Christmas mantelpiece ideas – to set the scene in style for the festive season

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  • Make your mantelpiece stand out this Christmas with these festive ideas

    It’s that time of year, when the Christmas mantelpiece has its moment to shine. As the focal point of most living rooms, the fireplace and mantelpiece is the perfect feature to decorate this season.

    Whether you have an working open fire, a log burner with a ledge or purely a decorative mantelpiece it’s the ideal spot for displaying your favourite Christmas decorations. This focal point helps to anchor the rest of your decorating scheme, helping to create a natural place to gather and enjoy the festivities.

    See all of our brilliant ideas here: Christmas ideas for festive inspiration

    Christmas mantelpiece and fireplace ideas

    As the spot where Father Christmas magically enters our homes there’s no better place to set the scene for an enchanting Christmas story to begin. Anchor your entire decorating scheme to the mantelpiece, to make it the ideal decorative focal point.

    Whether you’re planning to dress your home in modern, country or traditional Christmas decor, let our beautiful Christmas mantelpiece decorating ideas inspire your 2020 decorating scheme.

    1. Make understated feel more statement

    Pink living room dressed for christmas

    Image credit: Joanna Henderson

    Stick to a muted pastel pink colour scheme to match the mantelpiece to the tree, and the rest of the decor. A cohesive colour scheme can help to make a seasonal statement without allowing it to overpower the rest of the room. The natural forest green creates the perfect complimentary accent colour to sit along on-trend dusty pink to make a style statement without having to try too hard. Warm lights are best to add a soft glow to garlands, wreaths and the tree.

    2. Delight with dried fruits and berries

    Christmas wreath above mantelpiece

    Image credit: Dominic Blackmore

    Hang an oversized wreath full of berries and dried fruit above the fireplace to add instant wow. You can buy ready made, or dried out your own foraged finds to add to an existing fir tree wrath. Half wreaths are the newest way of doing things, making the adorning foliage feel more delicate, and yet more impactful. Plus if you are trying your hand at crafting a homemade wreath, only filling half helps to keep costs down.

    3. Furnish with foraged foliage and paper

    Christmas mantlepiece with foliage and decorations

    Image credit: Max Attenborough

    Keep the costs low, but the impact big! Do this simply with seasonal stems and branches sourced form the garden to welcome a touch of greenery indoors. Add the the perfect finishing touches with beautifully crafted paper decorations, from honeycomb bells to statement stars. The mix of natural materials will lend itself to the handmade vibe of the nostalgic Christmas tree trend.

    4. Anchor with the alcoves

    Duck egg living room with Christmas decorations

    Image credit: Tim Young

    Use the surrounding space to balance the decorations on the mantelpiece. If you’re lucky enough to have alcove shelves either side it’s ideal to add simple decorative touches to tie in the focal Christmas decorations – to stop them jarring with the rest of the room. You don’t need to go OTT with the scheme either, it’s incredible what a difference even a few simple lights and hints of foliage can make.

    5. Fill a fireplace with fairy lights

    Fireplace with fairy lights in lanterns

    Image credit: Dominic Blackmore

    Illuminate an empty or unused fireplace by filling the space with fairy lights. Do so with the help of assorted lanterns, at staggered heights, all filled with simple strings of LED battery operated lights.

    6. Set the scene with a simple bouquet

    Flowers on the mantelpiece

    Image credit: Dan Duchars

    For this month make simple changes to where you place the flowers in your living room. By simply moving them onto the mantelpiece you’ll be helping to set the scene for the new focal point for Christmas decorating. A simple seasonal bouquet is easy to tend to, easier than a real garland dressing the length of the mantel for instance. You can change the water of a bouquet in a vase and replace any stems as and when it’s needed. Making a bouquet a simpler solution, but by no means less statement – as you can see!

    7. Captivate with cascading branches

    christmas mantelpiece

    Image credit: Ti-Media

    To make the most of a subtle earthy room like this stick to natural foliage. Go foraging for ferns, pinecones and piece of evergreen branches to drape over the mantelpiece. Hang strands of foliage at varying heights from the mantelpiece. Give them a quick spray with some artificial snow to give them a frosted look as a finishing touch.

    8. Mix candlesticks with tea lights

    christmas mantelpiece

    Image credit: Ti-Media

    Candles are one of the simplest and most effective Christmas decorations. Mantelpieces are the perfect place for them as they won’t be knocked over by excited kids (and parents). Create a varied display with candle sticks in a vibrant blue and tea lights in complimentary gold holders, they’ll look as pretty during the day as they do lit up in the evening.

    9. Spell out a festive message


    Image credit: Simon Whitmore

    Big, brash details are what modern glamour is all about. For festive flamboyance build your own garland by bulking out an artificial one with gold-sprayed foliage and a mix of boldly coloured baubles. Gold letters spelling out a seasonal word or message cap things off.

    10. Fill an empty fireplace with presents

    Christmas mantelpiece ideas

    Create a holiday focal point by filling an empty hearth with a stack of beautifully gift-wrapped packages in co-ordinating foils and ribbons, topped with baubles and handmade gift tags. Keep the mantel itself simple with a row of coloured glass candle holders and mini tea lights. Hang a few of your favourite cards from a length of satin ribbon and finish off with a garland of greenery above.

