While the Christmas tree is probably the most highly regarded part of Christmas decorating, I must admit that I personally rather enjoy decorating the mantle in my dining room more than I do the tree. Alas, there is no roaring fire below it (it’s long since been removed by previous owners and would probably be to warm so closely situated to the dining table regardless), but the mantle remains and so I oblige every year and fill it with festive decor.
This was last year’s effort for my own mantle – my theme last year was pink and gold (deep cerise in the dining room, pale dusty pink in the living room) but I imagine this year, navy blue will be added to the mix. I’m clearly a lover of colour and choosing a few bright hues along with a more traditional garland is one way to bring a twist to your decor.
Of course, not everyone is as colour-happy as me, so I’ve decided to share some of my favourite ways of decorating a mantle – from the simple to the sublime – to provide a bit of inspiration for your own holiday decorating. And to be honest, even if you don’t have a mantle to decorate, consider decorating shelves or a bookcase or a sideboard in much the same way – as it’s strictly a decorative thing and out of the way of every day living, it can remain there untouched, simply to add a bit of sparkle or to tie in with any other decorating you may be doing around this time of year.
Now, you can really go all out with your mantle decorating, piling on the garlands, lights and create quite an atmosphere of festivity but my favourites are the ones that are slightly more pared back – the ones that can be achieved without having to spend a fortune or require a separate storage space when the decor comes down in January.
And while I often go with something more symmetrical on my own mantle, there are so many beautiful assymetrical displays out there that work beautifully.
It’s really just about going with what feels natural to you. That could mean simply using pinecones and branches from your own back garden…
…or adding a vintage touch with a collection of items from antique markets or thrift stores.
And of course, this means you don’t have to go for the traditional colour scheme of red and green – or even traditional decorations, for that matter.
The most important thing is that it works for you and your home and how you live.
How will you be decorating your Christmas mantle this year?