How to Easily Create a Beautiful Breezy Summer Mantel

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What happens when summer is upon us and we want to spruce-up the style of our homes?  Sometimes it’s as simple as adding easy summer mantel decor, even if you don’t have a mantel!

PInterest challenge logo

Today you get to see all kinds of ideas for decorating your home for the season!

Summer is here, and our first Pinterest challenge for the season is being brought to you by Cindy at County Road 407!  Thank you, girlfriend, for putting this all together!

And, if you are hopping over from Paula’s blog at Sweet Pea, welcome! Her coastal summer lantern decor is right up my alley!

My Wee Abode, along with TWELVE more bloggers, are sharing ideas inspired by this photo from Kelley at Kelleynan.

easy summer mantel decor candle lantern on rock hearth

Simple, but oh so beautiful!  Be sure to visit Kelleynan for her whole summer home tour!

The inspiration points I took from Kelley’s photo are:

  • A lantern that makes a statement
  • Natural elements (moss) that add texture
  • Neutral tones that compliment every style
  • Simple elegance (no clutter)
  • Hearth as a foundation

ADDING EASY SUMMER MANTEL DECOR (even if you don’t have a mantel!)

Are you thinking, “Julie, you don’t HAVE a mantel in your tiny house!”

Or maybe you’re thinking, “Julie, that’s a hearth, not a mantel…”

You are SO right!  I don’t even have a hearth OR a mantel.

But, I can totally fake it!

You wanna know what I use for my ‘mantel/hearth’?

This post may contain affiliate links, at no additional cost to you.

For more information, see my complete disclosure HERE.

Easy Summer Mantel Decor on a Window Seat

Yep… I use my window bench!

easy summer mantel decor living room with window seat and decorative items

Often, I add details to my solid wood window bench when I want to add some seasonal decor to my home.  If I need to use it for extra seating, I just set the items on the floor in the corner!

You can fake a mantel or hearth, too, whether you use a window bench, a bookshelf, or a wall shelf over your sofa!

Here are some ‘faux’ details for simple, affordable, and easy summer mantel decor.

  • Use neutral colors to keep it fuss-free and elegant
  • One statement piece goes a long way
  • Add interest and texture by using natural elements such as dried fruit (faux or real), dried flowers, pods, moss, etc.
  • Adding candles to most any decor adds a cozy touch… even in summer (think cool LED candles!)
  • And, little pops of summer colors are a great way to add your own personality!

Let me show you how you can incorporate these tips into your summer decor!

Neutral Colors for Simple Elegance

Use blacks, white, greys and beiges as foundational colors in your home.  You can always add pops of color to add some personality (we’ll talk more about that as you read on.)

easy summer mantel decor black lantern with candles and natural elements

The neutral foundation for this summer decor is a warm wood-tone window bench (it always photographs way more orange than it is!), grey walls, white blinds, a black lantern, and a large cream-colored candle.

Using a Statement Piece – Go Big or Go Home

The longer I live in my small home the more I realize that less is more and bigger is better!  So, when adding easy summer ‘mantel’ decor to your home, start with a big piece like this black lantern I picked up at HomeGoods.

easy summer mantel decor black lantern with candles and natural elements

You could also use a demijohn, large vase, oversize candle holder, a large white pitcher or bowl as a statement piece.

If you are looking for a similar lantern, Amazon has a couple that are quite pretty, HERE and HERE.

Add Natural Elements for Interest and Texture

Pick up a bag of filler from your local decor store…

black lantern with candles and natural elements

… and sparingly place the filler around your statement piece in a casual way.  With this lantern, I placed the filler inside the hurricane (I was inspired by the moss in Kelley’s photo).

You can find some pretty filler HERE and HERE, too.

Add Candles for Some Cozy

Now don’t just add a pillar candle to the lantern… you can add a couple votives to ‘dress things up’ a bit to add some ‘real’ candlelight, too!

yellow votive candles with dried flowers on linen cloth

yellow votive candles with dried flowers on linen cloth

Add a Touch of Summer Color

As you can see, throughout these photos there have been touches of green and yellow.

By using pieces of the yellow and green filler, yellow votive candles, and even my aqua and citron dandelion pillow on the bench, there are just touches of color to bring in that summer glow.

easy summer mantel decor living room with window seat and decorative items

yellow votive candles with dried flowers on linen cloth

black lantern with candles and natural elements

And, I’m gonna sneak in a couple more photos that I just thought were cool!

easy summer mantel decor black lantern with candles and natural elements

easy summer mantel decor black lantern with candles and natural elements

And one more of MWA’s summer living room!

easy summer mantel decor living room with window seat and decorative items

Now It’s Your Turn

Now first, y’all be sure to go by A Heart Filled Home and see Leslea’s lovely summer lantern decor!  She has a beautiful blog!

