Decorate Your Mantel for Winter

Decorating fireplace mantels is a favorite holiday tradition, but the end of the season doesn't mean festive decor has to go. Create displays that last through the cold months by focusing on classic winter colors, flowers and motifs.
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June 15, 2015
By: Alyson McNutt English and Jessica Yonker

Photo By: Cassie Freeman

Photo By: Leanne Jacobs

Photo By: Courtesy of Pottery Barn

Photo By: Courtesy of Pottery Barn

Photo By: Erin Cochran

Photo By: Alissa Ditta

Photo By: Andrea Schuneman

Photo By: Joan Ross

Photo By: Jessica Wangelin

Photo By: Erin Cook

Photo By: Nicole Wilkinson

Photo By: Gina Martello

Photo By: Liz Latham

Photo By: Jenna Burger/SAS Interiors

Photo By: Jessica Wangelin

Photo By: Stephenie Atkins

Photo By: Maryann Caballero

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Vista Verde Guest Ranch

Photo By: Cassie Freeman

Photo By: Kendra Joyner

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Tallevi Studios

Use Warm Textures

You can easily transform your everyday decor into a winter wonderland using neutral elements. Warm things up by covering glass vases with remnants from old sweaters, and implement rustic decor pieces like antlers for a seasonal touch.

Modern + Graphic

Evoke Scandinavian style in your home this winter with an all-white, minimalist display. Cassie Freeman of Hi Sugarplum! accented her white fireplace with a geometric mirror, silver candlesticks, white reindeer and a vase of magnolia leaves from her yard. A flokati rug draped over the base of the fireplace adds warmth and coziness.

Find Winter-spiration

The soft creams and browns in this picture of Salt Lake Temple reminded Leanne Jacobs of winter, providing the basis for her winter mantel. After the hustle and bustle of the holidays, Leanne wanted a simple, toned-down display, so she paired a few silver candlesticks with ornaments and a glittery bird. Glittering snowflakes hung with clothespins on baker's twine create a sparkling banner that adds shine to the muted mantel.

Holiday or Not? Transitional Mantel Display

Love the idea of dressing up your mantel all winter, but can't imagine it without the usual stockings, mini trees and other festive knickknacks? Go transitional. Create a base of winter greenery and lights, then layer on the Christmas. After the holidays, switch out the Christmas music candles for plain ones and pack away the trees and stockings. Leave the flocked evergreen garland, shiny votives, crystal and silver candlesticks and even the boxwood wreath for a fantastically decorated fireplace focal point for the remainder of the cold-weather season.

Sleek, Shiny and Silver

Silver often plays second fiddle to its more audacious golden cousin when it's time to break out the holiday decor, but don't overlook this shining shade. In this display from Pottery Barn, just a few candles are enough to create a gauzy glow, thanks to silver's reflective sheen. It's all about brightness here: Crystal spheres, shimmering snowflakes and delicate white flowers shooting from etched-silver pots add up to create a warm and wintry fireplace focal point.

Dressed-Up Midcentury Modern

Decorator Erin Cochran uses the minimalist shelving of her midcentury-modern home as a staging ground for her fireplace finery. In keeping with the home's feel, she chooses to artfully arrange clean-lined, wintry-colored vintage pieces. Strings of white lights run in the back, creating a soft glow through the timeworn glass bottles, milky-shaded pottery and delicate paper-craft art. Pinecones and shoots of evergreens add visual interest by breaking up the smooth white theme with their sharp colors and lines.

Green + Sparkling Neutrals

Alissa Ditta keeps her blog's 33 Shades of Green theme going by blending hues of bright green with silver and brown. Cedar topiaries and a peace banner made from glittered cardboard letters make the mantelscape great for the holidays, but the display isn't so Christmas-y that it can't stick around all season. Mercury-glass vases and candleholders are a sparkling accent to the natural elements.

Let It Snow

Andrea Schuneman makes an enchanting snowy display using framed photo prints and white vases. After layering a large mirror, the vases and picture frames, Andrea still had space to fill, so she found a quote she liked and put it on a lattice-framed chalkboard. A teeny hourglass is a reminder that spring is right around the corner.

Alternative Winter Display

Winter doesn't always have to mean just pinecones and evergreens. Joan Ross strays from the norm, mixing natural elements like a topiary, a tree conk and a beehive with brass candlesticks and antique French confit pots. The pots add earthy warmth to the mantel while their imperfections give the display a one-of-a-kind look.

