I am, once again, asking for your help

In my computer room, which is my favorite room, really, I have a fireplace mantel. If I ever get enough scratch, I will tear down the offensive paneling in two other rooms and reveal THOSE fireplaces as well. They are all coal-burning but I like the look of a fireplace.

Right now, the fireplace and mantel that ARE out and proud have this on them:

This room is dog-themed, and only one person—faithful reader Audra’s girlfriend Debbie, who rescues Huskies for a living—walked in and noticed it. I don’t mind the dog theme, but I just feel like mixing it up. Also, it distracts me from any sad sick pet things going on, here.

Here is a closeup of the mantel stuff.

So, that’s what’s up here now and it doesn’t all have to go. But below are photos of other doodads in my house. See if anything doesn’t strike your fancy that I can add to mantel.

By the way, this looks easy but it’s going to take me forever to get all these photos on here and you are welcome for this riveting content.

Below’s all the shit IN the cupboard. No, I never did finish that Marie Condom book.

Let’s mosey to the living room.

Anything from the bathroom shelves strike your fancy? Or do you need a Band-Aid?

So that sums up the shit around my house. Let me know your thoughts and I will show you what I did with the mantel. Unless no one says anything and I get zero comments and the mantel stays as it is. In that case, we’ll never mention it again.

XO,
Mickey Mantle

90 thoughts on “I am, once again, asking for your help

  1. So many comments, I haven’t read them all but, I often rotate my favorite things. Makes my displays feel new and and exciting for a little while, at least until I move them again.

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  2. This is so fun and causing me to look around my place . . . I do not have an eye for setting things up to look good, so I best not recommend anything but I do like the two dog pedestal things. The flamingo is cool, and now that everyone mentions is – height might be the answer for the mantel.

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  3. Just a general thought…. hang some of the flat art/photos, etc. on the wall (gallery wall!), that will clear up the mantle (sp?) and other tabletops/shelves for the figurines/glassware/3D stuff (you have a flock of swans). I like groupings and things unbalanced and not symmetrical. You have a beautiful collection of pink/green dishes/vases, that would look nice somewhere, but also looks nice in your cabinets with the glass doors… maybe balance tall/short items left and right so one side doesn’t look heavier. And I LOVE your green Blenko water bottle, I have one in clear + about 40 other Blenko pieces (that’s my poison). Fun, good luck!

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  4. You need at least one thing that is bulky OR tall and arrange in threes. Something you could do to create bulky and sort of tall is to stack some books you like the look of (for instance all old books or all books with pink covers) and then put a photo or a knick-knack on top of the stack of books. If you put a large book on the bottom and 2-3 smaller books on top of that, you can put a smaller item on the shelf that is created from the larger book on the bottom.

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  5. I love the flamingo, he would look great on the mantel. You really need something big on it. My mother always said when putting things on tables, etc. to put them in groups of three. I’ve tried to do that ever since. An even number of things makes me twitch but the heat setting in my car has to be on an even number. Go figure!

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  6. How the hell can you keep ANYthing on a sill or a mantel? My cats knock down everything they find like it’s their mission in life.

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  7. After snooping through your things (pictures) again, I’m really sold on the flamingo on the left side
    Of the mantle. The thing that Marvin pilfered from the landlord would look great with some little stones or beach glass or other things you have laying around that I didn’t see. That thing needs to go under the dog picture. ( I also have a dog picture that I will send a pic of if you want it.) on the right side of the mantle, I think that dark purple vase OR the rectangular light color pitcher on the top shelf of your cupboard needs to go on the right. You need anchors on each side. Then maybe small cups or odd things making two groups of three things on either end, the dog picture and the pilfered Marvin find under it.

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  8. I’d probably start a couple of taller things, like the flamingo, maybe the Frida candle. I love the framed cross-stitch too.

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  9. Kitchen window. Find some McCoy pots (or similar vintage-y) for the three spiky succulents (odd-numbered staging). Keep the glass jar. Everything else goes somewhere else. The cute dragonfly pot can be on its own in a different spot.

