Spruce up your fireplace this holiday with materials from your own home.

The best holiday mantel decorations are those that truly reflect your home, lifestyle, personality, and memories. The classic greenery-laden mantel and stockings hung with care are always in style. So are the traditional colors of red, green, silver, gold, and white.

If you're looking to branch out just a bit from tradition or even go out on a limb with this year's mantel decorations, look around your home for a source of inspiration.

We went to two homes and did just that. The first is a traditional house with a wood fireplace that belongs to Julia and Tim Mitchell and their two small children. Our inspiration was already hanging above the fireplace. The twig windows were treasures Julia rescued from an alley.

In the home of newlyweds Kristin and Mark Comer, we discovered in their study a modern-style painting that they purchased on their honeymoon. We loved the mint green walls in the living room, so, hammer and nail in hand, we moved the art to a spot over the fireplace and added stylish pieces to complement it. One of the best ways to redecorate your home is to move what you have to new places. So look around for that one special something--be it a painting or a collection of childhood Christmas books--that you want to show off.Mantel Reminders
Here are a couple of safety tips to keep in mind when decorating a mantel.

  • Don't let a garland hang low enough that sparks from the fire could ignite it. Fire retardant is available to spray fresh greenery.
  • Raise candles on stands or candelabras to keep heat from drying out the foliage too quickly and starting a fire.