Borrow From Nature

Decor Adventures' Jessica Wangelin dreamed of lush greenery, so she adorned her mantel with thick pieces of faux garland layered with real evergreen branches and glitter-tipped pinecones. Instead of buying the antiqued mirror, she made one by cutting a door mirror, distressing it and then piecing it back together inside a poster frame.

Keep It Cozy

Vase "sweaters" made from an old pair of socks, gold poinsettias and a cute "Brrr" printout set the perfect mood for curling up in front of the fireplace with a cup of hot cocoa. Beaded icicle garland and snowflake ornaments add cool whimsical touches to this warm display. Design by Erin Cook

Budget Winter Display

Nicole Wilkinson proves an elegant winter display doesn't have to cost a lot: She made these cozy vase covers from a thrifted sweater and filled them with soft brown grass from her backyard. The old windowpane ties the arrangement together.

Sparkling Snowflakes

Snowflake candleholders, decorations and scrapbook-paper snowflakes make Gina Martello's mantel a charming display. Inspired by cold, snowy weather, Gina keeps the arrangement simple with two hurricane vases filled with silver berry garlands and a white metal container filled with pinecones collected on a trip to Maine. An empty wooden frame creates the perfect backdrop for the arrangement's centerpiece — a large shimmering star from Pier 1.

Chalkboard Winter Wonderland

Hoosier Homemade author Liz Latham's playful winter display makes every day feel like a snow day. Drawing inspiration from her favorite winter activities, Liz created a colorful scene on a chalkboard (actually a very old piece of slate). She then matched it with antique skates, snowmen and a long piece of wool fabric bunched up to look like a blanket. She also added aqua mason jars to her arrangement, filling two with Epsom salt and a battery-operated tea-light candle and one with plenty of marshmallows.

Orange: Not Just For Fall

Orange is typically thought of as a fall hue, but when used carefully and creatively, it's a lively accent color perfect for winter, too. Here, designer Jenna Burger creates a warm and inviting atmosphere by blending orange with brown and cream colors. A lantern and vintage cheese box give the display a rustic feel, while bright, fresh flowers create an energetic vibe without being too overpowering.

Simple and Natural

Bright whites and simple natural elements dress up this mantel in Jessica Wangelin's 112-year-old upstate New York home. Terra-cotta pots painted in metallic colors add shine, as do the glitter highlights on pinecones gathered from the woods. Candles and lanterns give off a warm glow, great for cold winter nights.

Take Advantage of Texture

Stephenie Atkins mixes different textural elements, including a wreath made of old sweaters, vintage bottles and a basket of antique fabric balls. A monogrammed plate adds a personal, homey touch.

Think Outside the Holiday Section

Forget garland and glitter — sometimes all you need to make a winter scene is an arrangement of the right colors and textures. Lima beans are the perfect creamy white, while a coffee filter-lined mirror captures the light and airiness of winter. For an icy, snowy look, try filling vases or mason jars with Epsom salt. Design by Maryann Caballero

Rustic Winter Display

Created by the design team of Christi Cline and Sallie Hallmark, this mantel at Vista Verde Guest Ranch in Steamboat Springs, Colo., pulls off a festive winter look with nary a garland or light string in sight. By choosing accessories like berry-laden wreaths, raffia spheres and even a vintage lantern, they created a visually interesting and rustically authentic display that delights guests all season long. Photo courtesy of Vista Verde Guest Ranch

Shop Your Yard for Greenery

Cassie Freeman wanted a magnolia wreath to decorate her home throughout the holiday season without breaking the bank. Luckily, the Hi Sugarplum! blogger had a magnolia tree growing right in her backyard, so she made one herself. Head outside to get inspired by the evergreen trees, berry-filled shrubs or even dead branches in your yard.

Rustic Checkerboard Fun

To fend off winter dreariness, Kendra Joyner used a handmade checkerboard tabletop as the focal point for this fun winter arrangement. Old and new metal, woven mats, old wood and winter wheat add loads of texture.

Lit Up and Toned Down

While grand and gilded works for some fireplaces, it's not right for all of them. This display, created by Roxanne Cave for the Fairmont Chateau Whistler in Whistler, British Columbia, skips the evergreen shoots and poinsettias, but not the seasonal feel. Large off-white vases filled with snow-colored tulips flank the firebox, while candles of different height and intensity create light and interest on the mantel.

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