8 Mantel Holiday-Decorating Ideas

Jason Belangoy
Jason Belangoy
Published on December 5, 2017
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It’s winter holiday season, which is when the mantel gets added attention.  With a stunning mantel and fresh fireplace decorating design, one can certainly set the festive mood.  Read on to learn how to transform your mantel into a focal point for this holiday season.

Nature ideas for your mantel this holiday.  Just because it is winter outdoors doesn’t mean you cannot have some greenery in your home.  For the mantel, consider decorating with topiaries, pinecones, and evergreens.  Be sure to mix your greens so that there are three different types of greenery – one for a wreath and two others for garlands.  Other ideas for livening up your mantel with nature’s elements include having driftwood décor, chestnuts, cinnamon sticks, and bowls of evergreen potpourri.  If you prefer other pops of color beyond greens and browns, you can always have poinsettia on your mantel.  Or, you can layer your garlands with berry branches and sprigs tied with ribbon tails for added color and texture.  Then, too, choosing to display fruit on the mantel is another unique way of expressing your distinctive style – remember that fruit can be displayed as red apples in a bowl or as citrus fruits arranged as a topiary.

Color schemes can range during the winter holiday decorating season.  Sure, there is winter white and shimmering golds with silvers.  But, so, too, do red-green or blue-white combinations work.  Some choose an exclusive color as the mainstay, such as a pink winter or a crimson winter.  Candy colors work as well for those who choose something along the lines of a gingerbread house candy color scheme.  Other color blends to explore are the red-turquoise-white combination, the winter lumberjack check, even the festive Yuletide plaid or tartan.  For other ideas on color schemes for your mantel, have a look at the trends abounding on Pinterest.

Decorating towards a theme keeps things consistent and harmonious.  Hence, it’s often helpful to select a theme for your mantel decorating ideas.  Winter wonderland is a common theme with snowflakes and tinsel as possible decorations.  The rustic country winter, the cowboy winter, the southwest desert winter, the farmland winter, the coastal winter, the islander winter, the nautical winter, the aviation winter, and the woodland winter are also common themes for the mantel.  Additionally, it is not unheard of for folks to spotlight a hobby when decorating the mantel – equestrian, rowing crew, surfing, motorcar, figure skating, skiing and snowboarding, as well as skijoring winter themes have all been utilized when preparing the mantel for the December month’s décor.

Symmetry is key to balancing decorations on the mantel.  Symmetrical design cues often appeal to the human subconscious because we humans find symmetry more aesthetically pleasing.  Balance is familiar and follows mathematical ratios, such as the Golden Mean that occurs repeatedly in nature.  Because these mathematical ratios are so familiar in our lives, our brains find comfort in processing them, which is why symmetrical décor design is viewed as soothing, peaceful, rejuvenating — and not jarring nor disruptive.  While jarring, disruptive art has its place, by contrast, when you are designing interiors for the winter holiday season, remember what type of mood you are trying to achieve in your dwelling place.  Are you going for something that is more about cozy atmosphere and peaceful gatherings to celebrate all the milestones of the year?  If so, then symmetrical décor design is recommended for your winter holiday decorating endeavors, including how you decorate your mantel.

Artwork can be displayed on the wall above the mantel during the winter holiday season.  You can choose a winter piece or one that speaks directly to the holiday you celebrate, whether Hanukkah, Chanukah, or Christmas.  Of course, remember not to place any wreaths that obstruct the artwork or take attention away from the art piece.  Instead, the rule of thumb, when it comes to hanging art pieces on the mantel wall, is to let the art work take center stage and everything else surrounding must be understated enough so that only the art piece is accentuated.

Family photos and keepsakes can be showcased on the mantel as part of the holiday décor.  The holidays are all about keeping family close in one’s heart and thoughts.  What better way to remember family members than to display photos and keepsakes on the mantel?  Besides photos, keepsakes can include little gifts, holiday ornaments, or even past Christmas cards that you had received from family members over the course of many years.

Bathe the top of your mantel with great lighting from lanterns, LED candles, or Christmas light strings.  Did you know that the tradition of decorating with Christmas light displays dates back to the 17th century?  Lights on Christmas trees began in 1600s Germany, and then the notion eventually spread throughout Europe.  Moreover, the first official outdoor Christmas electric light display was introduced by none other than Thomas Edison himself back in the 1880s.  By 1895 the first White House electrically-lit Christmas tree captured the imagination of the public, thanks to President Grover Cleveland’s efforts.  And since then, holiday lighting has been widely accepted.  It is only natural therefore to decorate your mantel this holiday season with lights as well.

Festoon your mantel with holiday motifs.  Ultimately, the winter season is about observing various holidays.  Share your celebratory spirit by exhibiting on your mantel Hanukkah ornaments, Christmas decorations, and other forms of winter festive arrangements. Dreidels, gold and silver coins, gold and silver shine, white-and-blue cheer, as well as the menorah are wonderful mantel additions for Hanukkah celebrants.  The manger, holiday figures of Santa and his reindeer, nutcrackers, bells, stockings (with hooks mindfully camouflaged beneath garlands), mistletoe, and a Christmas/Advent countdown are favorites for Christmas-goers.  And, of course, wreaths, snowmen, winter sleds, animals in the snow, peppermint candy cane, snowglobes, and holiday desserts hold universal appeal to all at wintertime. 

 

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8 Mantel Holiday-Decorating Ideas
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