An Autumn Mantel and Fire Screen

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a fall mantel, the last time was late September 2011. I only have one fireplace, thus one mantel in my home and it’s in the den, a room with honey-colored judges paneling. (Picture below from last year, just after Christmas.)

Family Room With Judges Paneling


Photography is always a bit of a challenge, even with a tripod. The walls just soak up all the light.

Living Room with Judges Paneling Decorate in English Country Style


This is how I decorated the mantel in 2011: with my fave fall wreath and lots of books since this room has that “library” feel.

Fall Mantel with Books and Pumpkins


Remember the antlers I used in the centerpiece in this previous table setting?

Christmas-Tablescape-with-Plaid-Dinner-Plates-and-Deer-Salad-Plates 2


I added them into my fall wreath this year and I really like how they look. To attach them to the wreath, I used thin, floral wire. Super easy and will be easy to remove if/when the time comes.

Fall Autumn Mantel Decorated with Wreath and Blackbirds_1


I have four shed antlers, three are in the wreath and the fourth one can be found atop the books below. I shopped the house to create this mantelscape. The only thing(s) new are the mischievous blackbirds. I know they’re mischievous because the little stinkers come to my feeders regularly, tossing out the seed and scaring away all the other birds.

Fall Mantel Decorated with Wreath and Blackbirds_wm


Today they’re stirring up trouble in the family room. πŸ˜‰

I have several of these small wreaths like you see around the base of Mr. Crow.

Baldwin Brass Candle Holder on a Fall Mantel


They come in handy for so many things, from decorating the backs of chairs in a fall table setting…

Chair Backs Decorated with Fall Wreaths


…to decorating a turkey in a Thanksgiving tablescape. (Tablescape can be viewed here: Thanksgiving Tablescape with Rustic Turkey Centerpiece)

Thanksgiving Tablescape with Turkey Centerpiece and Turkey Tureens 2


My favorite of the crows is the one looking straight back. It’s so like a bird to do that and just a little bit spooky. Don’t be surprised if you see these guys in a Halloween mantel soon.

Fall Mantel Decorating Ideas_wm


The mantel clock always stays when the mantel gets decorated for fall or Christmas. I love it here too much to move it, plus it works nicely with the rich colors of fall.

Autumn Mantel with Mantel Clock


I pulled out my favorite autumn fire screen for the area beneath the mantel.

Fall Firescreen Depicting Cardinals and Birch Tree_wm


Fall chrysanthemums decorate the hearth while Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal contentedly survey their territory perched high in a birch tree.

Autumn Firescreen with Cardinal Birds in Birch Tree



I do love decorating this mantel but I’m itching to decorate a white-painted mantel, like the one I have planned for the “Someday Library.”  Just thinking ahead…planning, you know.  You have to envision it before it can come true. πŸ™‚

Decorate Your Mantel for Fall

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  1. Beautiful room Susan. Love the Fall touches. I especially love the black birds!


  2. Beautiful room Susan. Love the Fall touches. I especially love the black birds!


  3. Your autumn mantel looks very inviting. What a great idea to use several small wreaths in your fall decor. I have a similar turkey centerpiece, and mine needs an autumn necklace like yours has ;o)

    • Debbie, you are so right, those little wreaths come in handy for so many things. I was trying to remember where I found them. I think it was either Hobby Lobby or Michaels…been a few years now.

  4. Susan, your mantel looks lovely. The fall colors really looks nice with all of your warm wood tones. I’m like you though, I love the look of a white fireplace and mantel.

    • Thanks, Jann! I know…I have white mantel envy (LOL) when I visit other blogs. Wouldn’t it be fun to have one of each to play with and decorate each year…a white and a stained one. Would satisfy all our creative decorating urges.

  5. Good Morning Susan!

    Oh, I just love your mantle – actually I love the entire room! The judges paneling is beautiful….. the black birds are adorable! I’m headed out today for my FALL shopping….going to look for some “Birds” for my mantle!
    Have a wonderful day!


