Christmas is almost here, and that means if you haven’t already, it’s time to get to decking the halls in all things merry and bright. If you have yet to rummage through the attic for all your wreaths and stockings, or perhaps you’re still trying to come up with a new idea for your holiday décor, we’ve taken the burden off your shoulders by coming up with some fabulous options to decorate the holiday mantel. We teamed up with the talented staff at steve mckenzie’s to provide three different ways to do just that. And for those of you who may not have a traditional fireplace/mantel, we didn’t leave you out. We purposefully took that fact into consideration and designed mantel setups that can easily work with a dining room cabinet, console table, credenza and other furniture items.
For all three of our themed mantels, we relied on Grange Furniture’s chest/bookshelf from the Pompadour collection in a cheerful red hue.
3 Fabulous Holiday Mantel Ideas
Holiday Mantel Theme #1: Classic Christmas
It’s hard to go wrong with a traditional Christmas theme, complete with bright reds and greens. Besides classic holiday hardware, like ornaments and wreaths, we wove in materials you may not have considered before when decorating your holiday mantel.
The center textile on top of the chest is actually a cloth napkin, and the comfy armchair is dressed up for the holidays with the help of a table runner.
“You should use what you have around, before you run out of it,” says Jill McKenzie. “A tablecloth can be a runner or a throw; a napkin can work as a tablecloth. Good table linens — like place mats, napkins, runners — are quick ways to dress up a space and set the mood for the holiday and/or festivity.”
The holiday-themed, 22-by-22-inch napkin creates a cute base to layer some perfect accessories, like natural plants (red amaryllis pictured here) in a wonderful glass or Lucite vase. Another way to add a personal touch is to use items that hold special meaning — an ornament from your childhood, a trinket you collected on vacation, or perhaps a plate that’s been handed down through the family.
Holiday cheer doesn’t stop at the mantel or on top of a credenza — spread the décor around the surrounding area, especially if you’re planning on taking a few photos. steve mckenzie’s team thought to use a gooseberry runner on the chair, playfully layered with a comfy pillow in classic Christmas colors.
Holiday Mantel Theme # 2: Into the Woods
A natural theme is all about celebrating the materials. It makes you feel comfy and warm and doesn’t scream “red and green Christmas.” That natural, woodsy vibe has a slightly handmade feel, with things like felt ornaments, Scandinavian sentiment and an emphasis on the raw aesthetic.
“We had a Scandinavian import store when I was young,” says Jill. “I grew up thinking everyone had wooden items, straw ornaments, simple linens. The natural look harkens back to that time.”
The team builds on the theme with a neutral palette, starting with a cream-colored throw and a large, grape-gathering wicker basket. Natural materials come in the form of sweet pieces, such as a pine needle wreath (complete with two glass birds) and wood bowls in multiple sizes. Even the candleholders are simply carved pieces of birch.
We switched out the large leather armchair for a wicker rocking chair with a comfy, fuzzy pillow. All these details, both large and small, create a mantel perfect for the family seeking a return to simpler times — where appreciating the holidays means getting closer to the world around us.
Holiday Mantel Theme #3: Modern Metallic
Play up the glitz and glam of the holiday season by taking your mantel on a very shiny, sparkly adventure. We went for a modern metallic look on our third and final theme, and we should preface it by saying this might not be an ideal setup for those with young kids (or perhaps klutzy adults).
The same Pompadour chest looks completely different with the help of golds, silvers, coppers and anything else with a brilliant, reflective surface. The quartz and apophyllite specimens add natural sparkle, while the E. Lawrence Ltd.’s Precious Metal Series of books creates a cool, unusual focal point on the mantel. Add a small tree with vintage metallic ornaments, and the look starts coming together.
Want to really hit your theme out of the park and make sure everyone knows what “modern metallic” means to you? Complete the look with a drink cart, like this gold-leaf bamboo bar cart for $880, and top it with everything and anything that’s reflective and has a glitzy vibe. We topped our bar cart with cocktail accoutrements, Moscow mule mugs and shaker, Merry Georgia Christmas stirrers and napkins, crystal bottle stoppers and gold coasters.
“You can always decorate three dimensionally,” says Xavier Neuner, associate designer at steve mckenzie’s. “You can get height with stacks of books. You can put any art piece in front of a mantel or furniture to keep people from messing with décor. When you have a party, you can move pieces around.”
So whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a red-and-green traditionalist or a glitz-and-glam hostess, we’ve come up with great ways to decorate the holiday mantel. Thanks to the wonderful, creative staff at steve mckenzie’s for their helpful ideas and stylish products. Merry Christmas!