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6 Tips for a Festive Mantle Display

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It’s the holiday season, which not only means scrambling around town for presents and having to put on a couple more layers, but it also means that it's time to redecorate your home! Often times, the trouble I run into when decorating for the holidays is that I have a limited budget for buying gifts and Christmas decorations. A common misconception is that to decorate for the holidays you need holiday specific decor. While it can be helpful, it is not essential.

I picked a few pieces, some holiday specific and some not, and focused on creating a simple look for my mantle this Christmas. While there are so many different decorating themes you could take on this season, I have some tips that could help you no matter what direction you decide to go!

1. Statement piece. Every good mantle setting has a wow factor, and typically you want it to be the first thing you see so it's pretty, it's big and it's centered. This Christmas I chose a classic wreath (bonus - it was $20 from TJ Maxx). The statement piece should be something that is holiday related since it is the focal point of your display.

2. Height. You want height and some dimension on that mantle and it's important to have varying short and tall heights; if you have one without the other, something is likely to look off. For my mantle display, I used two faux pine trees ($5 each from Menards) and put them inside two natural looking baskets that I scored from a garage sale. When adding height to your display, be sure to keep things as symmetrical as possible to give the mantle a more intentional look.

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3. Texture. While the trees mentioned above have texture, I want to focus on my favorite pieces on the mantle: the Cabo lanterns. In addition to holding candles, which bring the cozy factor, I love their messy wire look. They bring a rustic element to my mantle this year. And the lanterns inspired me to add my own to the mix, which is the vintage lantern on the far right (also bought from a garage sale!). In order to add height to each of these products, my go to is old books, I love the texture that the pages and leather bring. Everything came together well!

4. Colors. Some people disagree on color. Some want a lot of it, others like a neutral look. Usually, I agree with the latter but I could never get away with only using neutrals for Christmastime so bring on the red and green! While my mantle isn’t overflowing with vivid color, there are touches here and there, which goes a long way. Whether it's berries, stockings, a small sign, a picture frame, throw a punch of color in there! Pro tip: when introducing new colors to your decor space, make sure that color appears at least twice, otherwise that piece might seem out of place.

5. Space. While tastes might differ, I prefer for there to be some empty space in-between different objects. Why? It makes the display seem more clean and manageable.

6. Multiples. Multiples are key to a successful display! As you can see from my mantle, I have two trees, three lanterns, a few books, and a couple stockings. This is so that nothing looks out of place and lonely up there, it's all intentional. There are a couple ways to approach this tip. You can get the same thing twice (like my trees), you can get the same thing in different sizes (like my Cabo lanterns), or you can get the same thing but different versions (like my books).

You guys. I absolutely love decorating, but my love for Christmas decorating is on a whole new level. While there are tips for decorating, there are no rules so just have fun with it and enjoy your holiday season!


About the author:

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My name is Abby Thomas. I am a student, youth pastor's wife, bunny mom, and lover of all things including the home!

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