Three Ways to Style Your Mantel This Christmas
Our deck-the-halls style expert Buffy Hargett Miller creates three Southern looks.
The Mountain Retreat
Crisp greens, chocolate brown, and ruby red set the tone for a rustic style straight out of the Blue Ridge Mountains
Create the Look
Above the mantel: With an abundance of garland (ours is 25 feet long), you can skip the sparkle. Just drape it across the top of the wall using florist wire and damage-free adhesive hooks. For a natural palette, choose a magnolia garland that alternates between brown and green leaves. Using just one dominant color can be overwhelming. Add a large ribbon on each corner to hide the hooks. On the mantel: Place five miniature evergreen trees across the ledge. To keep the vibe more casual, we picked tree types that coordinate but are not too closely matching and placed them in birch-bark pots to provide extra texture. For surprising touches of color, we filled in the gaps with "Granny Smith" apples and wired red ribbon. A small wooden wreath and stockings dressed up with striped ribbon and cypress clippings add interest below the mantel. (Simply tie ribbon onto the hook, and tuck the clippings into the knot.) Two potted Leyland cypress trees complete this fresh-from-the-forest look.
The Coastal Getaway
Seafoam blue, silvery green, splashes of white, and beachy foliage make this one breezy and bright
Create the Look
Above the mantel: Spray-paint a 30-inch grapevine wreath white. Attach sprigs of cypress or pine around the entire wreath using florist wire. We hung ours above the mantel and topped it with a cream ribbon. On the mantel: Keeping things asymmetrical, angle palmetto fronds on both sides of the wreath. Incorporate one frond into a simple arrangement, pairing it with a wiry manzanita branch (similar looks available at bloomsandbranches.com) in a nautical-style vase. Line the ledge with more seaside-inspired accents such as ceramic shell tree forms, bleached pinecones, and starfish. Mix in shimmery turquoise ornaments for sparkle. Next, attach cream-colored stockings (spruced up with sprigs of seeded eucalyptus and ribbon) to the mantel using damage-free adhesive hooks. Hang the garland taut across the fireplace with florist wire and hooks to prevent any drooping. Conceal the hooks with pretty greenery.
The City Mantel
Silver details and red roses turn this into a polished Christmas arrangement
Create the Look:
Above the mantel: Hang a wreath made of Fraser fir, pine, and cypress, adorning it with a simple red-and-white ribbon to keep it uncluttered.
On the mantel: Flank the wreath with large lanterns filled with pillar candles, building height from the outside in. Loop red ribbons tied with silver bells through the tops of the lanterns. To make the floral arrangement, you'll need red roses and a shallow rectangular container. Line it with florist foil and damp florist foam that's been cut to 1 inch above the edge of the container. Gather roses into groups of three, and insert them into the florist foam. Fill in the gaps with loose evergreen sprigs, which you can borrow from your garland, and berries (we chose hypericum). Using damage-free adhesive hooks (such as Command brand) and florist wire, drape a Fraser fir-pine-and-cypress garland across the mantel. Weave in a delicate silver beaded garland. Hang three oversize pinecones at opposite ends of the mantel. Hide the hooks with red-and-white bows.
Buy these Pickstitched Faux-Velvet Stockings at dillards.com/southernliving.