One of the most common pre-holiday design dilemmas is fireplace decoration. Should it be symmetrical or not, traditional or whimsical, over-the-top or scaled down? Whichever option you choose, make sure your fireplace is show-worthy as so many holiday gatherings focus around it.

Mantle Magic

Here are some sure-fire tips to make the fireplace the focal point of your holiday decorating this season:

Scale – it is definitely better to use few large decorative items than a dozen smaller ones. Try two large urns filled with seasonal greenery or two large candle holders and a medium sized floral arrangement in the middle. A large mirror or a striking piece of art is a great background for your mantel accessories.

Wood – make sure the inside of your fireplace looks neat and clean – have the wood cut to same length for a neat pile. White birch looks really neat when stashed nicely inside your fireplace or next to it in a cool container – wicker or rattan baskets work well but my favorite are Chinese rice buckets and oversized glazed planters.

Accessories — A fireplace screen is the most important one for safety purposes. With safety in mind, don’t forget about beauty – choose a finish that works with other metal accents in your house. As for fireplace tools – the only one you really need is a good poker. When decorating your mantel, keep in mind that flammable items should stay far away from your fireplace. Keep to items that are made of a metal or glass. A fun way to display ornaments is to put an array of sizes into a large glass container.

mantel magic

mantel magic

Images courtesy of Southern Accents and