them on the mantle and you can too if you see my vision...

Want to see how it came together?


I like the way it turned out.  It is quite unusual, but reminded me of times long gone by...  it looks vintage... and I love roses, they are my favorite flower after all.


Do you not love all of that detail?  


Honestly, I feel like it is fine alone too.  It brings interest to the mantel, something different... something unexpected... I love it!


I thought they tied in well with our other silver fancy pants goodness on the mantel.  If you click How to decorate your mantel you can read the details of the candlestick next to this piece.  You can also find our rose garland there too.  I love it!  



Of course, I decided against the single rose, I added my famous (to me, haha) sparkle roses (really Christmas ornaments) to what I am now calling vintage inspired vases.  Who wants to say they have an ashtray on their mantel with a rose inside of it?  I did warn you, you just never know what you may find here!

Once I showed Mr. Vintage my idea, we came up with other uses too!  A change holder... a small candle holder... a place to put your keys... you could also place jewelry on the lid when it is open... a small bar of soap in the bathroom... the possibilities are endless.  So, some may see an ashtray, but we see a whole lot of other things too!  Sometimes you just have to think outside the box to get the look you are searching for.  


Are you saying another crazy project inspired by Cara's 2 AM brain, or did you think hey, I want one of those?  I am happy with this one.  One way or another, (as I sing Blondie to myself)... I always find ways to get what I want, unique décor in our home so it is unlike anyone else's. 

If you missed Cottage Garden Inspiration, you may want to take a look.  It is what inspires us for our yard.  I cannot wait to start collecting more pieces (imagine that, me collect more?).  I am hoping to remake our small patio area soon, so stay tuned!  

Keep those questions and comments coming!  I love them!  If you would like to share a project or a home tour with everyone, please contact me Cara.VintageStyleGal@gmail.com.  I look forward to hearing from you.    

   
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