This French Country Natural Mantel is so easy to create once you know a few tips!



Celebrate fall with the best mantel you have ever created! Bring in the bounty the season inside using green cuttings from your garden to create a beautiful fall mantel that is easy, stylish and fresh.

Fall is when we really start decorating our homes for the upcoming season of warm welcomes and gathering people we love around our fireplace.  I know it’s when I feel the inspired to create pleasing decorations for my home and I usually start with my mantel!  A mantel is the perfect canvas to create a beautiful design element for the season. If you don’t have a mantel, this will work wonderfully on any horizontal surface, a shelf, your buffet, your entrance hall table.




HAPPY MONDAY!  This Monday, Mary, Pam and I are doing something crazy, we’re creating arrangements without any flowers at all! There are so many times that flowers aren’t available, or you don’t have any flower money left in your budget. Especially during fall, green leaved branches, or other clippings from your garden will give you a fabulous effect, without flowers! Whatever your own personal style might be, including natural elements that you clip from your garden is a fresh, timeless look that always looks amazing.




Not everything has to be fresh – if you can’t find enough cuttings to your liking – I’ve been known to sneak in a few glorious faux here and there! Gleaning interesting branches or cuttings from your garden or your neighborhood {ask permission if needed please!} is such a great way to stretch your decorating budget. My French Country Natural Mantel is easy to do, and costs nothing…how wonderful is that?!






For this fall mantel, I used a few eucalyptus branches I cut from a tree on our street in front of our house, some ivy from the back garden, and silver sheen cuttings from the front garden. Then I raided the vegetable and fruit bin in our fridge for my “accents” to add a little fun.





Every mantel needs a backdrop to set the stage. A backdrop fills in the space between the mantel and the ceiling, which in many homes today is quite high. I love my antique French Mirror that hangs above my mantel, it reflects the lights in our French chandelier at night. To be honest with you, I usually don’t have the time or energy to change it out for something else. BUT….there are so many things that could be the backdrop for your mantel arrangement – a large painting, a large clock, an antique French bread board, really, the sky is the limit.







When you decorate with things you love, you can’t help but design something beautiful.  I use our antiques in every season here at home. Sure, I might pull out the brown French antique glass and the paisleys during fall, but I stay true what I love, I use our everyday objects for all the seasons {and holidays too} and just embellish them a little. For this mantel, I used these marvelous antique French apothecary jars and bottles to display the bevy of green branches from the garden.











One of the most basic design “rules” of decorating is to vary the height of your decorative objects. You want your eyes to travel up and down over objects differing in height, it is the most pleasing, and also the most interesting.  The jars and bottles I used for this mantel are different heights, and I put three on them on an antique book for an added layer.



fall mantel with candles






Texture is design’s best friend, using different textures in your home is the secret weapon of beautiful decorated rooms. This is where branches and leafy green clippings really shine, they all have different textures!  The little seedpods on the seeded eucalyptus really stand out amongst all those silvery leaves, the ivy has a totally different color and texture all together.









After looking at my arrangement, I still felt it could use a little something. Something unexpected, and fun! {I’m a huge fan of fun}  The three white pumpkins are “expected”, and the pears I added were fun, but not fun enough.  I looked in our vegetable bin and saw these baby eggplants – yes!   There is something cute about their plump smallness, and that deep rich aubergine color is always a winner. And your antiques like to have fun – they’ve survived over 100 years and are up for seeing something unexpected and amusing. : )






The antique French glass apothecary jars and bottles are always an enchanting addition to your home decor, simply because they are so versatile!





Be Sure to visit the inspiring posts from my friends Mary and Pam…and please keep our beloved Shirley in your prayers!



PAM at Everyday Living




MARY at HomeIsWherreTheBoatIs




and me, LIDY at FrenchGardenHouse


Our Autumn Floral Collection has launched!


I wish the most beautiful fall week ahead!  Thank you for joining us today- see you soon with lots more autumn inspiration!






à bientôt

If you want to romance your Home and Garden with antique and vintage treasures to make you smile each time you come home, visit our shop FrenchGardenHouse.


  1. Lidy, I adore your antique French bottles and wonderful vignette on your mantel…the varying height, textures of the greenery, amber glass, books and wee baby eggplants! Oh to walk outside and have eucalyptus branches to cut and use for an arrangement! The graphics on your bottles are so beautiful, especially the striking Pharmacie label and sweet Savon one. It’s always a treat to join you for some flower therapy. Happy Monday. <3

  2. Lidy, Your mantle is delightful! Thank you for the design tips. Could you come to my house please!
    I love your choice of garden clippings and those antique bottles are extremely striking! Adding the pears and eggplant along with the small white pumpkins was the perfect touch. Very creative and fun!
    Your photography is excellent and your collage graphic design is so pretty. You have wonderful light in your room.
    Shirley is missed and in my prayers! You girls all reflect your distinct personalities and creativity so well. Monday Morning Blooms is so enjoyable.