  6. Susan, your autumn mantel is beautiful! The blackbirds look like they’re just waiting for you to leave the room so they can start their shenanigans! And the cardinals on the fireplace screen are a bird lover’s dream! I remember you posting about your future library and it sounds like a great project for 2014!

    • Ha! I think you’re right! πŸ™‚ It does, doesn’t it. I should be renovating a bathroom but I’m busting to see that room done…only been waiting 22 years. πŸ˜‰ Thanks, Jane!

  7. pam ~ crumpety cottage says

    Susan, so happy to see this room again. It’s one of my favorites! I’ve always been partial to judge’s paneling / linenfold paneling and the very traditional elements you have here like the brass, the classic mantel clock and the (iron?) birds. Nice addition.

    When I first saw your Cardinal firescreen I thought I’d jump out of my skin trying to find something like it. I’ve never had a fire screen, though I love the looks of them. I’m shopping around for one now. No luck so far, but I’m hopeful. If you have any suggestions for good places to shop for one, please let me know.

    I love all your little touches. They are what makes a house, a home. πŸ™‚

    • Thanks so much, Pam! Actually the birds feel like wood, but maybe they are resin under their shabby paint job…hard to tell. I was trying to remember where I bought the firescreen. I think it came from A Classy Flea. It’s been probably 10 years ago or longer so hard to remember. There are so many beautiful ones out there…just love a gorgeous firescreen. The wrought iron ones are pretty, too. You may want to google for cardinal firescreen or check eBay. I’m not sure where Classy Flea found this one. They used to have them when I went in there, but haven’t seen any in there in a few years now.

      • pam ~ crumpety cottage says

        Thanks, Susan. I wouldn’t feel right about copying you though. I’d be happy with either a wrought iron or a painted scene like yours, but it doesn’t have to be cardinals (although I do especially love cardinals, lol). It’s just that I have to have a fairly wide one, and they’re a little harder to find. Plus, the prices! Eek. Maybe I’m just a cheap-o. I’ve also seem some AMAZING beveled glass firescreens that are just gorgeous. Talk about pricey! But I bet the flames jumping would reflect so beautifully. Anyway, I’ll continue my search. Also, I will shortly be (finally!) ordering those buffalo check curtains I’ve been wanting for for two years for my office (and the very same ones — except mine will be red — that you have in your office, lol, and the very reason I found the porch in the first place — searching for buffalo check curtains. *Phew* that was a mouthful. Maybe I’ll send you a picture when I finally have them up. πŸ˜‰ Hee … so excited.

        P.S. How is your daughter in law feeling? πŸ˜‰ I hope she’s not having morning sickness.

  8. Looking beautiful and love Fall decor. The black birds are great, they add a nice element of surprise. Will be perfect for Halloween too. Getting all my Fall decor out after a good cleaning of my home. Thanks Susan , you always are decorating and keeping it fun.

  9. Susan this is so elegant. Very warm and inviting. Love the touch with the birds. You have captured fall!

  10. It looks great- the crows add some fun. I like the antlers and the books….great combo! I wouldn’t move the mantel clock either…it’s a permanent fixture! I like the mums sitting there- that’s a nice look. I may have to borrow that idea!

    • Thanks, Liz. It really is. I tried it upstairs in the office for a short while but it told me it preferred the den mantel. πŸ˜‰ Mums are so pretty this time of year…I was amazed at all the colors they come in!

  11. I like the crows too and have thought about getting some. I decorate for all 4 seasons. After Christmas one year when I took the white lights off the mantel, my hubbie said he missed them so now I keep them on there year round too. The first Christmas in this house when I took the Christmas stuff down we discovered the mantel was almost falling off the wall! It had never been screwed in! Scared us when we thought what could have happened! Have a great week

    • Oh, Carol…I love that! Who says we can’t have lights year ’round! I love that your hubby noticed and missed them…how cool is that! Wow! That is scary! Glad you guys discovered it before it fell. So strange they forgot that little detail when they installed/built it. I bet it’s fixed firmly now.

