Monday, December 5, 2011

How I Decorated My Mantle for Christmas

My holiday mantle has changed over the years. I use different pieces and keep things flexible. I like to incorporate something fun for the kids as well as something a little more sophisticated for the adults although I know a lot of adults who would be happy with just the fun aspects of Christmas, reliving their childhood. 

The items I have collected over the years have red and green and gold as well as silver in them. You will see the occasional blue or other color. I am not a stickler for symmetry so that made decorating the mantle easier. Here is what I had started with last week.

The Angel is from Treasure Island (now closed). I kept the votive as well as the little chair (a glimpse to the right of the picture) from my previous vignette.

These two stocking holders - the Nutcracker and Santa and a snowmen item (gifted to us many years ago).

Some of my favorite items are these three train pieces made of ceramic (from Treasure Island). Each was sold separately and I bought them knowing they would look best together. It makes me think of a favorite Christmas movie - which the kids love, too - The Polar Express.

I like to wrap a garland or two around the pieces. I had purchased two beaded garlands from Crate & Barrel many years ago. So I tried them out here.

It looked pretty but I was not entirely convinced.

I tried to work with this other garland I normally use on the banister. It was a little too full for what I was looking to achieve. I also removed the little chair. It had worked for the silver color I wanted to add but I did not want to crowd the ledge too much.

Lastly, I worked in this garland which I would otherwise have wound around the dining room chandelier.

This acorn is from a collection I have. I love the size and color.

I moved the two wire trees (another online purchase from Crate & Barrel from years ago) together. I decided they would look more substantial side-by-side. I realize they are tinted slightly different and are not perfectly vertical but that is ok.

Finally, the only two stockings we for each child, I guess. Like I had mentioned in my last post, I had never put any gifts in them until last year and now I think the kids might be expecting that again this year. We shall see.

Santa has a strong presence on the mantle because his visits are looked forward to each year. We have left many a glass of milk and cookies which, in the past few years have become milk and carrots (or other healthy option) and have also left him lengthy notes to which he has responded. Every year he has even managed to find the time to pay us another visit while we are in the midst of opening gifts after lunch on Christmas day when we are with the extended family. At this time he walks in through the front door!

I am not able to connect a string of lights to the mantle but I have one little votive and could possibly add another one of the same kind. I think I am really happy with this right now. The most thought I put into decorating this space was in deciding which garland to use. The molding and sconces lend enough symmetry to the vignette and give me the opportunity to have some fun with what I put on the mantle. I have some cute pieces for the kid-at-heart, the trees, acorn and votive add some height and sparkle. There is certainly color throughout. The stockings add some dimension to the vignette and the garland ties it all together while adding some essential holiday (faux) foliage.

Do you like my mantle? Are you more a fan of symmetry?
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Holiday Decorating Inspiration

Just before bringing down my decorations from the attic I spent a short time browsing the internet looking at holiday decorating ideas. I came across these beautiful pictures which could be incorporated into any decor for the season.

Adding some colorful florals in a simple arrangement is very effective.  

A great idea.  A festive outline and little meaningful treasures are added to it for something fun and colorful.
All the trimmings

A mini tree or other similar plant can be used to hang ornaments from.
Reflected glory

Colored glassware with facets and mirrored pieces can add sparkle and reflection and shine to a setting.

I love candles and votives and this is a pretty way to bring in a tree into a space.
Same but different

A way to take the decorating into other spaces within a home. Isn' t that sack adorable and the cute idea to hang a stocking from the nightstand is another way decorate a kid's bedroom, perhaps even have the stocking stuffed (although that might be breaking with tradition).
All images via

I like the ornament centerpiece, the treasure tree and of course, the votive tree. I certainly could not narrow it down to one. Do any of these inspire you? Which one is your favorite?

Tomorrow I will be sharing my Christmas mantle with you. Please do stop by again.

If you require any help with Interior Decorating please click on the tab at the top of my page marked 'Services' or click here for further details.

I would love for you to leave a comment. Thank you for stopping by; please do check back often.