Decorating for the Holidays


Make Your Mantel Merry In Minutes

Whether you're going for a splashy holiday display or just want to quietly sneak in a touch of Christmas, one of the easiest – and most important – spots to trick up is your fireplace mantel. Here's how.

Sneak in a Bit of Christmas

Instead of clearing off your mantel to build a big elaborate holiday look, keep the existing display as is, then weave in a touch of Christmas. Keeping all the big pieces just as they are and filling in around them with a few fallen twigs interlaced with some great faux greens. Do you like the appearance of your mantel? Try doing the same thing. Get some great greenery garland and picks, and tuck them in around your existing pieces.

Winterize Your Fall Display

If you decorated your mantel for fall, you may be able to give the existing display an instant holiday feel just by trading out a few of the decorative elements. Use winter greens at the base of a bouquet. Remove the pumpkin and pick of fall leaves, then insert a glittery mini Christmas tree into the urn. Finish off by placing a silver reindeer figurine in the foreground.

Make a Big Statement with Greens

I can't say enough about how essential great greenery is when it comes to holiday decorating, especially if you want the maximum wow factor for the minimum investment of time and money. When you work with greens, be sure to secure them to the mantel so they don't crash to the ground, taking all your treasures with them.

Razzle-Dazzle with Baubles

If you want to take your winter green display up a notch, just add in a few baubles or sparkly shiny treasures. Wire in a few Christmas tree bulbs, either in the center of the mantel or hanging off the loose ends of the garland. You could also tuck in a trio of sparkling mini Christmas trees on one or both ends of the mantel. Or, work in some fun holiday figurines, like glitter-crusted reindeer, a Santa or an angel.

Set a Mood with Soft Light

One of the biggest decorating frustrations I hear from customers is that their mantels are super skinny, too small to hold the grand displays they'd like to create. A great solution is to use wall lanterns in your holiday mantel display. These lovely lanterns are thinner and taller than regular lanterns so they fit well on thin mantels, infusing this small but important space with loads of charm. Put a wall lantern at the center of your mantel or put one on either side. Then give them a holiday makeover by tying them up with some great holiday ribbon.

Use Vertical Space to Create Drama

If you have ceilings that go up to the sky, take advantage of all that wonderful space by using some tall and powerful pieces on your holiday mantel by using tall thin vases to hold bouquets of fallen branches.

Try Something Out of the Ordinary

There is nothing quite as fun as filling your home with forced bulbs during the dark, cold winter months as a promise that spring will return again. Why not start the process early in the winter season, working bulbs into your holiday mantel display? Add in some silver holiday votives and some bright green apples, and you've got a fresh, fun and truly unusual look for the season. Then, when Christmas is over, remove the votives and apples, and wait for the blooming of the lovely spring flowers