    Want more Christmas ideas? READ: Christmas hallway decorating ideas to impress your guests

    11. Add a focal flourish of florals

    Christmas mantelpiece ideas Christmas fireplace

    A bold arrangement of cheery poinsettias, festive berries and foliage looks striking in a classic scheme. The clean lines of the fireplace, overmantel mirror and symmetrically positioned lanterns is softened by the vibrant colours, fullness of the florals and the slightly off-centred arrangement. Add extra colour around the living room with scarlet blooms and red glass candle votives.

    12. Give your mantlepiece a homemade touch


    Image credit: David Brittain

    Festoon the room with homemade decorations. This classic country scene could come straight from a picture book.  The traditional cream woodburner is alive with Christmas crafting. Rosy apples are arranged with tea lights and tartan, while dark floral accessories and giftwrap add rustic character. Rag garlands and card strings hanging from side to side marry this charming look together.

    13. Go glam with gold leaf

    Christmas mantelpiece

    Image credit: Dominic Blackmore

    Who says Christmas decorations have to look tacky? Opt for an opulent gold and blue scheme, with a variety of golden candle holders and a gold leaf garland adorning your mantelpiece. Continue the colour scheme to your Christmas tree and gift wrap for a particularly sophisticated look.

    14. Hang traditional stockings above the fire

    Christmas mantelpiece

    Get ready for Santa’s imminent arrival by hang traditional red and white stockings above the fire. Keep them company with some cute robins and some freshly cut ivy.

    15. Create a magical forest scene

    Create a magical forest scene

    Image credit: James Merrell

    Start with multiple layers of paper pine trees and add sparkling silver stars and frosty white foliage. Create a decadent display of candles and tea lights for the warmest and cosiest of mantelpiece displays.

    16. Keep the look minimal

    Christmas mantelpiece

    Image credit: GAP Interiors/Dan Duchars

    If you’re not into glitzy Christmas decorations, there’s nothing wrong with keeping it lowkey. There’s something classic and Scandi about this minimalist mantelpiece, with a simple wooden star and sprig of mistletoe.

    17. Hang a Christmas wreath

    Christmas mantelpiece

    Image credit: Sussie Bell

    Keep your mantelpiece simple and elegant with an array of elegant glass and silver candle holders, and make a beautiful wreath hanging in front of a mirror the focal point of your mantelpiece display.

    18. Fill the hearth with pillar candles

    Christmas mantelpiece

    Image credit: Jeremy Phillips

    For a rustic fire-place with a wood-burning stove like this, a cluster of pillar candles and tarnished silver candle holders will add to the cosy glow from the fire. To keep the focus on the hearth keep decoration on the mantlepiece simple. The two wooden reindeer match the wooden mantelpiece perfectly and add a touch of Christmas cheer without being overpowering.  Tie the fireplace in with the Christmas tree by draping ivy and fairy lights on the mirror above the fireplace.

    20. Create a woodland-inspired scheme

    Christmas mantelpiece

    Image credit: Simon Whitmore

    Opt for the natural textures of winter with a dainty pine garland and a heart-shaped pine cone wreath on the mantelpiece for an elegant, woodland-inspired scheme. White and silver reindeer ornaments, cosy faux-fur throws and blankets and a wolf-print cushion complement the look.

    Looking for a great Christmas tree? Best artificial Christmas trees to light up the festive season

    21. Coordinate with colour

    Christmas mantelpiece

    Image credit: Simon Whitmore

    Embrace the spirit of Christmas with a bold red wood-burner and go to town by adorning the mantelpiece with lots of pretty colour co-ordinated decorations. Give it some extra love with a festive red and white heart-shaped garland and red tree-shaped ornaments.

    22. Choose a traditional country look

    Christmas mantelpiece

    Image credit: Rachel Whiting

    Thick green foliage adorned with traditional decorations and warm glowing fairylights looks beautiful alongside a charming country scheme, with rich-coloured tartans and a crackling open fire.

    23. Create a vintage display

    Christmas mantelpiece

    Image credit: Polly Wreford

    Display a selection of vintage jars filled with pine cones, cotton reels and dainty paintbrushes for a vintage and minimal mantelpiece. Lace fairy lights between the jars and add pretty white foliage.

    24. Add some glamor with silver candle sticks

    Christmas mantelpiece

    Image credit: Dominic Blackmore

    Display tall candlesticks in silver candle holders of varying heights to create an elegant yet relaxed ambience. Add tealights and dainty fairylights for extra glow, and a sparkly ‘Merry Christmas’ garland for a touch of understated glitz.

    READ: Best Christmas advent calendars to make the most of the countdown

    25. Ditch holly in favour of roses and ivy

    Christmas mantelpiece

    Image credit: Mark Bolton

    If you’re not a fan of bold and bright Christmas decor, opt for a beautiful foliage display atop your mantelpiece. This gorgeous assortment of white roses and greenery wouldn’t look out of place any time of year.

    Save on seasonal decorating: Budget Christmas decorating ideas for a high-impact, low-cost Christmas

    Will you be giving your Christmas mantelpiece an update this festive season?


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