Mantel Decorating Ideas for the Holidays

Holiday Mantel Decorating Ideas

Create your perfect fireplace this holiday season

by Veronica Search, Charter Colors Stylist
and Kelly Carson

Last year’s holiday mantel decorating ideas posts was one of our all-time most popular! Here it is again for you to enjoy.

Holiday decorations are simply not complete without a stunning mantel topping a crackling fireplace.  If you are a traditionalist at heart, or a more modern minx, here’s my key piece of advice –  add a twist!

Mantel Decorating Idea #1: Go out on a limb!

Your very own backyard can be an inspiration for your holiday mantel! Take a peek around outside –  pine cones, winter berries, or even a few fallen tree limbs can make for a beautiful and dramatic effect on your mantel. Consider spray painting a few bare branches in a dramatic metallic color, or leaving the branches au naturel and wrapping them in a festive ribbon.

Veronica’s take: In our Florin Hill Neighborhood in Mount Joy, I brought a little bit of nature inside the home – using fresh pine boughs, as you can see. The lovely silver bells were also my inspiration, because you can’t get more holiday than that!  I added a bit of flair using the peacock feathers and selected decorative glass balls that complemented the beautiful colors from the eye of the feather. Who says holiday decorations have to be red?! Despite the fact that I used pine boughs, I avoided making the whole look too rustic by softening the branches with these added touches.


Who knew a TV could look so festive?


The feathers add a fun, relaxed effect to this mantel.

Insider tip: Don’t try to get it too perfect. I let the peacock feathers lay however they wished, and it adds a lovely, unfussy effect to the mantel as whole.

Mantel Decorating Idea #2: Pump up the volume.

As you look for inspiration for decorating your holiday mantel, consider how you can use what you already have!  Think about the candlesticks, vase, bowl, mirror, or other items you already have gracing your mantel. Is there a way you can incorporate these items in a way that still says “holidays”? Absolutely – drape a festive swag around your mirror, fill that bowl with colorful ornaments, or add a few bows to your favorite candlesticks, and, voila! - instant holiday charm.

Veronica’s take: For the next fireplace in our Spring Hill neighborhood, I went with a more understated approach by incorporating existing elements into the holiday mantel.  In fact, I didn’t touch a thing that was already there – I simply added to it!  The fireplace already featured a stack of books, mirror, and three candlesticks.  To decorate this mantel, I piled on the greens and went with silver & gold finishing touches to complement the mirror’s bold brown. The twist was to work around the pieces that were already there.   The end result?  Subtle and festive.


Using the existing books, candlesticks and mirror adds an understated elegance to Spring Hill’s holiday mantel.


Did you notice the books nestled under the holiday swag?

Insider tip: Consider leaving that mirror on your mantel. Mirrors add a touch of drama to your holiday fireplace by reflecting the other decorations and twinkling lights that fill the room – amplifying an already festive effect.

Mantel Decorating Idea #3: Add a personal touch.

Your fireplace (and beautiful mantel!) are located in the middle of all of your holiday festivities. Rather than simply having the mantel reflect the holidays, consider making them reflect your family! Why not make that holiday mantel a conversation piece –  as well as a place for your favorite family memories to live? Instead of placing the traditional family portrait on the mantel, add a twist – use items that reflect your family memories in a new and special way.  If you have kids, that favorite doll, toy train or treasured baseball glove can add a cheeky touch to your holiday mantel – and your child will be proud to have one of his or her “favorite things” so honored.

Veronica’s take: Back at the Charter Colors design center, I decided to make the mantel reflect the personality and decor of the Charter Homes office. To find inspiration for my very Charter fireplace,  I ran around the office collecting antique building implements we use as décor, and decided that was to be my inspiration. Rather than add a traditional wreath like last year, I kept my favorite Charter Homes picture up on the mantle.   While these Charter Homes-inspired touches were certainly an unexpected element on a holiday mantel, they added a special touch that give the mantel more meaning.  And for a touch of fun, I threw the ostrich feathers in at the end – because hey, why not?!


The Charter Colors Design Center Mantel


Make your mantel your own – it’s a very Charter holiday here at Charter Homes!

Just for fun – Veronica’s holiday mantel!

How we share ideas about decorating your mantel this holiday without sharing one of our own?



Share your holiday decor!

We want to hear from you! Do you have any additional tips for decorating  a holiday mantel? Send us a photo of your mantel decked out in its holiday finest and tell us all about it! We’ll feature your submissions on our Facebook page at