French Country Fall Mantel: Neutrals, Naturals and Metallics

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This year, I decided to keep my fall mantel decorating neutral and to combine elements from nature like pine cones, oak leaves, grape vine and white pumpkins (both real and faux) with spray painted metallic pumpkins for accents.

As soon as my new limestone fireplace surround was installed a couple of weeks ago, I began planning how I'd decorate it for fall.   Oh heck, let's be honest, I started planning how I was going to decorate it for fall while it was still strapped to the pallet in the garage...who am I trying to fool?!

I knew that I wanted something that I could leave up through Thanksgiving in case we have a kitchen and can host this year. I chose mainly neutral colors, with just a bit of subtle sparkle.

As I did in my gold and orange fall urn planter, I spray painted a couple of small pumpkins with metallic gold paint but this time, I also sprayed some with silver paint. I purchased the graphite colored, glittered pumpkins at one of my favorite local stores.

I added oak leaves and pine cones which I literally picked up in my yard along with some grapevine that I had left from another project.  To give it  height  so that it wouldn't look like a row of pumpkins standing in a line I stacked and stood on end few vintage books.

I still wasn't happy with the arrangement. It needed an element of surprise, another texture, something warm but sill natural looking. Then I remembered that I had recently been gifted a collection of antique wood thread bobbins. They were given to me by my sister in law in homage to the fact that I am a weaver (and because she was getting rid of them and I'm a hoarder vintage bobbin enthusiast).

Hang on, let me rephrase, I was a weaver until we moved to the farmhouse last year and my loom was disassembled and put into storage. Currently, I'm just a gal who knows how to weave and owns a loom.
                             Maybe next year, when I have a studio, we can talk more about the weaving thing , until then, I have a kick-butt collection of vintage wooden bobbins and a disassembled loom in my crawl space

To make the firebox feel less like a big black hole, I stacked some birch logs in the iron grate and added a rustic wood bucket (that I'm in love with) to hold more faux pumpkins and a branch of real oak leaves that the squirrels trimmed from my tree.

The logs are just for show because the fireplace will have gas when the construction is complete. Gas seemed a logical choice for the dining room fireplace because  I don't want anyone to catch fire during dinner. Call me crazy, but I just don't think that a fire extinguisher would look nice bolted to the wall adjacent to the mantel.

On an entirely different topic, I'm also realizing that I'll probably need a trash can in my dining room to clean up all of these leaves when Thanksgiving's over...just sayin'.

Sorry. Back to the mantel arrangement. I finished by hanging  the DIY rustic oak leaf wreath that I made on the mirror.

I'll probably change the mantel arrangement just slightly before Thanksgiving but I like it so much that I'm going to skip doing a Halloween mantel this year and focus on something else.

                                                                                                choosing kitchen cabinets...
                                               ...or finding out how to mitigate dust on a pea gravel courtyard (since the village won't allow me to have the gravel courtyard unless I do. Sigh.)

I hope that you've enjoyed my French country fall mantel and social commentary about completely unrelated topics.. I think that combining natural elements like pine cones and oak leaves with metallic pumpkins creates a warm yet casual feeling mantel arrangement that is perfect for my farmhouse.
What do you think?

P.S. If you look really closely you may notice that we finally finished installing the crown molding in the dining room. Don't look too closely though, because it's not caulked or painted. You may also notice that we still don't have baseboard but that doesn't keep me from decorating the mantel. I just had to move the air compressor out of the photos.