The sand is no longer between your toes,
and the beach towels are put away, but your summer beach vacation need not end. By bringing mementos of your coastal holiday to your fireplace and hearth, you
can extend your enjoyment of your lakeside or seaside vacation.
Sand: Did you bring home some sand from your beach getaway? In brandy
snifters, at the base of hurricane globes, or in other attractive glassware, pour sand in around the base of a pillar candle. To continue the seaside theme, add
small seashells in the sand. You can place the shells either on top of the sand or place them against the inside wall of the glassware before you pour in the sand.
Coral and Shells: These beauties of the seas are delightful decorative accessories for your mantel. Try lining up five or seven similar shells
or coral pieces across your fireplace mantel; it is simple but dramatic. Another way to display them is to gather them in glass canisters, vases,
or stemware, and cluster these containers on the fireplace mantel. Alternatively, treat your best seashells or pieces of coral as candles by
placing them atop candlesticks. They can also be displaced on upturned vases, wooden cubes, or even a stemmed cake plate.
If you already have a plant or flower arrangement on your fireplace mantel,
consider giving it a seaside flare by adding shells. Glue gun the shells onto one end of skewers, and stick the other end into your planter or vase. Delicate
seahorses are among the shells that look great displayed this way.
Driftwood: If you brought home pieces of driftwood, your mantel or hearth
may be the perfect place to display them. On your fireplace mantel, nestle shells, coral, framed vacation photos, or other summer vacation mementos
around and atop the driftwood. In an unused fireplace, large pieces of driftwood are a dramatic way to fill the empty, black hole.
Sand buckets: A toy sand bucket can add a simple charm to your fireplace mantel or hearthside. Fill it with summer's sea shells, prop the
sand shovel by it, surround it with framed photos of the kids on vacation, and you have created a simple yet delightful display to remind everyone of the fun of summer.
Fishing nets, ropes from ships, and buoys: Did you find some of
these washed onto the shore during your vacation? In an informal room, you can create a striking fireplace mantel display by turning
fishing nets or ropes into a mantel garland. At the corners, attach buoys, seashells, or even summer swim toys such as goggles and swim fins. Add summer
photos in driftwood frames to the mantel, and you have not only an eye-catching fireplace display but also a terrific reminder of your summer adventures.
Candles: Many summer tourists bring home from their travels coastal-themed candles such as candles with shells embedded or
candles in the shape of sandcastles, seashells, lighthouses, fish, or palm trees. Also popular are tea light holders in the
shape of seashells such as sea urchins. Such candles are a lovely addition to a fireplace mantel decorated with a coastal theme.
Another way to display such candles from your vacation (or candles in the seaside hues of sand, water, and sky) is with
fireplace candelabra. Fireplace candelabra are designed to hold an array of candles in your fireplace, taking the
place of either gas or wood logs. They are especially popular during warm weather as fireplace candelabra provide the flickering flames of a fire without the heat of burning logs.
Adding the keepsakes of summer to your fireplace mantel or hearth extends
your enjoyment of your vacation and provides your home with a unique decorative display.