    1. Bonnie, first, thank you for lifting up our beloved Shirley in your prayers.
      It’s such a joy to have you join us for our Monday Morning Blooms, I hope we inspire you a little bit to go out and forage foryour own wild arrangement!

    2. Thank you Bonnie~ I am so blessed when you visit me. And thank you so much for praying for our dearest Shirley!! xoxo

  3. Theresa R Keller

    Beautiful post for fall, You inspired me to go home and work on my mantle… 🙂

    Have a nice week!

    1. Thank you so much Theresa….I hope you bring some fall foliage and branches inside…and have fun decorating your mantel!

  4. Linda Schmidt

    So enjoyed your beautiful display, so fun with the smallest of detail, one of your best.

    1. Thank you so much Linda! I hope we inspire you to go out and gather some branches or other “wild” things to create some fall beauty at home. xo

  5. Lidy, the antique French bottles are just fabulous as is your mantel. Your tips for creating the perfect mantel display are spot on, yours is perfection for the autumn season. I agree with Mary, being able to cut eucalyptus nearby would be a dream. The pears and baby eggplants are a great seasonal addition. It is always a pleasure and “fun” to join with you for Monday Morning Blooms, sweet friend! xoxo

  6. Pam, this was such a fun challenge, wasn’t it? (As you know, I love to have “fun”!!). Sadly, the big eucalyptus trees on our street are being replace with crepe myrtles (although those are wonderful too!) so my “cutting” days will be over soon. Wishing you a beautiful Monday sweet friend!

  7. Your mantel looks beautiful! Thank you for all of the great tips and the inspiration, my friend! Happy Monday!

    1. Thank you so much, sweet friend! I bet you can’t wait to get into your own home again and start celebrating each day. xo

  8. There is so much beauty in the simple greens nature offers. Love your combination of the pears and amber bottles, Lidy. Very pretty, very fall. FINALLY, it’s fall here in my area!

    1. Fall is especially such a wonderful time to decorate with branches, leaves, and all things in nature, isn’t it Rita? I’m happy fall is there…please send us your cooler temps. {just a tiny part, not so much that you get our hot weather. 😉 )

  9. Oh la la Lidy, those beautiful golden bottles! Your mantel is so creative and a feast for fall eyes! I loved all your tips, I like to slip faux in with real too, it really makes it look like it’s real as well! Your arrangement is thrifty but an autumn masterpiece!

  10. Thank you so much Jenna! Especially in fall when there is so much beautiful foliage to be “found” – no flower arrangements are such a wonderful way to add the season to the inside of our homes!Wishing you a beautiful Monday, friend!

  11. Happy Autumn days to you, too Sandra! Now all we need here is cooler temperatures, and the autumn happiness can begin!! : )

  12. Lidy, your autumn mantel is beautiful adorned for the season. The amber colored bottles add the perfect pop of seasonal color. I am swooning over your French mirror….what a gorgeous focal point! Happy Monday, sweet friend!!!

    1. Thank you so much Shannon! That amber glass is so pretty when the light shines through it, isn’t it? Happy week to you!!

  13. Those French apothecary bottles are wonderful! I lust after those. Your jointed figure is interesting. I recently inherited two smaller ones from my mother.

    1. Lucky you, Pattie! I love them, and I’m sure yours are wonderful, especially since they came from your Mom.

  14. I love everything about your mantel! Those apothecary bottles are the perfect color for fall! The greens and gourds and baby eggplants are perfect! What a delight!

  15. Linda L Hovgaard

    As always I love your decorating approach because it is more refined, elegant and unique. I appreciate your decorating tips and how you love to add that pop of “fun” to your designs. Your mantel is beautiful and I couldn’t help but notice the stunning wood armoire that you bought on your vacation this year. I fell in love with it the moment I saw it on your post. I just came back from a girls trip to CA and found an incredible similar piece with beveled mirrors on the front in a store that supports the American Cancer Society. I do have to have it shipped home to Oregon which will be an investment but something similar here would have cost a bundle more. I cannot tell you how excited I am to receive it and seeing yours just added to my smiles today. Thank you for your wonderful posts and lovely flower arranging!

    1. Linda, thank you so much. I am so excited for you that you found an antique armoire of your very own!!Once she is home, you will love it even more. Thank you too, for your kindness, I cherish your comments always. xo

  16. Alice Genzlinger

    That’s a fun mantle. Unusual but fun and attractive. Thank you for reminding us of sweet Shirley that is going through treatment. I will be praying for her.

    1. Thank you so much, Alice, I covet every prayer for our darling friend and her battle. xo

  17. Love the mantel and you had me at those gorgeous antique glass bottles perfectly adorned with foliage!! I love how you added “fun” to the mantel. The mantel seems to dance with the joy of Fall. Thank you for all of this beautiful inspiration Lidy! Missing my MMB friends!

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