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  10. I have no suggestions for redecorating. I do have to say that I think your home and your decor are adorable and comfortable and welcoming and very cozy. I’m not going to lie, I’ve always loved the 1940s/50s Shabby Chic look because it just seems comfy and cozy, so there.

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  11. I like the squirrel for something bigger, and the vase towards the back of the china cabinet that has a ripple-y top edge. But what I really came to say is your vanity (dresser? that got damaged in the move?) looks exactly the way I remember my grandmother’s vanity looking, and when I scrolled by it I did a dramatic intake of breath and then was flooded with good memories. So, thank you.

    BeeBelle

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  12. Everyone has some great ideas! I love your pieces, as it’s much the same as I’ve collected. Vintage pottery, vases, weird bowls or jars, trays, and such. I see you’ve got some Hull. Love those colors! Since I enjoy antiquing, I’ve brought home many different pieces over the years, and what I’m attracted to has evolved over time (i.e., no longer hanging up the rug beater collection).

    My former interior designer boss had a few simple ideas for accessorizing. Definitely use the odd-number grouping.

    Here was her big, scary idea. Take everything off the shelves, bookcases, tables, etc. Sort of like Marie-ing all your pretties. Blank spaces and surfaces. Look at all you have. Then, start to create groupings or themes, piece by piece, placing it, or moving it around, until it looks “right” and you like it. Then stop.

    Stopping is my challenge, as I like to look it all. But when it’s all out there, you often don’t notice the details.

    My mother had an ‘art closet’ where she stored collections, and then rotated pieces around the house. Kind of like at Christmas, when you greet all your cute things once again.

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    1. I vote the two brass dogs on pedestals in your cupboard go on either side of the dog theme mantle. Apologies if someone already suggested that.

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    2. I have a similar closet, only it’s just a cabinet, where I keep decorative things and rotate them out based on seasons or my whims. Every time I’m ready to re-do the dining room shelves I do exactly what you said – every ding dang thing gets pulled out and spread on the table and floors and surrounding area and then I play with it all. Whatever doesn’t work goes back in the cabinet.

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      1. Isn’t that fun? They’re fresh, fun, and new again. I’m doing the Marie Kondo thing, and those memorabilia & decorative things are going to be last on my list. Hoping that I’ll have a place that the off-season pieces can stay as well. I know I’d appreciate them more by truly seeing them. I take pictures as well. When you step back, you can really see what you have and how it looks.

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        1. Yes! I love “playing” with all my things. And after I did Marie Kondo I’m left with the pieces I really treasure. And I always take pictures of how I have it arranged so I can get it back that way if I want. It’s especially helpful after the holidays when I take down all the Christmas decorations and suddenly have no memory of what my house usually looks like

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  13. Odd numbers and colour grouping look awesome. I’d put your flamingo with those two little green dishes from your book case together as a group. Can you see your green chair from the mantle? I love peeking in peoples houses

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  14. I’d choose the flamingo and the pansies print for your computer room and I’d discard all of the dig themed decoration. Adding more pink is always an option.

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  15. I don’t have a (fake) squirrel on my mantel, but I had a (live) squirrel in the living room. Trapped behind a huge, very heavy armoire. I never figured out if the squirrel ran into the house and the dog-before-this-dog chased it behind the armoire, or if the dog-before-this-dog chased it into the house to begin with. I didn’t see it happen, but when I got home something was making a chirping noise behind the armoire and the dog-before-this-dog had parked herself in front of it. I thought it was a bird. And since it was late at night I decided to let it go until the morning when I had my next door neighbor come over to help. “That’s no bird,” said Scottie. I had to construct a sort of tunnel from the armoire through the living room out the back door and sweep the squirrel out. It stopped midway and looked up at me with an expression like “That dog be crazy”. But it left. And didn’t come back. But I have a lot of roadrunner stories that I’ll save for another time.

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  16. Is that little dog lifting his missing leg?

