When you want your home to feel like a holiday movie, you need to add a little Christmas magic to your mantelpiece. Cozy conversations by the fire are an essential part of every Christmas story — including your own — so let’s get your fireplace ready for its closeup.
You’re about to become the art director in your own Christmas love story. And spoiler alert: At the end of this story, you’re going to fall in love with your home decor again.
We’ve rounded up 10 ideas for a very merry mantelpiece. Add these pieces of Christmas mantel decor to your home this holiday season, and you’ll have the perfect backdrop for all your holiday photos and family videos.
These 10 Christmas mantel decor ideas will steal the show
Your fireplace mantel is the centerpiece of your living room, so let’s treat it like the star that it is. (Perhaps with some star-themed holiday decor.) These Christmas mantel decor ideas will make every budding cinematographer in your family want to take out their camera for some photos by the fireplace.
1. A mirror makes the season bright
A mirror is the ideal way to amplify your holiday decor. Any decorative items you put along the top of your mantel will look twice as nice when they reflect in the mirror — the reflection can make it look like you have twice as many decorations or like your mantel is deeper than it is.
Adding a wall mirror is one of our favorite interior design tricks to make a room feel bigger and brighter. It reflects more light into the room, which is essential on dark winter days. And if you add Christmas candles to your mantelpiece, the mirror will reflect their twinkling flames and draw the eye up toward your other decorations. You can also spray the edges of the mirror with spray-on snow to add a seasonal touch.
2. On-theme art adds instant cheer
If a mirror isn’t your style, opt for holiday-themed art instead. You can add paintings of your favorite Christmas characters, like Santa and Rudolph, opt for a snowy scene à la Thomas Kinkade, or add a farmhouse Christmas sign that spells out “Merry Christmas,” “Tis the Season” or another favorite holiday phrase.
A lettered sign made with rustic wood boards will be the perfect complement for your farmhouse-style furniture. To create an even more interesting design, try layering a few pieces of art by hanging one piece on the wall above your mantel. Then add one or two additional pieces that sit on your mantel and overlap the edges of your wall art.
3. A Christmas wreath keeps things classic
Not just for the front door, a wreath offers classic Christmas decor that looks beautiful above the fireplace. And it’s especially inviting when you layer it with your other wall decor.
You can hang a round wreath over the top of a rectangular wall mirror to add visual interest with the contrasting shapes. Or you can place a small farmhouse Christmas sign in the middle of the wreath so the greenery frames the words on the sign. Add a big plaid bow for traditional Christmas decor, or fill your wreath with hot pink and lime green Christmas ornaments for a bright, modern design.
4. Garland fills out your festive decor
No holiday mantel display is complete without some fresh Christmas garland. In fact, if you’re only going to add one thing to holiday-ify your fireplace, it should be garland. And if you want to make a dramatic statement, add garland galore! Layering a few different types of garland — from fresh greenery to beaded garland — will create visual interest and make your decor look fuller and more robust. You can also incorporate string lights to catch the eye.
Here are our favorite types of Christmas mantel garland. Choose one or multiple to drape across your mantelpiece:
You can style your garland in a few different ways. For the most traditional Christmas design, simply line the top of your mantel. For a more dramatic look, hang the garland from the bottom of your mantel shelf in a swooping arc shape. For modern, elegant Christmas decor, create an asymmetrical design by having the garland hang off the left side of the mantel and only cover about three quarters of the top of the shelf, giving way to a display of candles or a Christmas village on the right hand side of the mantel.
5. Candles take you to bright new heights
Candles make beautiful year-round fireplace decor, but at the holidays, they’re a must-have. Anywhere you can add an extra flicker of light will draw the eye, bringing guests attention to more elements of your decor.
Plus, you can use candles to add holiday scents to your home. (We’re thinking sugared citrus, cinnamon, and clove.) If you use candles of different heights, they’ll call guests attention down to the decorations that are closer to the mantel shelf and all the way up to the wall art.
Try using a mixture of pillar and taper candles. Arrange your candlesticks at multiple heights with a variety of mix and match candle holders, and place your candles on one side of the fireplace (either the left or right) to create more visual interest with asymmetry.
6. Stockings hang for the holidays
Christmas stockings give Santa somewhere to put all those good things that come in small packages and they’re a great way to establish your holiday decorating style. You can hang traditional knit stockings, go for a minimalist white Christmas display with all-white stockings, or add playful decor by hanging your favorite novelty socks or using oven mitts instead of stockings.
Stocking holders can add another layer to your holiday style. You can use traditional hooks, opt for holders in the shape of Christmas characters — like gingerbread men or nutcrackers — or add iron railing for a farmhouse Christmas design. You can create a traditional Christmas display by spacing out your stockings evenly across the entire mantel piece, or go modern with more asymmetry.
7. Christmas trees frame the fireplace
For a traditional and symmetrical Christmas design, place a couple of short Christmas trees on either side of your fireplace. It will make your fireplace the true focal point of your Christmas decor and will fill out living rooms both big and small.
If you have a small space, use two half- or quarter-size Christmas trees in place of a full-size Christmas tree. Their smaller footprint means you won’t have to rearrange your already-full room of furniture to accommodate a full-size tree. And if you have a big room, you can add the two small trees in addition to a full-size one to make the room feel full and cozy.
Add a few tree decorations, like ornaments and more garland, and voilà! Your fireplace is framed in holiday cheer.
8. An Advent calendar adds holiday yay
Advent calendars are one of our favorite Christmas gift ideas. They’re truly the gift that keeps on giving with one mystery present everyday from December 1st to December 24th.
Place it on one side of your mantelpiece and you’ll have both a fun activity and a talking point. (Everyone who comes to visit will want to know what you got that day.)
You can purchase pre-filled Advent calendars in themes ranging from candy to wine to beauty products, or you can get empty Advent calendars in a variety of color palettes to match your holiday decor. Then fill them up yourself with gifts for someone you love.
9. A holiday scene tells a story
If Advent calendars aren’t part of your Christmas traditions, use the space above your fireplace to build a Christmas scene instead.
You can create a winter wonderland by adding a Christmas village complete with snow-covered houses and bottle brush trees. You can build Santa’s workshop with elf and reindeer figurines. Create a candy cane lane with peppermint sticks, or make a gingerbread display with sweet little houses and gingerbread men. It’s the perfect way to incorporate your favorite part of Christmas.
10. An arm chair adds instant cozy
Don’t forget the front of the fireplace — after all, that’s where all the action is going to take place this holiday season. Add a few cozy accent chairs to invite guests to curl up by the fire.
Wing-back accent chairs are a traditional way to stay warm in the winter as the wings on the side of the chair help keep heat close to the body. But you can also move any accent chairs you already own a little closer to the hearth so you can curl up for some heartfelt conversations. Add a plaid throw blanket, and your Christmas scene is complete.
Lights, Camera, Christmas!
You might not get your Christmas mantel decor right on the first take or even the second. But hey, sometimes outtakes are the best part. Play around with your decorations, pull that garland over to one side, then the other. Add more candles. Break out your favorite Christmas figurines. And have fun with it.
Once it’s time to roll camera on your Christmas mantel decor, it’ll set the scene for a beautiful holiday season. We hope it makes the perfect backdrop for some show-stopping moments this Christmas (like Santa coming down the chimney) and that you capture them all on camera. Explore more holiday decorating ideas at Coaster Furniture.
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