We sat down with Sarabeth McElhaney, founder of The February Fox, to talk about how she decorates the original fireplace in her 1950s Cape Cod style home. See what she has to say below!
Sarabeth McElhaney created her blog The February Fox, named after her son, as a way to write the creative, engaging content she couldn’t write during her day job and to help with her transition into motherhood. Eventually, she took a huge leap and started to focus fully on her blog and cultivating the community she built through it and she hasn’t looked back since.
Sarabeth, who is originally from the Buffalo, New York area, and her husband began their lives together living in Los Angeles but moved back to Sarabeth’s hometown to be closer to family and friends. Their new home, a 1950s Cape Cod style, is even directly across the street from the home she grew up in (and it’s even a mirror-image of it!) One of the main features of the home is a gorgeous, original fireplace that’s located in the front room.
“I love that the fireplace has a large enough mantle to decorate on. I also love that it has a lot of detail, so you don’t have to do a lot to it. It’s definitely one of my favorite features.” – Sarabeth McElhaney
Because her fireplace is the room’s focal point and had a lot of potential in terms of decorating, Sarabeth decided to make it even better by decorating it during major holidays. Now that she’s near family again, she takes great care to decorate her space for the ample amount of gatherings she hosts. She thinks that “it makes people feel really special to know that a lot of time and effort was put into their arrival” and we couldn’t agree more.
She has a moody and eclectic design aesthetic which incorporates vintage and mid-century modern touches. You can see that reflected in the furniture in the room, namely the Soto Chair and the Briar Leather sofa, and in her out-of-the-box use of the Jules Planter as a log holder (seriously, that is genius!) So, it was important to stay within that theme to make sure that the decorations integrated with the room nicely.
Generally, when it’s time to start decorating the mantle, she decides on a color palette and finds decor items that fit into it. She then fills in the blanks with crafts, knick-knacks, and personal touches, like the string of paper airplanes her, her husband, and her son made together.
This time around, she wanted to add in some new decor pieces from Joybird. She chose to add large, simple mirrors that make her room feel even bigger. She paired the mirror with books, candles and vintage candlesticks, and hand-crafted items that give the area some color. The end result is a fireplace that is moody, romantic, and a total centerpiece.
On Valentine’s Day, Sarabeth and her husband put on a record of Moonlight Mile by the Rolling Stones, the song they first danced to at their wedding, and spend time together as a family. And even though that’s absolutely swoon-worthy, that’s not her favorite part of Valentine’s Day.
“My favorite thing about this holiday is that it is a week to the day after my son’s birthday, so by the time we brought him home for the first time and we could really take everything in, it was Valentine’s Day. It was the first meaningful Valentine’s Day I ever had.” – Sarabeth McElhaney
So, we challenge you to think outside of the box, take a note out of Sarabeth’s book, and decorate a space in your home in a unique way. You’ll be glad that you did! Sarabeth’s biggest piece of advice for starting this journey, and to decorating your home in general, is to “go with what you like versus what is on trend. Knowing what colors and styles you like are going to bring you so much more joy than what you think would look nice. Create a home you’ll love for the long haul.”