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How to Decorate + Style Your Mantle

One of the things that sold me on our house when we bought it last year, besides the land and the wrap around porch, was the stone fireplace.

Our stone fireplace truly makes the first floor!  I mean look at…..it’s fabulous!  Yes, I know I’m somewhat biased!  As our Realtor showed us the house, I kept thinking of all the ways I could decorate the mantle and the fireplace.  My head was reeling with ideas!

Last year, I didn’t decorate because we were just so busy planning the wedding, there was no time and it wasn’t a focus.  The Fall is the first season I’m able to decorate and I think I got a little carried away!  But, that’s okay because I just love it!

How to style your mantle

I chose the traditional fall colors for this year, but I think next year I will rock the muted colors.  I saw so many wonderful pumpkins and I have been keeping up with sales so I can already get a head start for next year.  I mean why pay full price when I can get it 60% – 75% off by buying it the year before?

My Fall colors are orange, burgundy, and gold.  Going with the traditional colors made it super easy to find things and honestly, too easy.  I had to make myself stop buying and decorating!  The decor you choose for your mantle and fireplace doesn’t have to be over the top, y’all and honestly, if your fireplace has character as mine does, you want to compliment that character; not try to cover it up or compete with it.

In most homes, the fireplace is going to be the base for decorating as it is the most focal point and most likely, besides the kitchen where you, your family and guests will hang out. Decorate and choose around this area and then go from there.

How to Decorate + Style Your Mantle and Fireplace

Step #1: Decide on colors

As you can see, the stone is a neutral color that is extremely fortunate because I can literally go with any color.  It’s not so dark or so light that I have to worry about competing colors.  I like color.  No, let me rephrase that.  I LOVE color so I want my mantle and fireplace to pop, which means a big contrast.  I was able to find really bright, rich, vibrant oranges, golds, and burgundy to allow for that contrast.

Think of your mantle and fireplace as the canvas or backdrop to your Fall decor.  If you have dark brick, decide what colors would go well with the color of the brick.  You want to make sure that your decor doesn’t blend in with your fireplace.  You don’t want to do all that work and no one can really see all your beautiful decor!

How to style your mantle

Step #2: How long will you keep your decor up? 

It may seem like a strange question, but it matters because you don’t want to have elaborate decor only to have to take it down a few weeks later.  Who wants to do all that work and you don’t get to enjoy the fruits of your labor?  That ain’t fun!  I decided to keep my Fall decorations up until Christmas.  Answering this question will also help you with #3.

Step #3: Decide on decor elements. 

One of the great things about Fall is that it lends itself to a limitless amount of decor ideas.  I mean think about it.

  • You can go complete autumn-like and have beautiful, vibrant leaves and trees, and acorns.
  • You can go with the farm-like look and have scarecrows, and corn, and hay.
  • You can go all-natural and just have flowers and greenery.
  • You can go more Thanksgiving and have all different types of pumpkins, gourds, and squashes.
  • You can focus more on the weather and use throws, blankets, pillows, rugs, of all different types of textures.
  • You can focus on colors, textures, and material and add a lot of copper, fur, and dark colors

Do you see what I mean?  It’s a decorating haven and dream!  Now, do you see why #2, decide on how long you want to keep your decor up comes before deciding how you want to decorate?  As I mentioned in #2, I will keep my Fall decor up until the week after Thanksgiving so I did a mixture of all the above.

Step #3: Symmetry 

Your mantle and fireplace is a big area to decorate and usually, the focal point of a very large area of your home.  The larger the space, the more to decorate so that means you not only have 2 levels to decorate, but you have 2 sides as well.  It’s possible you’re going to need to buy 2 of many of your items so the sides mirror each other or you purchase decor pieces that may be different but are similar in height, style, and color.

Christmas mantle decor

If you’re an asymmetrical type of gal, then the above isn’t going to really make much difference to you and you’re going to decorate to your heart’s desire.

Answering this question makes a big difference when it comes to your shopping list!

Step #4: Sketch it out

I’m a visual kind of gal.  When I’m decorating, especially smaller areas, I draw it out on a piece of paper.  Y’all, I am not an artist by any stretch of the imagination.  I mean, all my people are stick figures.  Ha!  But, I can draw well enough to be able to tell if something is going to look right or really crazy.  Even if I sketch it out, in real life, it’s possible that it may not look right, but at least I have a better idea of what something will look like and it saves me a lot of work later buy not doing something that in my mind I thought would be wonderful, but in reality, won’t work.

