Design expert Phoebe Howard opts for fresh greenery in abundance to celebrate the holidays.
How To Decorate A Holiday Mantel
Credit: Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

Mix your greens.
"It's nice to use three different types of greenery—one for a wreath and two others for garlands," says Phoebe. Her favorites are fresh magnolia, Fraser fir, and boxwood.

Layer for lushness.
Across the top of the mantel, arrange a thick length of garland. Wire a green bow to the middle, and then artfully weave the ribbon tails throughout. Work in pinecones, berry branches, and various greenery sprigs for color and texture.

Balance the swoop.
To hang the lower garland, start by securing the middle of it to the mantel with a removable adhesive hook and wire. Evenly swag one length to the right and the other to the left, securing at the corners. "Make sure you have at least 3 feet dropping down on each side," says Phoebe.

Crown with a wreath.
Use monofilament fastened to the back of a mirror to hang the wreath; then wire a bow to the top. "But never hang anything over a piece of art," says Phoebe. "If necessary, remove the artwork and hang the wreath directly on the wall."