Then tell me, what statement piece might you be adding to your mantel or hearth… or window seat? πŸ˜‰


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  1. What a great idea to “do with what you have” Julie…I love the way you used your window bench. A perfect substitution. I always admire how you use your wee space to do so much. Are you going to Haven this year? Chloe and I are going.

    1. Thank you for the sweet words, Kari! It’s a challenge to decorate without doing too much, and then photography… whew! And YES, I’m going to Haven! I can’t wait to give you and Chloe a hug! So excited! I was just thinking the other day, “I love Kari’s writing…I would so like to meet her in person.” Well, if God doesn’t just give us the little desires of our hearts, right?;-)

  2. I love how you incorporate pieces from nature. I have such a love for wood, shells, nests, rocks etc. This sparks creative ways to incorporate those natural pieces of nature.

    1. Thank you, T! I got your letter! Wow… it was very thoughtful of you to spend so much time in writing that, and I really enjoyed reading it! Love you!

  3. Fake it til you make it (a mantel), right?! LOL. Love how your lantern turned out. Especially like the natural elements you added. The entire room looks so cute. Thanks so much for joining us.

    1. Thanks, Cindy! Yep… my newsletter said, “I’m faking it, again!” πŸ˜‰ It’s a challenge to decorate and photograph a tiny home, but I’m enjoying it more and more (always the decor… and the photography is becoming a ‘friend’!) Thanks for putting our hop together!

  4. I love seeing how you decorate My Wee Abode for the seasons. Your bench is a perfect mantle substitute and you have the advantage of your decor being at eye level when you are watching tv. You found a great lantern that will be useful for decorating in any season.

    1. Thanks, Paula… I actually really enjoyed this challenge, and the photography was fun, too! It’s becoming easier for me, though I still have a long way to go to be KariAnne or Yvonne or Suzy or…. LOL!

    1. I know… I love lanterns, too! There is just something about them… versatility? style? structure? LOVE! Thanks for the sweet words, Janet!

    1. Thanks, Lora… Summer seems to be just beginning, and I’m looking forward to swim days with the fam! πŸ˜‰ Have a wonderful week!

  5. Julie, your sentence about not having a mantel or hearth cracked me up! What a great way to show that you can still have a fabulous faux hearth with the same effect! I love the way you explain your thought process with your color scheme and accents. The lantern is the perfect complement to your milk bottle decor on the wall, too. Girl, we could do some damage at Home Goods together. LOL! Pinning this!

    1. Tell me about doing damage! Wonder what we can do in Atlanta together next month??? πŸ˜‰ Hugs, sweet friend!

  6. Such a cute idea! We don’t have a mantle either, and sometimes I just have to get creative! Love how you used your window seat, such a great blank canvas to decorate πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks, Tiffany! It seems ‘odd’ for home decor blogs to not have mantels. I’m glad I’m not the only one! We can both be ‘fakers’ together! LOL!

  7. Julie, I love your new lantern!!! It has that old fashioned look but totally modern ~ very pretty here with the citrΓΆn and yellow pillow and candles! I’ve gleaned a bunch of ideas from everyone on this month’s lantern tour. Thank you!

    Happy summer,
    Barb πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks, Barbara! So glad you found MWA and our link party! Looking forward to seeing you each week!

  8. Julie, you are so creative to sub your bench for a mantle!! I am a big believer in using what you have one hand and you certainly did that!! Blessing to you!!πŸ˜ŠπŸ’—

  9. Julie,

    What a wonderful vignette! I love your lantern and the way you put everything together!

    And your photography!



    1. Always the cheerleader, KariAnne! You always make my day when you visit! Less than two weeks, my friend! Hugs!

  10. I love how you tied in the natural touches of yellow and green as the filler in your lantern and also the pretty yellow and green decor in the room! It looks so refreshing and relaxing with positive vibes! The window bench is beautiful by the way!

    So happy to join you for this challenge. Happy summer Julie!

  11. Your summer home is so elegant and inspiring! I love the bench by the window, it makes a great statement piece and brings the gorgeous vintage vibe to space. Also, the textures and layers you’ve added bring warmth and personality to space. I can go on and on, but the truth is, I’m in awe with every detail and corner of this area, just like every time you showcase your amazing styling skills.

  12. That is a beautiful lantern and what a fun idea for making a “mantle” too. Thanks so much for sharing with us at the Summer Fun party. I pinned all the posts you’ve left with us.

    1. Thank you so much, Joanne! And thanks for hosting! Feel free to link up to our Tuesday Turn Abouts on Tuesdays at 5pm CST! Hope to see you there!

    1. Thank you, again, Bev… sorry… I’ve been a bit busy these days so my replies are a little late!

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