Ginger Jars on a Summer Mantel

Style a charming summer mantel playing on classic decor with ginger jars, Staffordshire spaniels, and fresh greenery.

Summer mantel with temple and ginger jars in pink and green

Taking my cue from graniture sets of old, I mixed and matched temple and ginger jars in graduated sizes and pretty colors to decorate my summer mantel. The outer vintage Rose Medallion temple jars are a staple on my mantel almost year round. I love the colors they bring to the mantel and the stately nature of this pair.

Next are a chic pair of modern jars in white and green floral. The green hue perfectly matches my color scheme in this room, and the colored background with white floral design feels fresh and unusual.

In the center are a pair of reproduction Staffordshire spaniels with a Rose Medallion ginger jar serving as a vase (similar here in Curio Shop) filled with fresh bamboo branches. This summer mantel features a playful mash up of styles, mixing Chinoiserie with English and French accents. The colorful Rose Medallion really shines against the bright whites, and the simple but lush greenery in the center feels so chic.

Summer mantel decorated with green and white floral temple jars, Rose Medallion temple jars, live bamboo greenery, and Staffordshire spaniels.

What is a graniture set?

Over the course of the 17th century chimney piece surrounds simplified and the mantelpiece became more prominent and shelf-like allowing for the display of decorative objects. Renown architects such as Daniel Marot influenced this change.

A person of style and affluence would have displayed their collection of Chinese blue and white porcelain here as a decorative and cultural statement. At first a mixture of vases and jars would have been arranged, but by the 1680's graniture de cheminée sets were created in matching patterns and shapes to intentionally be used on the mantelpiece, top of a large cabinet, or above a doorway. Usually, these sets consisted of 3 to 5 jars and/or vases.

French ceramic manufacturers like Sèvres and Dutch Delft potteries were particularly influential in creating and popularizing the graniture. Overtime graniture sets began to include clocks and candlesticks. Check out this video from the V&A for more!

How to mix designs

Mixing ginger jars for your summer mantel is really about balancing color, pattern, and shape. The Rose Medallion ginger jars have a charming mix of colors with lots of green, so it was natural to use that predominant color on another pair of jars because it creates cohesion. The shapes of the jars are all curvy, but the outer most curve hits at different heights, which feels interesting and balanced.

Add in something fresh

Using a bit of live greenery or pretty florals always makes a decorative set up feel fresh and lively. I love to clip greenery from the yard to bring this element in without having to spend any money.

For more summer mantel inspiration check out this post.

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