How to Decorate a Fireplace Mantel & My Cozy Winter Mantel

05 January
I mentioned in my last blog post that it felt a little blah and boring in the house since I removed all the Christmas decor... It's downright depressing really!

So I've been working on some fun winter-themed crafts and cozy home decor to lift my spirits.

Today I'm sharing my cozy winter fireplace mantel and my tips for how to style your mantel (that work for any season!)

Cozy Winter Mantel Decor

Cozy Winter Mantel Decor

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I always like to start with a blank slate (and I recommend you do too) so I completely cleared off the mantel first. Then, add something significant, a large mirror or piece of art as long as it's not too busy. 


You don't want a mantel full of tiny little things or it will look cluttered.


I started with this yard sale mirror that I got for $1 at a garage sale years ago.


Cozy Winter Mantel Decor


Can you believe that... A nice, heavy antique mirror with beveled glass and a solid wood frame for a buck!? ๐Ÿ˜ฒ You can see what it looked like when I got it here: Antique Mirror Refresh.


Next, add a focal point... something that evokes the feeling you are trying to create. It should be medium to large in size. Layer it off-center to the right or left, over the large piece.


I am aiming for a warm, cozy vibe so I used the Upcycled Clock Winter Wonderland that I made several years ago. I shared how I made it in the post linked above.


Cozy Winter Mantel Decor


Use the 60-30-10 rule which includes 60% main color, 30% secondary color, and 10% accent color. This is also a great rule for decorating a whole room, but that's a topic for another post ๐Ÿ˜ You can also use one color with several tones or shades of that color. That is what I am doing with this version of my mantel.

So far we've got the neutral white pieces that are great for a cohesive look. The distressing on the paint adds a time-worn feel and the twinkle lights inside the clock with the white bottlebrush trees and little deer bring in the feelings of snugness, comfort, and warmth (aka, coziness)!

Add one more substantial piece on the opposite end (if you've placed your focal point on the left, then place this piece on the right side; if your focal piece is on the right, then place this piece on the left).

I used a large wooden vase that I found at Goodwill (I think it was $3.99) and filled it with faux evergreen branches left over from my Christmas mantel. I got these branches years ago, either at a garage sale or thrift store. 

If you can use this piece to bring in some greenery (real or fake) that's always good. Since it's winter, evergreen branches are perfect. In the warmer months, you could use a plant.

Cozy Winter Mantel Decor


Now start bringing in a few smaller items that further evoke the feeling you want to convey. I want cozy winter feels so I continued on with the neutral whites and added some honeycomb paper trees. 


I got these several years ago from Pick Your Plum. If you haven't heard of it, it's a daily deal site, check them out, they have some fun stuff sometimes!


Cozy Winter Mantel Decor


Go back and forth between each side of your mantel adding your smaller items to balance the whole thing out.

Candles always evoke a cozy feel to me. It would have been better if my candles were different sizes so I ended up moving one to the other side as you'll see.


Cozy Winter Mantel Decor


Use the Rule of Threes when you are decorating. With the Rule of Threes, you arrange things in groups of odd numbers as they are more eye-catching and create balance and harmony. So, you group three visually similar things together.

I added three brass candlesticks in varying shapes and sizes. I also have the group of three honeycomb trees and there are three white bottlebrush trees in the clock. Also, note that you don't have to have candles in candlesticks!! ๐Ÿ˜ฒ We are mavericks here ๐Ÿ˜‚ I did try it with candles but didn't like it.


Cozy Winter Mantel Decor


You want texture in your design, especially when you are using a neutral theme.


Moving back to the left of my design, I added two baskets to the wall above the mantel. So, the bricks on my fireplace have an awesome texture, then there's the texture on the honeycomb trees and the baskets... even the clock has some texture with its details.



Cozy Winter Mantel Decor


Another tip is, don't add too much. We have a tendency to want to fill all the space and that isn't necessary. Your eyes need a place to rest. ๐Ÿ˜Š


Here are a few cozy close-ups.

Cozy Winter Mantel Decor

Cozy Winter Mantel Decor

Cozy Winter Mantel Decor

Cozy Winter Mantel Decor


To recap...

  1. Remove everything and start with a blank slate.
  2. Add something large, but not too busy, in the middle.
  3. Layer in a focal point over the large item, to the right or left.
  4. Add one more substantial item on the opposite side (ideally some greenery).
  5. Work with a color palette, use the 60-30-10 rule which includes 60% main color, 30% secondary color, and 10% accent color OR one color with different tones/shades of that color.
  6. Begin adding a few smaller items working in groups of three but avoid too many small things.
  7. Move back and forth between each side of your mantel to add balance.
  8. Use items that have texture.
  9. Don't use too much, leave negative space.

Try it out and see how you do!

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How to Decorate a Fireplace Mantel & My Cozy Winter Mantel

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  1. Oh I'm with you on it feeling downright depressing after taking down Christmas. Great winter decorating (or just decorating in general) tips, Tania, your winter fireplace mantel definitely has the cozy vibes!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! It helps a little with the depressing after-Christmas feeling :)

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  2. Great tutorial, Tania!

    ReplyDelete
  3. That looks so pretty and cozy. Your little clock is my favorite of all time. I made one too and have it out every Christmas.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Vikki :) I remember your clock, it's cute!!

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