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Mantel Decorating Ideas for the Holidays

Next to the tree, nothing sets the tone for the holidays quite like a well-decorated mantel. Whether you prefer traditional décor or modern flair, there are some tips and tricks to employ when putting together a stylish fireplace mantel for the holiday season.Mantel decoration ideas

Mantel decorating: The basics.

Regardless of what your overall vision for your mantel is, knowing some mantel decorating basics that can set you up for decorating success. Here are some things you’ll want to keep in mind when decorating your mantel:

Focus on symmetry. You will want your mantel to feel balanced. That means having similarly sized items on each side of the mantel. A good rule of thumb is to place your largest décor items on the outside edges of the mantel and work your way inward.

Have both vertical and horizontal components. Garlands are a mantel mainstay for a reason. It’s good design to have a horizontal décor element on your mantel to accompany your vertical décor. Don’t want to go with the traditional greenery? You can choose a long length of driftwood, a garland of Christmas bulbs, a bunting, or an eclectic mix of stockings.

Don’t let your garland or greenery hang too long.

If you do choose to drape décor from your mantel, it should not come more than one third of the way to the floor.

Mix in a variety of materials and textures. Don’t just stick with natural wood candlesticks and greenery, or Christmas bulbs and glass vases. Add interest to your mantel by using a mix of materials and textures. You can add an unexpected element to a traditional green mantel by using antique cars and toys. Or you can add pine cones to a mantel filled with glass bulbs.

Anchor your mantel with a backdrop. Add a mirror, a modern piece of holiday artwork or lighted aluminum or cardboard letters. This theme to the wall above or behind your mantel will anchor your décor. In addition, help you turn your fireplace, mantel, and wall into a stunning focal point.

Mantel safety tips:

If you use your fireplace to provide heat or ambiance to your home, it’s also important to keep fireplace safety in mind when decorating your mantel. Some basic mantel decorating tips to keep in mind are:

Use nonflammable materials. Even if you choose to use natural looking greenery, flame-retardant garlands are available. Also, they provide a safe choice for decorating your mantel. If you light your fireplace, avoid buntings or hanging tinsel that could catch fire or melt.

Avoid hanging décor. If you will be lighting your fireplace, skip hanging the stockings in front of the fireplace. Instead, place garlands on top of the mantel, rather than draping it from the mantel. When you finish decorating, make sure you take a step back and evaluate the mantel décor. This is to make sure none of your decorations are too close to the hearth.

Keep a fire extinguisher handy. If you have a fireplace, it’s always wise to have a fire extinguisher nearby and to make sure it is ready to use. As you decorate your mantel, it’s an excellent time to make sure that you have an extinguisher on hand, in case your décor does ignite.

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