How to Decorate Your Mantel for Winter

There’s nothing cozier than snuggling up in a blanket in front of a fireplace on a cold winter night. However, a stark mantel can really take away from the comfortable atmosphere that a fire burning in a fireplace creates.

You and your guests will be looking at your mantel more during the winter than any other season, so why not make it the focal point of your house? Framed pictures are a classic solution, but there are so many more exciting options!

This article from has a plethora of inspiration ideas for decorating your mantel for winter. Keep your personal decorating style in mind as well as the rest of your house’s décor and you’ll be able to create a beautifully designed fireplace mantel for your house.

Decorate your Mantel for Winter

Sleek, Shiny and Silver

Silver often plays second fiddle to its more audacious golden cousin when it's time to break out the holiday décor, but don't overlook this shining shade. In this display from Pottery Barn, just a few candles are enough to create a gauzy glow, thanks to silver's reflective sheen. It's all about brightness here: Crystal spheres, shimmering snowflakes and delicate white flowers shooting from etched-silver pots add up to create a warm and wintery fireplace focal point. Photo courtesy of Pottery Barn.

Dressed Up Mid-Century Modern

Decorator Erin Cochran uses the minimalist shelving of her mid-century modern home as a staging ground for her fireplace finery. In keeping with the home's feel, she chooses to artfully arrange clean-lined, wintery-colored vintage pieces. Strings of white lights run in the back, creating a soft glow through the time-worn glass bottles, milky-shaded pottery and delicate papercraft art. Pinecones and shoots of evergreens add visual interest by breaking up the smooth white theme with their sharp colors and lines. Photo courtesy of Erin Cochran.

Lit Up and Toned Down

While grand and gilded works for some fireplaces, it's not right for all of them. This display, created by Roxanne Cave for the Fairmont Chateau Whistler in Whistler, British Columbia, skips the evergreen shoots and poinsettias, but not the seasonal feel. Large off-white vases filled with snow-colored tulips flank the firebox, while candles of different height and intensity create light and interest on the mantel. Photo courtesy of Tallevi Studios.

Rustic Winter Display

Created by the design team of Christi Cline and Sallie Hallmark, this mantel at Vista Verde Guest Ranch in Steamboat Springs, Co., pulls off a festive winter look with nary a garland or light string in sight. By choosing accessories like berry-laden wreaths, raffia spheres and even a vintage lantern, they created a visually-interesting and rustically-authentic display that delights guests all season long. Photo courtesy of Vista Verde Guest Ranch.

Gilded Grandeur

Paul Thomas Flowers created this stunning arrangement for the Ritz London hotel in England. To complement the fireplace's exquisite baroque carvings and encased gold mirror, they choose to eschew traditional hanging garlands and piney greens in favor of this decadent red-and-gold arrangement. A toned-down, home-sized version would add some shine to overcast January days. Photo courtesy of Ritz London.

Holiday or Not? Transitional Mantel Display

Love the idea of dressing up your mantel all winter, but can't imagine it without the usual stockings, mini-trees and other festive knick-knacks? Go transitional. Create a base of winter greenery and lights, then layer on the Christmas. After the holidays, switch out the Christmas music candles for plain ones and pack away the trees and stockings. Leave the flocked evergreen garland, shiny votives, crystal and silver candlesticks and even the boxwood wreath – a fantastically decorated fireplace focal point for the remainder of the cold-weather season. Photo courtesy ofPottery Barn.

Regal Winter Purple

At Biltmore, the grand Asheville, N.C., estate built by George Washington Vanderbilt II in 1895, all matters of decor are taken very seriously, including seasonal fireplace mantel displays. This one, in Mrs. Vanderbilt's Bedroom, manages to be neither overdone nor oversaturated, despite the grand surroundings and lush purple and gold ribbons. While purple isn't necessarily a traditional seasonal color, it is the perfect focus here, complemented by burgundy and orange spheres, as well as the gilded clock and candlesticks. Photo courtesy of Biltmore Estate.

Traditional Winter Whites

At The Holladay House Bed and Breakfast in Orange, Va., owners Sharon and Sam Elswick decorate not just for the holidays, but also to accommodate the winter festivities — particularly weddings — the inn hosts all season long. That's why Sharon, who creates the displays, favors elegant winter whites that not only contrast beautifully with the heavy, dark marble of the period fireplace, but also complement most any festivity's individual palette choices. Photo courtesy of The Holladay House Bed and Breakfast.

Of course this article is just for inspiration, and we encourage you to add your own personal style to these fireplace mantel decorating ideas! Some things to think about when decorating your fireplace mantel are:

Your geographic location
Your house’s architecture style
Your family’s lifestyle
The size of the room and fireplace

Once you decorate your mantelpiece for winter, make sure the rest of your house is just as sparkling and beautiful. If you need help keeping the house clean, call the Maids of South CT, and we’d be more than happy to talk to you!