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  17. I love the dog theme idea. Here are my 2 cents. First I would put the adorable mini sink on my dresser by the it’s not mean, great earring, ring holder. Next, remove the tin type and Grandparents picture to your memorial spot along with Talu. The two dogs on the spools would be great for right side with books to elevate. Left side needs something taller such as a large candle holder and the picture of Lu elevated, close together as a group. If you wanted to go new theme, that lovely vase that is pink and blue would be nice on mantle with several more of your pink pieces which are very pretty. Stagger heights and group in three on each side with large picture in center if possible (of flowers would be good).

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  18. I don’t know what you should do with them because I suck at this stuff but I would bring out the purple vase and the flamingo and the squirrel.

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  19. The bird in your cupboard is really pretty. And those two dogs on the pedestal things? Of course that doesn’t help with the dog theme. The little irons are also very cute. I googled Eljen and got toilets so idk what that white thing is but I really want to know.

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  20. This is fun I love looking at stuff well since you asked I would make it animal playground so your swans and flamingos grouped maybe a plant, then lean up the swan pic in background, then squirrel looking at swans, get those dogs out of cupboard with the other dogs, move the people somewhere else, then the Eljer thing moved to be a ring or earring holder in either bathroom or bedroom.

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  21. I have flat surface syndrome. In other words, if it’s going to look as lovely as my mantle, cram all the shit you like to look at on it and then use its cramminess as an excuse not to dust.

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    1. I love June’s decorations, and many thanks for the tour. Letty, I share your syndrome and adore your word “cramminess.”

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      1. Looked it up as well. I was thinking it was a salesman sample also. Or, an ashtray/cigarette holder, back when everyone smoked.

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        1. I thought it was a sink made to be a desk organizer. Business cards in the front, paperclips in the dips?

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  22. Yes to more height. It’s hard to tell just how tall your other things are. To me the flamingo looks the tallest. You can also stack some books, maybe 3 or 4 depending on thickness, and then put something else on top. That will give you height. Or, not sure what’s in your yard or neighborhood, you can clip some forsythia or dogwood branches and put them in a tall vase and force them inside.
    Pull off those dead leaves on those haworthias. I find it so satisfying. They might look good over there too.

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  23. I think all it needs is greenery of some sort, a plant from the sill would be fine if the light is right. Love your things.

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  24. I love a good theme! I would suggest some height – maybe a candle? Frida? Even if it’s a nonworking fireplace it’s nice to have some flames. I’d also maybe get some larger frames, with mattes? Just for some varying heights. And my last advice to be on theme – a large jar of dog treats! I don’t know how to share a pic but I have a large, clear jar of treats in my similarly themed dog office. It makes me super popular with Friday. These items weren’t necessarily in pics you shared of items but maybe you have them somewhere else?

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  25. According to my cousin who is a decorator, group items in odd numbers (1, 3, 5, etc.). With that said, group your photos together on one side of the mantull then group other items on the other side. That aqua container in the kitchen cabinet is beautiful. That would look lovely as a single item to one side with branch like cuttings in the vase. Another suggestion, that flamingo, the pink vase in the lower part of the dresser and the pink swan (odd number) together, the feathered animals together. Maybe a sprig of green in the vase to go along with the green with the flamingo. The porcelain dish? Eljer is a brand of toilet, could that be part of a toilet that Marvin acquired?
    Tee

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    1. OH! I just saw another tintype photo by the multi-colored jar and crystal rock, make that single tintype part of the photos.
      Tee

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  26. I agree with the height suggestion. A few taller things would be good. And some plant life – something green. If the light is a problem, choose something that likes to be out of direct sunlight.

    That’s all I got. I did love the tour of June’s Junk though.

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    1. Yes, adding organic shapes/soft textures to the mix would be my recommendation. Plant, stuffed animal or doll, dried flowers, basket. You don’t have a lot of things like that in the pictures, but the amethest geode might be closest.

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  27. Oooo – fun! OK, overall you need more big/tall things, not more little things. If you want to keep on with the dog theme then go get those two brass dog things from the kitchen between the pink swan and the little iron with a big mouth (??). Then get some books from your bookshelf with cool vintagey spines, like the green ones. Use the brass dog things as book ends and put the books standing up between them. Is that a green ceramic planter on top of the book shelf? If so, go get a plant from the kitchen, put it in there and add to the mantle on the other side from the books. Then nestle some of the current things in with it. Move Marvin’s stolen dish to a piece of furniture that isn’t white. It’s cool, but being white, it’s lost up there on the mantel. I would also relocate the grandparent photo from the right side to somewhere else in the house. If the dog with the broken leg is a special treasure to you then keep it! If not, you can do better. Think about having a grouping of things on the left, your Stay. art in the middle, and then a grouping of things on the right with empty space between those.
    Can’t wait to see how it turns out!

