I love an elegant mantel that doesn’t dominate a room but instead enhances the space with it’s style and decor. Keeping things light and airy, not too fussy or cluttered is what I’m all about. A lover of symmetry, I center just about everything. I am drawn toward the simpler, tailored style mantels that allow me room to breath. It’s funny, as much as I love rooms stuffed to the gills with Christmas decor, when it comes to my own home I like to keep things on the simpler side.
Think along the lines of less is more. :)
This year I really wanted a white mantel for Christmas. Shocker I know! ;)
Actually, it’s mainly because my new family room is a little smaller than the one in my previous home and I just wanted to make sure that I didn’t crowd the space. I knew that keeping things in a monochromatic white on white tone would help keep the light and airy feel that I was after. This home also has lower 9 foot ceilings and I felt that the tone on tone mantel might help lift the space just a bit.
The first thing I did when I began designing my mantel was replace the large blue and white painting that was hanging over the fireplace with a large round white wooden mirror. I found the mirror at half price at Hobby Lobby and it fit the space above my mantel perfectly. I needed a shape that wasn’t rectangular (the room is rectangular in shape as are the windows) and I felt the round shape softened the overall look. It was perfect. Mirrors also reflect light and allow spaces to look a bit more regal and elegant. Definitely a look I was after.
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My overall theme centered around a row of tiny houses that Emma found at Homegoods. It was the cutest little collection of white and gray cardboard houses all sprinkled with glitter and snow… I fell in love. I knew as soon as I saw them that they would act as the main feature and sit in the center of the mantle. As luck would have it I had several little bottle brush trees from a prior Christmas that I knew would look perfect paired with the houses. I placed those around the tiny houses and they fill in the mantle beautifully.
Keeping with my white theme I added a few white tree candles alongside the bottle brush trees and finally two Restoration Hardware twinkle trees on each end of the mantle. Emma wanted to coat faux snow around everything and I love the effect. Everything looked sweet and elegant. Perfect for our first Christmas in our new home.
Not wanting to distract from the tiny houses I went with simple S stocking holders instead of our family tradition of using the silver JOY stocking hangers from Pottery Barn. We have used those for years and while we love them I think these new hangers, with their simpler, clean style will become a new family favorite.
You will always find 3 stockings hanging from our mantel. (Jeff and I will never be too old for stockings)
We do have a few traditional stockings that we love and have used throughout the years but I find that I like using the newer stockings more and more. They tend to reflect some of the current trends and styles that I’m into and I like keeping things interesting and unexpected. The soft stockings I’m using this year came from Marshals and I think the cable knit bottoms mixed with the faux fur tops give the perfect amount of texture and detail that I felt I needed for this mantel.
Last but not least… I draped a little strand of battery operated star garland lights around the trees and houses to simulate shooting stars at night. I love the effect. Sometimes all you need is a little shimmer and shine to take things up a notch. They are a little hard to see in the photos but at night they glow beautifully.
Finally, at the base of my fireplace I’ve placed a two toned woven basket and stuffed it to the brim with a silver tinsel tree and a couple of fluffy throws. This acts as an anchor to everything sitting above and also provides more texture and color. I think it’s the right balance.
I hope you’ve enjoyed learning a little about my process and approach when it comes to decorating my mantel for the holidays. I don’t always have a plan as you can see.. Sometimes it’s the simplest thing that speak to me that changes my entire direction and I’m ok with that. I love going with my gut and following my heart. That’s what’s most important after all, loving what you’ve created!