  12. It’s funny…I just posted a cabin tour Susan, and one of the challenges I faced was getting the color right in some of the rooms. Since it’s a log cabin lighting is an issue since as you say, the wood soaks up the light, but if find the pine paneled rooms the most challenging. They always seem to come out too yellow. I’m sure it can be fixed by changing white balance, but I haven’t evolved in my photography to that extent.

    Your library mantel screams ‘Fall’, and I so agree about the little wreaths. I have a few and they really do come in handy, although I haven’t used them this year thus far.

    Oh, and I’m envisioning I’m going to be on the cover of Victorias Secret. Let’s see how THAT goes ;).


    • LOL Yep, let me know if you hear from VS! πŸ™‚ I need to learn more about using white balance too. There was a good bit of light coming in through the windows but the camera still seemed challenged, even with a high ISO. I used a tripod for some of the shots but not all of them. I could have lightened them more in Photoshop but after a while, the colors get overly bright and don’t look like the room does in person…and that bugged me. So I decided to just leave them a tad dark, instead.

  13. Sorry, that should read ‘I find’ not ‘if’.

  14. Dianne Thomas says

    I stumbled upon your Website while looking for decorating ideas from the movie “Something’s Gotta Give”. I signed up to receive e-mails and thoroughly enjoy everything you post.
    Just yesterday a representative from the Fish Foam Company came to give me an estimate for cleaning my windows. I would have never known of that company if it weren’t for you!
    Thank you for the beautiful inspirations you give. I always wonder where and how you organize and store all the gorgeous things I see…..

    • Thanks so much, Diane! Right now I have a pretty big house so a lot of closets and cabinets. I have a basement but I don’t use it for storage because I’m too lazy to go up and down the steps. πŸ™‚ If/when I downsize one day to a cottage, it will be a challenge I’m sure. Will have to find a house with good storage or have a big garage sale! XO

  15. Your traditional style is so perfect for your home! Lovely furnishing and fall inspirations.

  16. Hi Susan, I think your mantle looks wonderful for fall. I love the antlers and even the old crows. The fireplace screen is beautiful with the cardinals and birch trees. I find your room to be very cozy and warm, a good place to relax and read a book. Have a wonderful day. Pamela

    • lol about the crows. I love the “black” they bring to the mantel and the calming effect they have on all that fall color. They kind of ground things, don’t they? Thanks, Pam! Cozy is the best way to describe that room. Hope the next person who lives here likes it and doesn’t paint the walls.

  17. Love your mantel Susan. You have such a beautiful home. That room has always been my favorite. I love the Judges paneling it gives the room such a cozy feel. The antler’s look good in your wreath. We have the same taste in decorating. Give me traditional style any day. Never get tired of it

  18. Linda Leyble says

    Hi Susan…love your fall mantle. The crows are great, the books are a wonderful touch and all the colors you used are perfect for your room. Love yiur fire screen – have to get something like that…it really adds a fall touch.

    You did a great job despite the lighting problem. All of my rooms are a bit on the dark side, so I have the same problem.


  19. Lovely! Your dining room takes my breath away! I’ve been clicking away on links so long I’m going to be late for work. Thank you so very much for sharing your beautiful home with us. You do so much with it — you deserve to be its steward. That’s how I think of houses — we only own them in a legal sense — they really own us. At least mine owns me! Especially my checkbook.

  20. Love the coziness of your fall displays- puts you in the Fall mood.
    Wendy CozyCleanandSimple

  21. It looks beautiful, Susan. We are going to buy our mums and dome ornamental cabbages today.

  22. I love the mantel with the balance of the colors and shapes. I have never seen such a beautiful fire screen.
    Did you do it yourself ? The color of the walls in your dining room are so warm and inviting. Your table setting
    is so pretty. Your rooms just say “come in, sit down and lets spend the day together friend”. You are blessed
    to have such beautiful things and the gifts of design and hospitality.

    • Thanks, Dottie! No, if I’m remembering correctly, it came from a local antique/vintage store called A Classy Flea. It was about 10 years or more ago so hard to remember now. XO

  23. Susan, this is lovely. This is one of my favorite rooms in your home. It’s always so welcoming and cozy. It does have a library feel. Love your mirror above the mantel. It that an antique? Happy Fall. You are way ahead of me for the season. ‘-)

  24. Just beautiful and that fireplace screen is gorgeous with a capital “G”!!! Love it and the table setting is lovely. I adore acorns, they just say fall to me!


