The Easiest Way to Style a Mantel

Today, I want to share with you the easiest way to style or decorate a mantel with all sorts of tips and tricks from the fabulous ladies of the Back to Basics Series.

If you’ve missed any of our previous posts you can learn How to Style a Coffee Table here, Tips for Organizing here, Easy Tablescape Ideas here, Fall Picnic and Tailgating Ideas here, How to Create a Simple Flower Arrangement here and most recently, Appetizers and Treats at the Ready Recipes here.

Late last week I spoke to so many customers that felt like they were stuck in between wanting a home that feels fresh, clean and organized while at the same time missing the festive feel of their holiday decorations. I totally get it, the house definitely seems kind of bare without all the pops of red, the strands of garlands and the poinsettias on the porch.

Did you guys feel that way when you took your decorations down?

I know we can’t leave Christmas up year-round but I’m determined to really celebrate each season this year and part of that is taking care to add special touches around the house throughout the year.

Styling a mantel is one of the quickest ways to add a seasonal feel to your home but I know a lot of people dread it because they’re overwhelmed with the process. You guys, you can totally do this though!

Here are a few easy tips to keep in mind…

Step 1: Start Fresh – Take everything off the mantel (if you can) and start with a completely fresh perspective. Make sure whatever style you choose to use on the mantel it’s consistent with the style and color palette you’re using in the rest of your home.

For example, having an all contemporary mantel when you have a traditional living room might not look as cohesive as having a traditional mantel using contemporary accent pieces in that same traditional living room.

Step 2: My biggest tip is to visually divide your mantel into thirds and begin by decorating the center portion with something substantial like a piece of art, architectural salvage, an old window, a wreath…you get the idea.

Step 3: Start adding accessories to the left side of the mantel first and then balance those same pieces on the right. The key to this step is to make sure the items you’re bringing in are appropriate in scale and varied in height to the substantial piece you have in the middle.

I personally love symmetry so most of the time whatever I’m doing to the left I will also do to the right which makes pulling everything together super easy.

Step 4: Add in layers of texture and fillers like plants or other nods to nature, baskets, worn books, tarnished silver, aged patinas, ironstone, metals or wood grains.

Step 5: Edit, edit, edit! This step is not always easy because sometimes removing one item can throw everything off but it’s so important not to skip this step.

While there are times when I go super simple on the mantel, there are other times I choose to fill out all seven feet! In fact, as I was working on this mantel I kept thinking about our time at the cabin over the holidays, those chilly days spent hiking and the lazy nights spent by the fire reading. All that nostalgia led me to transition our Christmas mantel into a quiet celebration of winter.

I hope these steps have helped take the pressure off just a bit. Keep in mind, it doesn’t matter if you’re decorating a mantel for the seasons or for everyday life, you guys, buy what speaks to you most. Creating a home you love is all about what works best for your family and makes you happy – no matter what season you’re celebrating!

Be sure to check out what these creative ladies are sharing too…

See you guys back here tomorrow. There’s something in the living room that’s just out of view that helps to keep us organized almost every day. It’s my secret weapon you can do at home or even if you’re on vacation so I’ll share it with you then. Until next time, I’ll see you on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.

Many blessings,


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    1. That little cabin has stolen our hearts all over again, ladies! We miss it like crazy so we’ll probably be cabin inspired all winter long ha ha. Love doing this series with you guys. Lots of love for a happy day, CoCo

  1. I love your tips and I love that it still feels like winter. I love putting all the Christmas decor away and just living with the simplicity for a while.

    1. I totally get ya, Lindsay, I was definitely ready to embrace a more cozy and manageable home after having almost every room dressed with pops of red for the holidays. There is so much to be said for simplicity and just enjoying the quiet of winter. Sending you hugs, CoCo

    1. I can so relate to this Jill! I lived in an apartment while I was in graduate school and I didn’t have one either for years. I promised myself if I was lucky enough to have a mantel when I finished school, I would decorate it all the time. Ironically, we found an old mantel to use as a headboard in one of the bedrooms about a year later. I know you’re a fabulous shopper with great taste so you just never know what you’ll find on the treasure trail. Sending you hugs for a happy day, CoCo

    1. I appreciate it, Laura, thank you so much! Hope you have a great day, CoCo

    1. Thanks so much, Amy, I really appreciate it! That artwork is one of my favorites too. I’m trying to find a way to keep it around all year 🙂 Hugs for a happy weekend, Coco

  2. CoCo you mantel is so pretty. I love the winter feel you bring with the decor and the greenery is so nice. Thanks for all the tips. Hugs!

    1. Thank you bunches for all your kind words and sweet comments, Bonbon, they really mean so much. Hugs, Coco

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