Most home design projects take time to pull together. There is planning, sourcing items, color schemes to coordinate with, and more. Design takes time…normally. However, if you’re under pressure, sometimes you have to make quick decisions to pull a look together. That’s sort of exactly what happened with my vintage book page wall decor project. Though I had thought about changing the fireplace decor for some time it stayed the same for a few months. When it comes to interior design in my home, I like to take the slow approach. That helps me acquire and style with things that I love. Unfortunately, that takes time.
When it came time to have the living room photographed for a magazine feature, I knew I wanted to change the look above the mantel. Here’s what the mantel/fireplace looked like before the change. I’ve been inspired for a while by these backdrops created by my friend Mandy and I, for our now closed vintage rental business. It was something we had dreamed up but weren’t quite sure how to pull off. Mandy pulled off our favorite wedding backdrop…this vintage book backdrop. It was so beautiful but I am a sucker for old things too. You can see it below in a styled photoshoot with Jessica Brenner Photography. The other photo was at our first wedding in a plantation home. The music book pages were mixed with some vintage instruments and even a custom burlap print. These 2 backdrops inspired me to do a similar look above my fireplace.
The day of the said photoshoot I still had not updated the wall above the mantel. One hour before the shoot, the wall was unchanged! It was a very nerve-racking day. But, I had this simple vision in my head on how to pull off a vintage book pages wall. I wouldn’t overthink it. The images above were burned in my head so I felt very confident it would work. About 30 minutes before the shoot, I got up on a ladder and started placing vintage book pages on the wall above my fireplace. There was no special arrangement in mind. Just use antique furniture nails and place them on the wall around the mirror. Thankfully, it didn’t take long and it worked! I stood back and sighed a very brief moment of relief. There was no time to change anything, so I’m glad my vision worked. I had to get dressed!
The photoshoot went on just as planned and everything looked great in print. Everything happened so fast that day.Thankfully, Brandon was available to help me! He’s always right there supporting me through design issues, and crazy things like photoshoots that revolve around this blog. When I want to quit, he pushes me forward. Now on with the wall. Here it is a few weeks after the photoshoot with some pink crepe myrtles from my yard.
I’m so glad I was able to photograph these beauties while they were still in bloom. I officially don’t have anymore to cut for styled pictures. I’ll be waiting patiently for them to bloom again. In the meantime, we have these photos of some branches on the mantel. You can see the mirror and book pages in the background. The pop of color adds so much interest to this neutral space. Since the photoshoot, I hung my drop cloth curtains up to the ceiling and I’ve been liking that change in the living room too.
The reason I could do something so neutral with this wall decor is because of the bold fireplace color. Several months ago, I painted the fireplace, Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Graphite. It was just the drama I was looking to add into this space. Because of the bold look of the fireplace, I was able to pull off such a simple and neutral decor on the wall. I’ll definitely always keep some flowers on the mantel potentially with color. It creates a very soft, shabby, imperfect look. In the future, I may create a more layered look by adding more book pages or custom prints to the wall. Overall, though, I’m very pleased.