  25. Your mantle is so elegant! Love it!!

  26. Ok, Susan…..I am getting tired of coveting EVERYTHING in your house. This room is just beautiful. I love the honey colored judges panels. So rich and warm. Your fireplace and mantel are lovely and I will be stealing that fire screen just as soon as I can get to your house. Never mind that I don’t have a fireplace! I will find somewhere to place it in my home! The blackbirds are just adorable. The antlers in the wreath add just the right touch. You have done a wonderful fall redo of your mantel.

  27. I so love your mantle and all decorated like you did. I happen to have two fireplaces and no mantles, I am thinking of adding one on my downstairs fireplace. My house is contemporary Mediterrian in style, so everything is simple. My personal taste is European Opulance and I am so torn as to leave the house as it, or add my taste to it, by adding the mantle and fireplace surround, crown moulding, and other moulding around the doorways, etc. which I so love. But then I will also have to change my kitchen cabinets too. What do you think?

    • I say go for it. If you would like it, chances are when you sell your home one day, the next person would, too. I would add a mantel (or two) and all the molding you want. Molding just finishes out a room so nicely. I do love it so you’re talking to a molding-loving Girl! Margo, why would you have to change out the cabinets? If they are really streamlined or simple in design and you’re worried they won’t look right with all the molding, I’ve seen folks add picture molding to kitchen cabinet doors too. Or, perhaps you could add some crown molding around the top, if they go all the way up to the ceiling.

  28. Lovely and cozy.

  29. I love your table setting….do you remember where your mercury glass pumpkins are from?

    • Thanks, Sandy! I’ve collected those from various places over the last 3-4 years. Most have come from Marshalls and HomeGoods. Last year I found some in a local antique store, too…but check HomeGoods, TJ Max and HomeGoods. They almost always have them this time of year for a good price. I’ve seen them in Pottery Barn, but they are a good bit more expensive there. Oh, and I found a small one in Ross…so that’s another place to check. Hope that helps.

  30. I love your Fall mantle and ADORE that fire screen!!! It is beautiful and I am going to look for one. YOu are SO inspiring. Thanks for sharing all that you do. XO

  31. I sure am liking those crows. I looked through this post 3 times and did not see where you bought them They are the cutest. As far as the blackbirds and crows go, I do understand the frustration of them wrecking havoc in the bird feeders. I am so glad when they leave this area to migrate down south. My cardinals can finally eat in peace (except for when the hawks are out of course). I love your family room. It is so rich and warm. The cardinal screen is lovely. I would love to have one of those too.

    • Candy, I just found those at Hobby Lobby this year. They were on sale, 40% off…they should still be on sale. Thanks, Candy! The fire screen came from a local antique/vintage store, I think. It’s been around 10+ years ago that I bought it but I’m pretty sure I found it at A Classy Flea.

  32. Hi Susan, I’m new to your blog and absolutely LOVE it !! I can’t believe how similar your own decorating style is to my own. Your back porch is my dream porch !! And your warm, Ralph Lauren type inside is my fav too. I use books to decorate alot too with brass and plaids etc. Just wanted to say how much I’m enjoying EVERYTHING here !!

  33. Your mantel looks great and the room is always so warm and cozy looking. Love those black birdies!

  34. I love the room, Susan. It’s very warm….Christine

  35. Mary from Virginia says

    GORGEOUS! and it really does look like fall in your den! What a lovely room! So glad you referenced your Thanksgiving tablesetting. That is one of my all time favorites and I know I will be stealing your ideas for my own table πŸ˜‰ I can’t believe no one has approached you about doing a book on table decor. Your ideas are endless-which is good for me! πŸ˜€

    Are you sharing where you purchased those cute crows?

