Merry Mantels

Now that the weather is starting to turn crisp (and is soon to be cold), I can begin daydreaming about warming my hands on a cup of tea and my feet by the fireplace.  After a busy day of work for my husband and me (and a busy day of preschool for my 3-year-old) it is nice to have a cozy spot to regroup and spend a few moments together.  With so much cozy family time spent around the hearth, especially during the colder months, I think it’s lovely to have your mantel be a focal point in the home all season long.

Recently I was at Mary Carol’s guest cottage and her mantel is, unsurprisingly, beautifully decorated.  She has the gift simplistic elegance that is truly eye-catching without being overwhelming.  Her mantel is a great example of using varying heights and asymmetrical balance to create a captivating design.  Not one to repeat an item, she uses different art pieces, plates, lamps, books and jars to create a display full of texture and depth without over-doing it with color. While simplistic at first glance, the more you admire it the more you can see the thought and balance that went into creating such a dynamic display!

When it comes to holiday cheer, there are a few ways to approach a mantel display. There is subtle Christmas and then there is what I can only describe as a “holiday explosion” – both are looks that I enjoy and find myself admiring.  For a fuss-free approach, I like the look we created at our designer, Anne’s, home.  We used a healthy amount of greenery with pinecones to provide a natural base for her mantel.  She has a lot of wooden accents and natural materials throughout her home as well as a stunning large-scale piece of art that we wanted to include.  We introduced boxwood wreaths to help bridge the gap between her tall art and the greenery and brought in a wooden lantern.  We added more Christmas cheer by including Santa in the mix as well.  The best thing about this display is its versatility.  By switching out a few elements (like the Santa) this same display could be used for Thanksgiving as well as a generic winter design once Christmas has passed.  This mantel design is classic and will add natural beauty to her home for years to come!

If you are more of a “holiday explosion” decorator, look no further than the shop! I have been obsessing over our whimsical and fun mantel design that you can see in our Abbey Steps room.  One of our signature over-the-fireplace tricks is layering a mirror with a fun detail like a wreath or bust.  This year, we are showcasing a deer bust that has “hipster flair” like none I have ever seen! It is a showstopping accent that doesn’t take itself too seriously that we have paired with traditional greenery to help soften.  Below him you will find a collection of bright and darling ornaments in all shapes, sizes and colors. Lights, ribbons and greenery finish off this “more is more” look.  It is impossible not to smile at this display!

While I could go on and on about my favorite mantel designs here in the shop (from our trendy mauve display to our ski lodge inspired area – there are truly so many goodies to explore this year!) I will stop myself for now.  I hope to see those of you able to attend at our Christmas Open House the weekend of November 1-3 to see these displays in person! For those who can’t, I will be sure to share many more Christmas favorites before the holidays arrive! Until next time – happy decorating!