Believe it or not the holidays are fast approaching. Do you need a few mantel decorating ideas and tips? Then please read on!
Growing up my mom, brother, and I always lived in small run down apartments. In high school, I thought my bedroom was the best decorated room in the house, with life sized posters of dreamy hunks, James Van Der Beek, Freedie Prince Jr, Jason Preistly,and Luke Perry, plastered all over the walls. Many, many years later, after college, the beginning of my career, a few too many moves with the military and a beautiful baby boy, my dreams of reading in front of a mantel place in my own house finally came true when Adrian and I moved into our first house. At that time, we were suddenly hit with the realization that we had no idea how to decorate a mantle, dress the 30 windows, or furnish hallways. I of course looked to the internet for mantel decorating ideas.
The first year we lived in our house we focused our efforts on purchasing new furniture for the morning room, living room and blinds. It wasn’t until last year, that I became obsessed with trolling Pinterest with every new season or holiday for mantel decorating ideas. Now I’m for sure no expert in the topic but here are a few thoughts to ponder that I have learned along the way.
Mindi’s Mantel Decorating Ideas
1. Find a balance between large and small decorations.
2. Consider the overall room decor to tie the mantel display into your decorating style.
3. Limit the number of items you have on the mantel to avoid the cluttered look.
4. Avoid using too many colors. You want the overall affect to enhance the look of your fireplace, not create an eye sore.
5. Open your eyes when you explore new places. You never know what unique items you may find on your travels.
6. There is no correct or incorrect way to decorate a mantel. Your mantel should be a reflection of your family and style. The best place to look for inspiration is within yourself. What do you love? What makes you standout?
Now lets take a brief photo tour of how I TRIED to implement these suggestions. Our family room colors are inspired by my love of fall foliage. The room is still a work in progress, as we will eventually be replacing our entertainment center, purchasing a recliner, adding a second end table, hanging curtains and decorating the walls. This is the overall view of it minus the baby items and the train table, which have since been relocated.
My obsession with mantel decorating all began with this…. (yeah, I’m not too excited about this one)
Since our living room is inspired around foliage, I thought the best place to start decorating for the seasons is during fall. However, I didn’t find many fall decorations that I feel in love with last year. I’m not crazy about the small letters, so the fall mantel will be reworked this year.
Once the turkey is devoured, we start decorating for Christmas. We like to start early, since it takes us a few weeks to get all the decorations in place. Last year we went all out with decorating. Highlights included two full sized Christmas trees, two table top trees and this beautiful silver and white Christmas mantle. After many weeks of searching various sources for Christmas mantel decorating ideas, I devised a plan and loaded up my shopping cart at Hobby Lobby. I honestly can’t wait to decorate my Christmas mantel in a few months!
I find that the stretch of time between the New Year until the first buds appear on the trees in spring can be down right depressing. This year I fought the winter blahs by decorating the mantel for Valentine’s day. Since I spent a lot of money and time on the Christmas display, my goal for Valentine’s day was simple and inexpensive.
I love the arrival of spring. Springtime in DC means Cherry Blossoms, tulips and my baby boy’s birthday. This year my springtime mantel came together very easily.
When summer finally arrived, I fought the urge to buy patriotic decor at the craft stores and shopped my house instead. In our old townhouse, we decorated the dining room in Americana decor so had I had plenty to work with.
I hope this inspires you to be creative with your fireplace mantel. Since I’m no where close to a professional decorator, take a look at how the pros do it with this video of Interior Designer Victoria Hagan demonstrating to Martha Stewart how to decorate a mantle. For fall inspiration, this Better Home and Gardens article has a lot of great fall foliage mantel decorating ideas.
If you have a mantel will you be decorating it for the fall season? Remember, less is more. Decorate from your heart.