Spring is a fascinating time of the year in New England. One day it is sunny and temperatures are in the sixties. The next day you awaken to find frost on the windshield. Today is cold and rainy.
As the seasons change, so does the decor in The Cottage. Heavyweight insulating curtains give way to lighter and breezier fabrics and colors. The curtains are also pulled back to permit more sunlight as the days grow longer.
Another thing that changes in the cottage is the decorating of the fireplace. Usually, I keep an electric woodstove inside the fireplace to provide the illusion of a fire, without the smoke, ash, and mess of firewood.
In the Spring and Summer months, the fireplace remains a focal point in the room, but fire is no longer a factor.
Today I layered a few choice wooden furnishings in front of the fireplace to play off the lakeside cottage theme. These items will complement the thick pine mantle.
I began with a well-worn pine blanket chest, and I topped it off with a pine box filled with aged croquet balls that I have collected over the years. They are fun items to use as points of interest in baskets, boxes, and bowls.
I filled a dough bowl with another dozen balls and placed it beneath the chest. But I still needed a large item to close the gap between the top of the chest and the bottom of the mantle.
I found just the thing to fill the space with a balanced proportion, but also to provide a link to the lakeside cottage vibe of our home. I recently came upon a vintage hand-painted sign from a local family camp. Apparently the property has changed hands and the sign was left behind.
Heaven only knows how long this arrangement will remain intact. I get a bee in my bonnet some mornings and a few hours later the whole house looks different.
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