Tuesday, December 8, 2009

How to Decorate the Fireplace Mantel for the Holidays

We are featuring a guest blogger with our post today-Cristin Bisbee Priest from the Simplified Bee. She will be walking us through some timely ideas for decorating your fireplace mantel for the holidays.
Here is a little about Cristin:

Cristin Bisbee Priest launched Simplified Bee – symbolizing the busy, yet organized beehive home – to share her combined expertise of organizational and interior design with others. Being a mother foremost, she realized homes needed to be efficient and have order without sacrificing beauty. Her philosophy is that surrounding yourself in beautiful, organized spaces reduces stress, makes your happier and inspires healthier living. She also enjoys writing for her blog, fusing home organization and design: http://simplifiedbee.blogspot.com

How to Decorate the Fireplace Mantel for the Holidays

Decorating your home for Christmas is an excellent way to get into the holiday spirit. Adorning the fireplace mantel with holiday décor is a must. It’s a wonderful way to welcome Santa in style while enhancing your room’s focal point. Don’t know how or where to start? Here’s some inspiration and simple how to:

Style - Choose a style that would coordinate with your home’s existing look such as traditional, modern, shabby chic, rustic or eclectic.

Color - Selecting a color palette is another step in decorating your holiday mantel. The colors you choose will help communicate your theme. The neutral and green color scheme in the nature inspired fireplace mantel on the left reiterates the home’s contemporary style. Vibrant color pops on the white mantel to the right. This modern look is achieved by wrapping three canvases in solid-color gift wrap and tying them in bright ribbons. Festive ornaments in a large glass vase and atop stacked wrapped gifts are added to the mantel. The look is balanced with colorful garland and stockings.

Basics - Select festive elements such as holiday stockings, wreaths, garland, swags or pine branches you’d like to include in your design. This holiday mantel by Pottery Barn is an excellent example that incorporates the basics beautifully.

Embellish - Continue to add and layer holiday items such as pine cones, ornaments, nutcrackers, candles, ribbons and seashells that best communicate your design style. The mantel on the left is a delightful display of garland and holiday ornaments around an existing mirror. Pine cones are used to create a simple, rustic mantel on the right. If you live in an area where you can collect pine cones, this is a wonderful, natural and seasonal look that doesn’t require much money.

Balance - Determine if you want a symmetrical or asymmetrical look, but either way strive to create visual balance. The holiday mantel on the left is an example of an elegant, yet simple symmetrical design. The centered wooden horses and lit garland & wreath are perfect compliments to the surrounding décor. On the right, the asymmetrical mantel is decked in a trio vibrant red stockings and carnation wreaths. The white pottery filled with Ireland swag of red and green ornaments and bells balances the display beautifully. To achieve an asymmetrical mantel look, group odd-numbered objects in various sizes and harmonious colors.

Celebrate - Make decorating fun, not a chore. Sip apple cider, turn up the Christmas music and enlist family members or friends to help decorate the mantel with you. You will find it helpful to have an extra set of eyes and enjoy the company of loved ones – the spirit of Christmas! Enjoy.

Written by Cristin Bisbee Priest at Simplified Bee

Photos courtesy of BHG, Country Living, Coastal Living, Southern Accents and Pottery Barn

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