Mantel Decor for the Holidays

Today, I am sharing a simple formula to style mantel decor above the fireplace. It works like a charm! Then, I’ll teach you 5 design tips that work when decorating the mantle and bookshelves, too.

Besides the Christmas tree, one of the most decorated holiday spaces is the fireplace. It is the place to hang our stockings and welcome ole Saint Nicholas on Christmas Eve. So, it has to be looking fabulous this time of year, right? Follow this three step formula to get it right every time for every season.

Mantel Decor as Easy as 1, 2, 3

1. Start With an Anchor

The anchor will be the focal point of the fireplace mantle. Therefore, it should be placed in the center and be large enough to make a statement. For instance, this could be one large mirror, several layers of architectural finds or a triptych, which is an artwork made of three panels. So, the anchor piece doesn’t have to be one single thing.

  1. Large Mirror
  2. Round Clock
  3. Framed Art, Sign Or Portrait
  4. Stacks of Breadboards
  5. Architectural Finds – old windows, gates, shutters

Here are a few things from the shop that you can layer on the mantel… breadboards, lattice boards and handmade decorative shutters.

2. Add Visual Weight & Height

Typically, candlesticks, seasonal greenery, and layered art placed around the anchor piece add visual weight. To personalize the space, add favorite quotes in signs, family photographs, or meaningful artwork. In addition, small wooden risers or stacks of books can be used to elevate objects like vases of seasonal stems or potted plants. By layering, staggering objects and using a variety of height, visual movement is created. Consequently, this leads the eye throughout the space by guiding the viewer from one point to the next.

Lastly, consider the visual weight of objects. For example, one large potted cedar tree takes up the same space as two smaller wooden trees stacked on books. Therefore, they have the same visual weight, and work together through asymmetrical balance.

3. Add Filler (Optional)

If you have seen a fireplace mantle decorated with a garland for the holidays, this is the filler. It simply fills in the empty spaces under the anchor piece. In addition, this could be a set of smaller votive candles, sprigs of seasonal stems or mini pumpkins for a Fall inspired mantle. Shop our holiday garlands, here.

Design Tips to Know:

  1. A visual triangle will typically form with the anchor piece and decor objects.  
  2. Layer a wreath or artwork over architectural finds to create depth and interest.
  3. Don’t overcrowd the space with a bunch of different, small decorative items.
  4. Always include fresh or faux botanicals or natural elements to add life to the space.
  5. If you get stuck, symmetry works every time, but asymmetrical is more interesting.

The Hearth

Lastly, don’t forget to decorate the hearth. For this space, you can add a basket of cozy blankets and pillows, lanterns with battery operated candles, or a crate of birch logs. In addition, pull up a chair around the fireplace and add textiles to make this the coziest place to unwind at the end of the day.

If you find any of these mantel decor tips helpful, share this blog post on Pinterest or Facebook. Finally, thank you for stopping by the blog today.


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