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  28. Do you have any larger frames that are interesting and a little worse for the wear. If you take them down to just the frame you can prop them in a grouping of two or three empty frames in the middle, and have the small decorative stuff on the side. Or if you just have one big empty frame, put it in the center and put that pretty green glass vase (?) from your top shelf in front of the frame.

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  29. You have a tall glass vase (in the cupboard by the green vase). Put some fake green plant with height in it and place on the left side because your pic on the wall is offset. So high to low. Then those two dark brass(?) dogs on top things could go on the right. Move the broken leg dog to the cupboard. That’s my two cents.

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    1. Oh, it might be. But you know what I’m NOT AT ALL TIRED OF? Is it the ducking liver? Is it? Could it be? I’ll go look up mantle/mantel, though.

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  30. I really love the bathroom stuff, but I can see why those things belong together and themed bathroom. Nicely done.
    I think the mantle wants a few larger things. Taller things. Levels. Drama.
    I do like the dog theme, and I think it should be carried out on a grander scale. You could definitely use some New Yorker dog art in there.

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    1. I agree with LPKelly. Some drama with varied sizes. There are some bloggers out there that recommend stacking books with things on top to vary heights. I wonder if your favourite antique shop would have some larger dog pictures you could lean against the wall on the mantle or perhaps even some larger dog items? Would any of them send you pics of items from which you could choose and then bring them to your car for curb pick up?

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      1. I have dog pictures in this very room! I have old paint-by-numbers dog pictures, and of course the dogs playing poker, which as we know Jackie Kennedy had installed in the Oval Office.

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  31. I like your groupings!
    My only thoughts are the funny/mean embroidery seems most appropriate next to Lu’s picture up on the mantle. I feel like that was her mantra, especially if she might reach a paw out to trip Edsel then look away, whistling. “Oh, you fall?”
    And a plant would fill in and give some greenery but I don’t know if that would be safe for it – not enough light, etc.

    Lovely post, pretty June!

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  32. I just noticed that Eiffel Tower with post card holder. I have a post card my friend Paula (not OUR Paula) sent me, so I got it out and put the post card in it, and as people say who are trying to kill me: “waaa laaa”!

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  33. Why no Edz Pictures?
    I am in awe. I dont have knickknacks. I love looking at other people’s stuff though. I’m not helping am I?
    Okay I will go sit in the corner and watch what everyone else suggests.

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      1. Would the tall pink flamingo like to go live next to the “Stay” photo on the mantle? And the little pink ceramic swan wants to sit jauntily at the feet of the Flamingo (he’s now over on the shelf next to the two bronze colored things with Irish Setters on top). I’d suggest to try out the Irish Setters on the mantle but you wanted something different so the birds want to try out a new roost option.

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        1. Maybe that’s where the childhood picture of Marvin belongs, too.

          Also, thank you for Marie Condom.

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  34. I personally love the current theme, but if you’re gonna switch it up, definitely that flamingo thing should cap off either side of the Mickey mantle. That’s all I have to offer for now, except that I feel the same about these fireplaces.

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      1. I’m so tempted to break through the wall in my office (bedroom off laundry) to confirm the third. I always question that one, but my attic has a chimney where that wall is, sooooo.

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      2. Maybe I watch too many home improvement/house finder shows but… if I had hidden fireplaces and a bottle of good craft beer … I’d be Nancy Drew and get the crowbar out of the car trunk and/or use the claw end of a hammer to rip out boards in curiosity. Then hide the old boards in the snake shed.

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          1. Sure! I’ll pack up my assortment of tools and drive from Northern California to North Carolina. It might take me awhile though as I don’t have snow chains for my Toyota Corolla …

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