Here's what I had going on over the summer:
So much blue and turquoise, my favorite. The small tulips are ceramic candle holders from Michael's, and the birdcage is also from Michael's. The small metal birds were given to us by Sam's mom as a Christmas gift -- she gave one to all the siblings and stepsiblings, and they're supposed to bring good luck. The print is from one of my favorite vendors on Etsy -- it says "Today will be the best day ever." The framed photo is one that Sam's brother took several seconds after we got engaged, and the blue vases are from Goodwill.
I was sad to change things out because I just love the colors so much, but it's time to embrace fall and all the wonderful things it has to offer like mulled apple cider, cooler running weather, warm socks, the weight of the down comforter on the bed, flannel pajamas, and not showing up to school drenched in sweat.
So here's a fall mantle to celebrate the changing of the seasons:
My usual approach to this kind of decorating is the following:
1) Use a few things that I keep on hand in my craft closet for each season. For instance, the foliage print (which is a photo of my hometown in the autumn that my family gave me after I moved to Boston) comes out every fall.
2) Wander around the apartment grabbing things that have been living elsewhere. For example, the smaller frame is a silk print that Sam brought home from China that I had in the dining nook. I saw the colors and thought it would be perfect for the fall color scheme, and then I realized that it was two birds and it made me think of geese migrating south which is always one of the most familiar sights/sounds of autumn (I think they're actually cranes, but whatever). The small red/orange/blue bowl (originally from Michael's) was also commandeered from elsewhere in the apartment -- it was on the built-in bar holding wine corks -- and I filled it with potpourri that had been in yet another container on the shelves in the study. The large white vase with faux craspedia (which I made out of orange felt a few years ago) was sitting on the turquoise dresser in the study.
3) Buy a few new things as needed. For this mantle I just grabbed a few tiny pumpkins/gourds at the grocery store on my way home from work. So all told, the new mantle arrangement cost me $3.50.
Then there are a few items that I tend to keep on the mantle no matter what, like the glass barometer that we found for $15 at Goodwill like 5 years ago and the photo of me and Sam getting engaged.
So there you have it, a mantle to help me get into the fall spirit.