3 Mantel Decorating Ideas for the Holidays

One mantel styled three ways for the holidays

‘Tis the season for spreading good holiday cheer. Parties abound, and chances are you’re making your own plans for entertaining friends and family during the holidays. Make sure your home is a festive expression of the season, starting with the mantel. It’s easy to transform your fireplace into a stunning and cohesive focal point for the holidays when you decorate with a theme in mind. To get your creative juices flowing, we’ve used our three holiday themes to show you how easy it is.

Paris Holiday

Nothing shimmers like Paris at Christmas. Recreate that timeless glamour on your mantel with pieces from our Paris Collection.

Fireplace mantel decorated with greenery and mirrors

Step 1: When decorating a mantel, always start with your largest pieces. Here, we doubled the cheer with two oversized Ogden Mirrors. The reflective quality of mirrors is especially ambient during the holidays.

Step 2: Drape lush garland, like our Angel Pine Garland, under the mantel as well as over the pair of mirrors for an instant holiday feel. We like the repetitive gesture: the shapes they form echo one another nicely.

Step 3: Following the rule of three, incorporate tall holiday ornaments (choose a metal that adds sparkle, from antiqued mercury glass to polished silver to lustrous gold) on each side and in-between the mirrors for much-needed visual weight—and extra cheer. We used the Gilt Tole Tree from our Paris Holiday Collection.

Step 4: Place large-scale objects on the hearth that tie back to the theme to act as a grounding force for the entire vignette. The rule of three can also apply here.

English Holiday

Capture the vintage romance of the British countryside with a palette of lush forest greens, pheasant browns and snowy whites brightened with playful touches of glittering London.

Fireplace mantel decorated with plaid ribbon and greenery

Step 1: Dress your mantel with a mixed greenery wreath decked out with a large bow in classic plaid, like Suzanne Kasler’s Plaid Ribbon in Red. Center it and be sure it’s nicely scaled to the size of your mantel.

Step 2: To bring visual balance, flank the mantel with a pair of oversized lanterns adorned with matching bows. We placed a low tealight holder, our Le Marais 9-Light Tealight Holder, under the wreath for extra sparkle. Because the pieces relate well to one another, the look is cohesive even though the shapes are different.

Step 3: Soften the lines of the vignette and create shimmery, sculptural appeal with a collection of Antiqued Mercury Glass Candle Holders in varying heights. We repeated the grouping on either side of the tealight holder for a balance that’s pleasing to the eye.

Step 4: Repeat the color and greenery of the mantelscape above on the hearth below with a Montresor Deer or two and a 3ft. Flocked Tree. The scenery brings texture, warmth and a dash of whimsy while evoking the English countryside.

Nordic Seaside Holiday

Embrace the wintry wonder of a Nordic landscape. Incorporate the colors of winter: icy blue, winter white and moody sea foam.

Mantel decorated with a coastal theme


Step 1: Instead of hanging art on the wall, lean it on the mantel, so you can change it with the seasons. For our theme, we chose our Nordic Abstract piece which features serene spa tones and placed it slightly off-center.

Step 2: Decorate the mantel with flocked greenery, and add a nautical accent, like our Newport Sloop Sail Boat Model, that is roughly two-thirds the height of the art to create symmetry and dimension. We love how Suzanne Kasler’s Flocked Garland mimics the icy waves of the Arctic.

Step 3: Drop in mercury glass candlesticks in various heights and dangle snowflake ornaments from the flocked garland to continue the shimmery, wintry white theme.

Step 4: Anchor the scene with a display below. Wrapped packages in silver and white surround a Santos figure with wings for perfect punctuation.

Browse our three Holiday Collections — the Paris Holiday, Nordic Holiday, and English Holiday Collections — for more festive items ways to decorate your home!

How to decorate a Mantel with a traditional, English feel How to decorate a mantel with a coastal, nordic feelHow to decorate a mantel with the timeless glamour of Paris

How to Decorate Team

We enjoy spending days interacting with How to Decorate readers. From answering Design Dilemmas to writing How To articles and working with guest designers, our passion is to provide informative and accurate resources to help people solve their design problems.


  1. Reply


    April 2, 2014

    Hello, Love your website!! I have a decorating dilemma if anyone could please help. I am redoing my family room. The walls are medium gray, white bookcases on either side of the Fire place, Tan couches, Cream and Gray pattern Curtains. I have pillows that are red, navy, white,tan.some solids and some patterns on the window seat. I am trying to find 2 accent chairs, I don’t know what color I should go with and pattern or solid. They will be on either side of a mirrored furniture piece. If you have any suggestions on help with this I would really appreciate it. I was trying to make the room more red, but with other colors also. Now I Don’t know if I should worry about making it more red or not? HELP!!

    Thank you!!

    • Reply

      How to Decorate Team

      April 2, 2014

      Hi Kelly,

      We would love to help you with your decorating dilemma. If you submit your question to our design services team using this form, someone from our team will create a design plan for you!

      We look forwarding to answering your questions!
      The How to Decorate Team

  2. Reply

    Laura Fries

    November 19, 2013

    I’d love to see author bylines on these pages!