holiday mantel decorating ideas

We all love it when the fireplace becomes the focal point of our room, and fall is one of the best times to decorate your mantel for the holidays–letting it really shine in all it’s glory.  By using simple design elements, you can turn yours into a beautiful showpiece.  When you apply, even a few, of these quick tips, you can transform your mantel from a jumble of items into an eye-catching collection of perfectly curated pieces.

Tip #1 Repetition, Repetition, Repetition 

Did I mention repetition?  It’s one of the most powerful design elements you can use to make a big impact.  When you use the same pattern, color or texture again and again your look becomes cohesive and complete without appearing too theme oriented.  It lets your eye travel from one end of the mantel to the other and creates a relaxed feeling.

Tip #2 Balance and Proportion 

Balance and proportion, in any space, create a calming, finished look.  Depending on the size of your room, your mantel could be large and grand or it could be small and understated.  Whatever the size, you need to be sure that the items you select are in proportion to each other and to the size of the mantel.  Mix up the sizes and shapes as well.  Besides being boring, too many small items on a large mantel will get lost and end up looking like clutter.

Many of us create balance and proportion by arranging items symmetrically.  You know the technique. The same items on each side of the mantel.  This is typically a very traditional arrangement…and perfectly beautiful.  But imagine for a moment, stepping out of the box a bit and creating something equally beautiful…and asymmetrical…to create balance, proportion, and harmony.  In the photo above, the designer has created two completely different vases, but the sizes and colors are similar.  So we have balance and we have proportion.

Tip #3 Layering Items 

If you prefer a cozy, casual look, layering items of varying sizes creates depth and visual interest.  Place larger items in the back, while featuring smaller accessories up front.  Using decorative boxes or risers to add a mixture of heights also adds to the interest, and ties each item to the others through repetition, balance, and proportion.

Happy Decorating!