Style by Season

3 Styles of Holiday Mantel Decorating Ideas

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Timeless holiday décor such as wreaths and garlands can transform a bare and ordinary-looking mantel into a festive and endearing highlight of a room. And with decorations available in so many different designs, you can easily create a holiday display to suit your home no matter your style. Here are a few ideas that can help you to perfect your holiday mantel decorations this season.Transform your mantel with a Balsam Hill wreath and garland pairing

1. Warm & Traditional Holiday Mantels

Traditional style mantels typically offer stately pillar designs flanking the fireplace, as well as detailed edging or ornate details decorating the front. Because their existing design is often so nuanced, this type of mantel looks its best with relatively simple decor.

For example, this design uses undecorated pre-lit garland and a coordinating oversized wreath, simply accented by the multiple heights of taper candles on candlesticks.

Artificial christmas tree, wreath, and garland in a traditional style

If you already have artwork or décor hanging over your traditionally styled fireplace as shown in the photo below, you can also pull off this look without the wreath.

Balsam Hill's Sugarlands Spruce with a traditionally decorated mantel

2. A Sophisticated Transitional Holiday Mantel

Transitional style bridges the gap between traditional and modern with some tried and true design elements, but interpreted in more contemporary ways. For example, the hearth below features a traditionally shaped mantel as well as wall paneling that adds a more formal look to the space. However, these are modernized with fresh slate tiles and crisp white paint that give the space an updated look that is still full of character.

decorated artificial christmas tree, wreath and garland in a transitional style home

A simple lighted wreath and matching garland make the perfect decorations for this style of mantel, creating a distinctive centerpiece that isn’t too busy. While this style doesn’t have too many parts, the key to making it look full and festive is to drape a garland over the edges of the mantel and ensure that the wreath you’ve selected looks proportional to the width of the mantel.

Add a couple of pillar candlesticks in varied heights, and hang stockings in one or two theme colors to complete the look.

3. Sleek Contemporary Mantels

For a more contemporary look, a nuanced ensemble of décor can highlight broader design themes for the rest of the room. This bold design features an oversized wreath front and center, surrounded by a selection of decorative objects in solid colors that set the stage for the room’s silver, white, green, and red theme. The wrapped presents add a festive touch of color to the Christmas display.

Tip: To help ensure that no one is tempted to move the presents from your holiday mantel and give them a shake, wrap some empty boxes for display purposes.

large wreath over a mantelpiece flanked by red gifts

Another visually interesting way to decorate a sleek modern mantel is to add ornaments to your foliage. This wreath and garland display is adorned with ornaments in  neutral and metallic hues that work well with modern décor styles. For a different take on wreath displays, try hanging one below the mantel instead of above it, which is a great solution if you don’t have enough room on top – just make sure to move it before using the fireplace.

artificial christmas wreath and garland decorated with metallic ornaments

For more holiday decorating ideas for your mantel and beyond, check out our Pinterest, Facebook or Twitter.

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