22 Fall Mantel Decorating Ideas For A Festive Display

Outdoor Fall Mantel

Helen Norman

Snuggling up by the fireplace with a cozy blanket and a warm cup of apple cider is much better with an attractive mantel display. A festive fall mantel can turn your house into a home, and not just any home, but one that’s cozy as can be and perfectly suited for the season. Imagine your next family gathering with all of your guests surrounding beautifully arranged decor and the roaring fireplace dancing in the background. Designed for creating last memories, the family room or outdoor fireplace you adorned will be the perfect background to capture the moment. That’s why we’ve gathered our best tips and tricks for styling the best autumn mantel display to frame your roaring fire. The decor you choose should match the style of your home, whether modern, barnyard, or anywhere in between, and can be timeless or change every year based on your creative whims, but this list of fall mantels has inspiration for everyone. 

01 of 22

Barnyard Elegance

Sara Hedstrom Pinnell Walland, TN Cabin Outdoor Living Room on Porch
Photo: Helen Norman; Styling: Jeff Minnich

A crafty Southern-inspired mantel is complete with barnyard boards, backyard sticks, and autumn foliage. The neutral palette of this rustic space allows it to stay displayed for many months. By the time the Christmas season begins, you might never want to change this look.

02 of 22

Stick to Harvest Colors

Cabin Living Room with Stone Fireplace and White Walls
Marta Xochilt Perez; Styling: Page Mullins

This fall mantel idea is simple, sophisticated and stylish. Just use red, orange, and brown hues to create an elegant display of harvest colors above your fireplace.

03 of 22

Fashion A Pumpkin Patch

Transform Your Mantel for Halloween
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

Using pumpkins is an excellent approach to creating a traditional fall mantel display. Add other earthy elements that you might find foraging in a pumpkin patch, or amp up the spookiness factor for Halloween.

04 of 22

Mix Unexpected Elements

Boxwood Garland with Ribbon and Flowers Around Fireplace Mantel
Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller and Elly Poston Cooper

While apples are usually the face of the fall season, we can't forget about pears. It's a timeless design using unexpected fall elements. Choose earthy colors that can complement a floral bouquet or other decor stored on the mantel.

05 of 22

Get Spooky

Halloween fireplace

Liudmila Chernetska/Getty

Use some of your favorite Halloween decorations to make a festive fireplace mantel. This decorating display is ideal for any planning a Halloween party because you'll only need to set it up once. If you have a mirror or hanging artwork about the fireplace, drape some scary gauze over it to make your house look haunted.

06 of 22

Forage For A Woodsy Mantel

Sophisticated & Natural
Erica George Dines

This understated display highlights the natural beauty of the fall season. If you're hoping for a woodsy and classic fall-inspired mantle idea, this is for you. Add foliage, pine cones, seasonal produce, and wood logs for a visually electric mix.

07 of 22

Switch It Up

Orange & Berry Mantel
Robbie Caponetto

Oranges and berries are a delightful combination. They add a bit of variety to the typical fall mantel while staying true to the season's spirit. Adding pine cones or needles to the display helps balance the traditional elements from the new additions.

08 of 22

Incorporate Wicker

Idea House 2020 Screened Porch with Outdoor Stone Fireplace
Robbie Caponetto; Styling: Kendra Surface

You can even recycle an old wicker basket or place mat to get this look! Hang a shallow wicker basket above your mantle with a few pieces of greenery and watch as it transforms into a lovely rustic design. The neutral background creates an empty canvas for your autumnal decor.

09 of 22

Keep It Timeless

Timeless Outdoor Mantel
Helen Norman

You can never go wrong with timeless fall decor. Flaunt your fireplace and mantle by trimming it with pumpkins, leaves, and gorgeous greenery. When you hear the fire crackling next to your new display, you are ready for your first mug of hot cider.

10 of 22

Add Rustic Wreaths

2022 Idea House screened outdoor living room

Wreaths aren't only for the front door. Try hanging a harvest-inspired wreath above your fireplace mantel for a complete rustic feel. The wreath can stay through winter if you switch out the trimmings.

11 of 22

Focus On Artwork

Neutral Pumpkin Mantel Decor
Van Chaplin

Instead of looking for the perfect harvest garland, try finding a piece of artwork that harmonizes with the room while bringing festive energy to the space. Using neutral-colored pumpkins allows for more focus on the painting above the fireplace. Try finding art to enhance the calming effect of the fireplace, as most look for comfort when sitting near a fire.

12 of 22

Accent With Candles

Fireplace Decorated with Garland, Ribbon, and Lemons
Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Lilt Floral Design

What's the best way to add a delicate and warm accessory to a fall mantel? Add some fall-scented candles, of course! Make sure to mix-and-match styles and sizes for an effortless look. Use candle holders to play with dynamics and prop up your favorite scents.

13 of 22

Hang A Seasonal Garland

Cornhusk Garland
Southern Living

We love this garland made with colorful maze. Take this opportunity to DIY a stunning hanging with your favorite fall finds.

14 of 22

Create A Coastal Compromise

The Paxton Mantel in Thomasville, GA
Photo: Robbie Caponetto; Styling: Lisa Powell Bailey

If you live near the ocean, decorating with traditional harvest leaves might feel a little inauthentic. Remedy this by swapping pumpkins for another classic food–an orange. Adding a hint of festivity to a mantle can transform it into a holiday centerpiece without overloading it with decor that does not match your home.

15 of 22

Match The Centerpiece

Mantlepiece Arrangement
Photo: Helen Norman

When decorating, remember the rule of thumb that no one feature stands alone. Match your mantel decor to other seasonal additions in the space for a gorgeous integrated look.

16 of 22

Dry It Down

Grouped Items Fall decor
Hector Manuel Sanchez; Produced: Kathleen Varner

Take cues from this display of dried out seasonal goodies. Rather than lush greens, in the fall, opt for dried cinamon sticks and pampas grass.

17 of 22

Remember: There's No Such Thing As Too Lush

Lush Mantel Swag
Photo: Emily J. Followill

Bring on the greenery! Layer on the plants, pine cones, and whatever else you can get your hands on. Sometimes, bigger is in fact better.

18 of 22

Show Out For Hunting Season

Off Kilter Garland for Christmas
Laurey W. Glenn

Flaunt the prize from your most recent hunting trip and frame it for emphasis. Antlers offer a can't-miss opportunity to hang a fall wreath.

19 of 22

Turn Up The Heat

Living room hearth
photographs by LAUREY W. GLENN styling by BUFFY HARGETT MILLER

Lean into those warm tones. Show out in festive flair with red, yellow, and orange foliage, fruits, and florals.

20 of 22

Get Painting

Fancy Pumpkin Display
Photo by: Helen Norman

Gather the kids and get artistic with some paint and pumpkins. Then, display your embellished bounty for all to see.

21 of 22

The Holy Trinity

Simple 10-Minute Rustic Fall Matel
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

To decorate your mantel for fall, call on the holy trinity: pumpkins, foliage, and candles, of course. Get creative in combining the three, and you're set for the season

22 of 22

Spell It Out

"Give Thanks" fireplace display


If you're hoping to be more crafty with your mantel display, a DIY project can be in your future. Create a lettered pumpkin display, find, purchase, or create letters to adhere to the pumpkins. Surround this word art with autumn leaves, and you'll have a masterpiece.

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