Making your home feel festive and inviting is a wonderful way to welcome the holiday season. Your mantle is a blank canvas to showcase your favorite pieces, as well as a place to celebrate seasonal textures and colors. While there are no specific “rules” that come with mantle decorating, think of these tips as guidelines to help your holiday mantle achieve a successful style to last throughout the winter season. Every mantle is different and unique, so there isn’t a “one size fits all” formula- create a display that complements your mantle’s natural character as well as highlights the holiday season.

1. Anchor Point

Building your display from a large anchoring element will simplify your decorating process. The anchor serves as a visual focal point – a wreath, oversized mirror, or artwork. The anchor draws the eye and helps your mantle become a stand-alone display, setting the tone for festive decor.

2. Organic Elements

Adding shape and texture brings a cozy, inviting presence to your mantle display. Adding faux or real greenery will add festive color, as well as soften the overall display. Try placing a few stems in different vases or laying greens across the mantle itself. Other houseplants or branches are great options as well. Mixing in metallic colors, such as silver or gold, will only add to the look. Think about adding garland as well, either swagged across the front or placed on greenery.

3. Height

Adding a few taller accents, such as candlesticks or vases with festive sprigs, will complement your display without overwhelming your anchor element. Use frames and smaller holiday decor as accent fillers. Choosing one or two accent colors will help the display to remain cohesive and not cluttered. Don’t be afraid to select your favorite festive palette to work from, but add every element in moderation, so the overall appearance isn’t overwhelmed by one color or texture.

4. Asymmetrical, Balanced Layering

Your winter mantle display should have visual depth and a sense of asymmetrical balance. For a more laid-back look, use decor in odd numbers and disperse unevenly across your display. For a more traditional and polished look, pair elements in even numbers and use similar pieces. Check to make sure your height, shape, and color elements are layered and dispersed without looking overwhelming or heavy. Whether you choose simplicity or complexity in your design, keeping the overall display balanced is key to an inviting space.

winter mantle

5. Base Accents

If you have a base on your fireplace or mantle, consider adding a couple of simple pieces to finish the look. A blanket basket, wood, decorative garland, or oversized lanterns are all ways to add finishing touches to your space. Let your holiday cheer spark creativity and happy styling!