Merry Mantels

Décor ideas that go beyond stockings

For an interesting and engaging display, this fabric-draped mantel shelf is decorated with a mix of ornaments and green spheres. Candlesticks support oversized ornaments to create varying heights of visual interest. A wire topiary tree form adds an iconic Christmas tree statement.

A fireplace mantel is always the focal point of any room, but this year make it a show- stopper with some celebratory elements you can find locally and create yourself.

Wreaths, fresh greens, ornaments and stockings are all elements that can set the stage for your holiday mantel. With just a few of those and some holiday flair, you can put your own personal stamp on the focal point in your home.

“A well-decorated mantel sets the stage for the holiday season and spreads the spirit of Christmas all through the house.” — Matthew Mead

Fresh and natural materials are an easy find this time of year at local farmstands and tree lots, but it might be a family collection of old decorations and silver pieces that inspire you. Or perhaps work on a craft project with your kids by making creative decorations like paper chains and hand-embellished ornaments. Keep your mind open to all options, and adhere to a few simple rules:

Use a color palette to unite the items you used in your display; vary the heights of your objects to add interest; and add candles to give your display some sparkle and shine.

White Christmas

Family heirlooms, like candlesticks, ornaments and mirrors, create a simple and stunning white Christmas theme on a white-and-silver mantel. White roses and fresh eucalyptus greens add a fresh and fragrant scent of the season. See details below.

Classic Charm

Items from around the house are gathered on the mantel and united with a thread of red berries and pomegranates. A fruit-and-flower wreath presides over the shelf, adding a festive element. Faux greens mean this display won’t shed, and will stay merry and bright until well into the new year.

Bright and Modern

Colorful ornaments and paper chains swag the mantel. Faux jewels make a dynamic and sparkling wreath. Small packages wrapped in similar colors finish the look. Handmade stockings in green wool can be filled with additional gifts.

Categories: Guide to Holidays, Holiday decor and decorating