Posted on December 04 2018
I've always wanted a main floor fireplace. But even after our renovation, we still didn't have the right amount of space nor the budget to have one in our main floor living room. This year, we will use my piano top and other areas to decorate for the fast approaching holiday season.
Until last year, my "mantel" was a long shelf above our sofa. I loved changing the look of it season to season. But Christmas time was always the most fun and festive. I tried to change it up each year, preferring to reuse what I already have, with a few new items to keep the displays looking fresh.
In my case, I had the wide horizontal of the floating shelf and the tall and broad vertical of the mirror as my constants. That meant I already had a really good base in terms of coverage, as backdrops and supports for all the smaller items. I'm not a big fan of having too many small tabletop holiday decorations.
For a mantel, it's always nice to add drama with tall items flanked on either end, symmetrical or not. Then layer in smaller items. I had staple elements: garlands atop the mirror, candles in various shapes, tall things at the sides and white feather boas for weaving in and out to hide wiring or just to fill the voids. The effect was like fluffy snow.
Here are some of my favourite Christmas mantle designs from previous years...
I had a little bit of fun with the tiny mittens!
I was inspired to make my own construction paper garland. That was the punch of colour in an otherwise neutral display.
Kept it simple with mostly silver and touches of lime green and red accents.
Have a general theme in mind. You don't have to perfectly match what is happening on your tree, but a colour or style that runs throughout your home will feel more cohesive. And by using what you already have, you should have enough decorative pieces to carry your idea from the mantel and beyond.
Above was last year's creation. I went with a green, natural theme for the mantle, using fresh greens and berries mixed with artificial garlands. Don't forget to layer, always layer for a more interesting and rich effect.
If you are unsure about how to start, here are some of the most popular configurations to use as a guide for your mantels and shelves:
Square block aligning nicely.
This look is very calm and simply beautiful. It's for the minimalist at heart to keep decorating to a minimum for maximum effect.
This look is dynamic, less rigid and shows more depth of design.This configuration looks more casually put together but it's carefully assembled.
Trio of symmetry.
This look is very classic, conservative and well-balanced. It's for those who like even, rhythmic decorating.
Here is my challenge for this year. Do you have any suggestions? After photos to come!
And as always, I look forward to your feedback and pictures of your own creations!