Mantel Decorating Ideas by Season
Embrace the excitement of each new season when you refresh your home decor. Updating your mantel is a great way to showcase festive elements throughout the year. You can easily achieve the perfect mantel by using just a few simple techniques.
This guide will show you the fundamentals of a mantel decorated for the spring, summer, fall, and Christmas seasons. When you use elements from nature, as well as colors that coordinate for each season, you can create a look for your mantel that will set the tone for the rest of your decor.
3 Easy Steps for Decorating Any Mantel
1. Choose an Anchor
Pick a large centerpiece to be the “anchor” for the rest of your mantel decor. This piece becomes the focal point of your design and connects the rest of your decorative accents. Your anchor should be centered and can be set on or hung above the mantel. Popular anchors include framed mantel mirrors, pieces of art, large clocks, and wreaths.
2. Add Weight to the Sides
Pick a few tall objects with varied heights to add visual weight to each side of the anchor. These pieces are often shorter than your anchor. A group of candlesticks or a tall vase are great options to achieve aesthetic balance. The objects on both sides don’t have to match perfectly, but they should complement one another.
3. Bring in Filler Items
Fill the empty areas of the mantel with small decorations. Try to avoid a uniform height, and let the pieces overlap to create depth and texture. Stacks of books, small picture frames, candles, and small plants are popular filler items.
Creating a Balanced Look
When you decorate your mantel with the three steps outlined above, you create a natural path for the eye to follow. The anchor draws you in while the weight and filler items create a triangular flow. This makes the arrangement pleasing to the eye and prevents any single decoration from being too distracting. Layer or stagger the pieces from each step to keep them connected and cohesive.
How to Decorate a Mantel in 3 Easy Steps
Watch how quickly a seasonal mantel can come together in this 30-second video. Follow these mantel decorating steps to create a picture-perfect arrangement every time. You’ll never look at your mantel the same way again!
How to Decorate a Spring Mantel
A spring mantel celebrates the return of warm weather, chirping birds, and colorful blossoms. Highlighting your decor with blooming flowers and lush greenery will bring a fresh, natural feel to your living room. Keep the color palette light by pairing pastels with white accents. Let the plants and flowers provide the pop of color, and use wood and metal pieces as complementing fillers.
A wreath made from sticks and flowers makes the perfect anchor for a spring mantel. This natural spring element creates a beautiful focal point for your design and determines the color palette for the rest of your mantel.
Potted topiaries and flowers in stone or ceramic vases will provide height for the sides of your mantel and contribute to the nature-inspired theme. Add a touch of Shabby Chic style with light-colored candles and weathered wooden candlesticks, or keep it natural by using vases with blooming flowers.
Potted succulents and small arrangements of flowers like hyacinth or white tulips will complement your anchor without overpowering it. Add some artistic flair with metal art like a watering can or metallic sphere.
How to Decorate a Summer Mantel
Let blue skies and sunny weather inspire the look of your summer mantel. You can capture the feeling of your summer vacation with coastal-inspired decor and floral accents. Combine bright statement pieces with simple accents to create a vibrant style that reflects the sunny days ahead.
A wreath made from vibrant yellow wildflowers will catch the gaze of your guests and inspire the feeling of summer. An unframed canvas painting or other wall art can also provide color and interest to the whole arrangement. Let these colors pave the way for other matching accent pieces in the room like throw pillows or blankets.
Group glass bottles of varying heights on either side of your anchor. Pick different styles and shades of glass to create a look that coordinates but isn’t too uniform. You can also use antique-style lanterns or candles to add vintage flair to your design.
Use small glass dishes and vases to fill in empty spaces. Display cuttings of flowers to add extra color, and then add driftwood accents and scatter seashells across the mantel to accentuate the coastal theme.
How to Decorate a Fall Mantel
Use the changing colors of autumn leaves to define the style of your mantel. The beauty of red, orange, and yellow foliage can be complemented by a range of decorations to create the perfect fall look. Stained or weathered wood decor contributes a rustic feel to the mantel, and metallic decorations offer a glamorous touch. It’s easy to combine natural elements and stylish statement pieces in your fall theme.
Start your mantel decorating with a wreath that features fall leaves and berries. Fall wreaths can boast small pumpkins, gourds, sunflowers, or pinecones to add extra texture and style. Highlight the wreath by hanging it over a weathered picture frame or mirror.
Add variety to your weight pieces by pairing metallic vases with ornate candlesticks. Use gold, copper, and bronze colors to complement the fall leaves and wood finishes of your design. Choose pieces in different heights and styles and then arrange them in overlapping or staggered groups.
Fill in the empty spaces with decorative pumpkins and squash to match the rest of your mantel’s color scheme. Additionally, small white candles or tea lights work perfectly as neutral accents. Miniature logs can be used as pedestals to change the heights of your filler items to ensure your mantel has visual variety. Leafy branches or autumnal garlands work well as finishing touches to tie the look together.
How to Decorate a Christmas Mantel
Your Christmas mantel ideas can include much more than just stockings and holly. Christmas mantel decor can range from traditional to ultra-chic and everything in between. This gives you freedom to choose a style that will match the rest of your living room. Mixing classic decor like wreaths and stockings with stylish statement pieces will turn your fireplace mantel into a winter wonderland.
A wreath is an essential Christmas mantel decoration. There are countless style options for Christmas wreaths, so you can achieve any look you want. Hang a plain wreath for a classic, charming look, or decorate it with colorful ornaments and lights for something more eye-catching.
Keep your mantel from looking too busy by using a handful of decorative pieces for weight. A pair of country-style Christmas trees can provide an attractive contrast to metallic statues or candlesticks while still creating a cohesive look.
Pine cones, garland, and other natural decorations help fill empty space and add extra texture to create a perfectly accented wreath. Christmas stockings hung below the mantel are a beloved seasonal must-have. Use decorative stocking holders to fill the empty spaces on the mantel, or stick with more subtle options to let the stockings steal the show.
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