How to style mantle

Step #5: Start decorating

Add height: When you’re decorating your mantle, add pieces that are high, low, and flat.  You don’t have to use all of these, but you want to create some visual appeal.  It’s more pleasing to see things of different height and it breaks things up!

Add some layers:  Layering is another way to create visual appeal.  Placing decor items on top of each other can make things more fun to look at.

Add some colors:  It’s more visually appealing to look at something with various colors rather than all one color making a monotone look.  Even if you use the same color, you can use different shades of the same color.  Doing so will also add some depth to your mantle and fireplace.

Decorating tip: When I’m decorating, I always leave the tags on everything until I’ve made my final decision.  This way it’s much easier to return things.  

Decorating your mantle and fireplace for the seasons and holidays is one of my favorite parts of decorating.  As you can see, when you break things down, it really is an easy process.  Do you decorate your mantle and fireplace for the seasons or holidays?  What are some of your favorite tips?

Share in the comments below!




  1. candy says

    Wish I had a mantle to decorate for all the different holidays. Love how they look and make the room feel so warm and inviting.

  2. Bria @ Tendril Wild Blog says

    Your mantle turned out so cute, and I love the colors you chose. I usually like using traditional fall colors, too. You can’t go wrong with traditional, tried and true!

    I can’t wait to put up some more fall decorations…I’m slacking a little this year. But you’ve given me some good inspiration! 🙂

  3. Rose says

    I love how this turned out. I think everyone with a mantle should dress it up seasonally. I like the assorted color’s and also how you decorated and combined the lower fireplace part with the upper mantle part.

  4. lauren says

    Great tips, I love how your mantel came out! Your fireplace is beautiful as is, but these elements really make a statement while making it feel cozy. I think I’ve found my inspiration for my own mantel!

  5. Rebecca says

    Wow- that looks fantastic. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with choice so a step by step is helpful!
    I really loved the beautiful photos as well. Great job!


  6. Lisa says

    Your stone fireplace is gorgeous Lynn! I love decorating my mantle and as there are not a lot of walls, it is often the focal point of our great room. My fall decor is up until I pull out the Christmas decor and this year the colors I chose for fall will actually continue over the holidays but just a bit brighter. Your decor is super cheery and welcoming. Love your tips and the way you break down the mantle decorating process.

  7. Janelle says

    I LOVE all the ideas you came up with for decorating! I’m probably in the farmhouse category myself. I actually ended up buying a fire place (the wooden kind you build and hook up to the gas line) just so I would have a place to decorate for the holidays!

  8. Leslie Soto says

    Your fall mantle is so pretty! I am in love with all the colors. I definitely want to add a leaves garland to mine, too. Those twigs and leaves in the pretty vases are a nice touch, too. It all looks so cozy.

  9. Lucy says

    I’d not considered decorating the mantle for fall! That’s a brilliant idea! I’m detgoing to do this and follow all of your style tips. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Grace says

    Wow you are very creative! Love how you decorated your mantle. Unfortunately I don’t have a mantle but I always like to go all the way with the christmas decorations.

  11. Morgan Shaw says

    A very detailed post on decorating , I like how you’ve broken it down into categories and getting the right colours that complement one another is so critical for the arrangement to look right

  12. Eloise says

    I never thought about sketching it out first (I guess I do that in my mind, not paper). I love all of your ideas on how to decorate a mantel, duly noted! thanks!

  13. courtney says

    Your mantle is beautiful!! My mantle is one of my favourite places in my home and I love decorating it. I keep some neutral pieces and a few of my bibles on the mantle and switch out flowers and small decor as the seasons change.

  14. Manda says

    I have always wanted a mantle, but all the houses I have lived in so far have been mantle-less. I’m hoping our next home will have one. Those are some great ideas, btw.

  15. Southern & Style says

    What a stunning fireplace, first of all! Secondly, I am totally obsessed with your decorating talent-everything is so perfectly and beautifully done. I think the candlesticks are my favorite part 😉

    xoxo, SS

    Southern and Style

  16. Kristen says

    Love the fall mantel and fall colors (too many neutral pumpkins on Pinterest these days- LOL!) I am like you – I leave the tags on too until I am sure – great tip!!!

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