Though the kitchen is traditionally considered to be the heart of the home, we'd argue that the fireplace is the real heart of the house come November. With temperatures dropping and, if you celebrate Christmas, Santa getting ready to scoot on down the chimney, it's where the family and guests gather for a good time. With that in mind, it's time to start our mantels and fireplaces with vignettes that set the mood.
Whether you want to start getting your home cozy for the cooler months, or you celebrate a winter like Christmas or Hannukah and want to start prepping the house, our roundup of five holiday mantel décor ideas will not let you down. Better yet, they're surprisingly low-lift (though they definitely make a big statement). Read on to see how the pros do it, and then shop similar items to start at home.
The Classic Display
All you really need are a few simple candles and a garland to bring your mantel to life over the holidays. To add some sparkle, try weaving a metallic decoration through the garland. String lights will also do the trick. The rest can stay as is, or you swamp out wall décor above the fireplace to make it more winter-ready. It just depends on how much time, money, and effort you have to spend.
The Subtle Touch Up
You don't have to swap out any art or décor you typically keep on display on the mantle all year long. Instead, try adding something a little extra that's a subtle nod to the holiday traditions. Whether that means throwing on some spirited brass figurines, bookends, or a stylish menorah. You could also just opt for neutral, nondenominational décor that feels more wintery simply because it features a moodier hue and more cabin-like aesthetic than your light summer usuals.
The Scrappy Problem Solver
If you have a faux fireplace, take notes from the space above. You can create a warm, inviting environment even if you don't have a functional fireplace by arranging a cluster of candles where the firewood would be otherwise. Then string your garland along the mantel and hang your stockings, or opt for a menorah, depending on which winter holiday you observe.
The Modern Twist
If you have super-high ceilings in your living room, play up the proportions for a thoroughly original style statement. This dramatically long wreath hanging gives the traditional holiday decoration an edgier, more modern feel without being too over the top or difficult. If you want to put your favorite winter greenery and holiday knick-knacks on display but don't have an actual mantel, place them on the coffee table or console nearby.
The Traditional and Cozy Approach
Stick with the classics and don't overdo it with decorations if you want to achieve a more contemporary yet cozy and festive feel. The space above is a perfect example of the balance between a modern appeal and classic staples. It keeps the focus on the statement pieces of the room, too, like the round mirror, without being under-spirited.
Subscribe to for more holiday decorating ideas and festive styling tips.