Golds and greens, snow globes and shiny surfaces adorn the fireplace mantel at this home in the historic Oakwood neighborhood of Raleigh, North Carolina. The color scheme sets the tone for a traditional Christmas. Photo by Abby Nardo.
A Warm and Cozy Christmas
For many of us, Christmas is just not Christmas without a crackling fire, a tree adorned with colorful lights and a couple of sizable stockings hanging from the mantel. Atop this mantel are the knickknacks of the season and an opportunity to display figurines that are destined to be handed down from generation to generation. Photo by D.J. Lein.
An Organic Observance
Deck the halls with boughs of holly, add red berry accents and woody pine combs propped atop a natural stone fireplace to create a traditional – and earthy – Christmas mantel. This arrangement emphasizes the abundance of natural textures and colors. Photo by Samantha Decker.
Antiques and Intimacy in the Heart of Texas
"In the South, family and tradition play a huge part of holidays," says Dee Ann Decker Kincke, a sixth generation Texan. Intimacy, family and history are at the core of her Christmas mantel vision.
"I change the fireplace mantel each year with our antique mantel clock as a focal point," she said. Photo by Dee Ann Decker Kincke.
A Mid-Century Mantel All Decked Out
Woody conifers, pine boughs and tree ornaments artfully placed on a slate mantel gussy up this circa-1960s stone fireplace without compromising the room's textured tone. A splash of red from the Christmas ornaments is a subtle tip-off that the holiday season has indeed begun. Photo by Karen Tucker.
The crystal jars and vases that Dee Ann Decker Kincke lovingly places on her brick mantel each year contain ornaments passed down from generation to generation. The Christmas mantel is a perfect place to display treasured antiques and family heirlooms that bring back memories of holidays past. Photo by Dee Ann Decker Kincke.
Sometimes simple and understated says it all. Two wire stars atop a crisp white fireplace mantel on a white wall convey a minimalist and non-denominational approach to the season.
Two faint blue candles add the tiniest touch of color, and a seemingly fragile crystal vase emphasizes the scene's lightness. The boldest statement comes from a wood framed mirror, offering an emphatic contrast. Photo by Beth Boller.
Theatric Abundance and Coordinated Color
An expansive snake of garland, festooned with ribbons and Christmas tree ornaments makes a bold and buoyant statement in an already striking setting. But it's the colors, which don't deviate from the room's everyday palate, that makes this dramatic holiday decor click. Photo by Barry Wallis.
Back to Basics
"The two red stockings are stockings my great-grandmother made...they are simply priceless to me," said Tabitha Smith-Elliott.
For Tabitha, and many of us, that pretty much sums up the spirit of the holidays. Our Christmas mantel decorations – whether they are artful or ordinary – are opportunities to display the things that have deep meaning and sentimental value. Photo by Tabitha Smith-Elliott.