A Merry Mantle
Designing trends that inspire the art of creating a seasonal mantle
By Amanda Stewart
This holiday season, take notice of some decorating trends to create a merry focal point in your home, regardless of what you are celebrating. The following mantles each highlight a trend in the decorating world. Use them for inspiration for your own mantle at home to add a fresh feel to your gathering space.
Trend # 1: Symmetry + Elements in Nature
This mantle is peaceful and welcoming and is achieved by a neutral color palette and organic elements. By choosing fresh green stems, and natural elements like wood and metal, this mantle exudes serenity. Applying symmetry of vases and lanterns flanking a fireplace lends an elegant vibe.
Get the Look: Source long leaf pine branches right from your very own backyard and glass jars from local craft stores. Balance the look by paying attention to scale. For example, use a large art piece to serve as the focal point, and flank it with jars or candles arranged in descending height order.
Swap out local stems and branches as the seasons change, or grab some faux branches (sampras grass, eucalyptus branch, wildflowers, etc) from a local craft store. Balance the look with brass or pewter candlesticks (remember to style in odd numbers!) for a simple, yet sophisticated look.
Trend #2: Clustered Collection
A collection of similar items can be displayed all together on a mantle, which makes an easy way to create visual interest out of a simple theme. Start with a large focal piece in the background, then gather your collection of similar items. Candlesticks or potted plants work well for a neutral theme, or you can get into the holiday spirit with pumpkins for fall and bottle brush trees for winter.
Two essential things to remember are 1.) create clusters, not lines, and 2.) vary heights. This helps to create dimension, with some items in front of others and some behind. Use stacked books to elevate some items if they are all the same height.
Get the Look: With a simple focal point of a round mirror centered over the fireplace, this collection of potted plants provides ambiance and interest all year long. The plants are all varying heights and widths, and they are arranged in clusters to provide optimal interest and a natural feel.
Trend # 3: Textural Elements
The final trend really amps up the elegance factor. Not only is sumptuous texture introduced, but the traditional colors of the Christmas season (red, green, gold) are swapped for the elegance of winter white. Velvet, cable-knit and faux fur will all instantly enhance the ambience and coziness of a room, which is ideal for the winter months.
Get the Look: Stockings and trinkets made of all types of cozy material can be found anywhere from Amazon to Etsy to Michaels. If you are mixing materials, keep the color palette monotone to ensure a cozy atmosphere. A fireplace with white pillar candles, white cable-knit stockings, and white velvet Santa figures is an elegant centerpiece of a holiday living room. Finish the look by weaving a faux garland adorned with twinkling lights between items for added decor.