    • Awww, thanks Mary…you are so nice to say that! XO Oh, sure…the crows came from Hobby Lobby…on sale 40% off and they are still on sale right now. Do you have an HL near you? They are really cute…feel like they are painted wood…and heavy/sturdy. I do love those silly things. lol

  36. Nice little touches!! Do you remember where you got your fireplace screen? I’m marvelling at the beautiful carvings on what looks to be a mirror behind your fall wreath? Very, very nice!
    I remember you debating about what to do about replacing the curtains in your library room and I see that you don’t have anything new up yet. Are you still contemplating or have you decided for a more simple style and not put anything up at all?
    I love everything about this room. I could spend alot of time curled up in that comfy plaid chair in the corner of the picture. Especially if there’s a nice fire burning. πŸ˜‰

    • Thanks so much, Velma. It’s been about 10+ years but I think I found it in A Classy Flea, a local antique/vintage store. They used to get them in periodically and I loved so many of them…it was hard to not to buy them each time. But the cardinal one had to come home with me. I haven’t seen them in there in a while now. Well, I decided against the drapes I had found online at Country Curtains so haven’t done anything about that yet, though I need to. I want something that feels rich, warm, library like, maybe with a bit of trim or fringe, understated…classic. You know the look. I should probably try to find a fabric and have them made but I keep hoping they will find me. πŸ™‚

  37. Beautiful, Susan! Your blackbirds are great (and they are a nuisance, aren’t they?) I think they can empty a bird feeder as fast as a squirrel can. πŸ™‚ I love your firescreen and your cheerful orange mums. I can’t wait to dive into fall decorating here at our house.

    Have a great day!


  38. Oh, how funny! I have one of those same crows! And yes, it’s on the mantle! Thank you Susan…. Love that room….

  39. I love this room Susan! In the blogging world of white upon white, it’s so nice seeing rooms full of warm, wood panels…BEAUTIFUL! Our den is paneled and I love it. I am excited to start our kitchen remodel but also a bit sad we will be loosing our den. I keep thinking of how I can incorporate wood in another space…love having one room full of deep, warm, wood!!!

    • Thanks, Cindy! β™₯ So there’s no way to do the kitchen remodel and keep your paneled room? You must be knocking down a wall? Do you have another room downstairs, like a “formal” living room that you could have paneled instead? I know that wouldn’t be inexpensive to have done. A lot of folks in my neighborhood have the judges paneling half way up and they have painted it. I only know of one or two other houses that have full judges paneling and I don’t think they have painted it. I do like the idea of having one cozy, warm room for book reading, movie watching, fireplace gazing. πŸ™‚ I wouldn’t want the whole house to be that way but it is nice to have room like that, so I know what you mean. I hope you can find a way to keep it or to add one elsewhere.

  40. Hi, Susan, You do have a most beautiful home…so very homey and inviting in my favorite traditional style. Since our recent move to the coast, I’ve been working hard to create a more casual, lighter and slightly more contemporary interior. After years and years of dark woods, rich colors, and filling every corner with warm, interesting tablescapes it’s really a challenge!! I’ll get the look with a homey twist eventually, but will always adore the look you create so wonderfully. Blessings to you!

  41. susan,
    target has tons of halloween decorations to check out! quite reasonable too.

  42. Susan…A beautiful room, attractive and inviting! I always like things off-center as it seems more creative. So be happy circumstances only allow
    the clock to be set on the end of mantle. Also I LOVE decorating with
    books. I have a great Christmas collection and the holidays find them
    all over my house. People have been known to pick them up and read.
    Isn’t that great? Oh, go ahead with the wreaths. Once the leaves are all
    off the trees it is a nice way to bring color to the drab days. Thanks for
    all the ideas you contribute to making the world around us more lovely.
    Don’t tell a soul but I like your style far better than a certain Martha.

  43. OMG! How I did I missed this elegant and classy post of your beautiful room and gorgeous mantel! This dΓ©cor warm, elegant, inviting is just what I love and you are my inspiration dear Susan! My favorite are wooden mantels, but that screen is awesome!
    I pinned it so I can come by again for my Fall inspiration. Thank you always for sharing, I love it when you do your own home the best!
    Happy weekend.

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