We’ve all heard the kitchen is the heart of the home, but when temperatures fall, the fireplace becomes a close contender. Before you gather around the hearth this year, take some time to create a charming fall-themed mantel display with these five items.
Garland has many uses throughout your home, but the fireplace mantel is a sure fit. You can create your own garland, or buy an arrangement like the faux hydrangea wheat garland from Pottery Barn for $70.
Garland is easy to work into your existing decor and provides an instant seasonal lift. Start by placing the garland first, then working other decorative items around it. This makes it seem as though the garland is growing naturally within the arrangement.
Wreaths can be draped across a large mirror, antiqued window pane or empty picture frame. To complement your display, use smaller objects along the mantel itself. This will prevent your mantel from being bare, without removing the attention from your wall display. The cornhusk wreath by Martha Stewart is gorgeous and inexpensive, and it makes a big statement; plus, it's a project you can do yourself. If you don't have cornhusks, try this coffee-filter version using tea as a dye.
Mirrors are great for reflecting light within your space. To save money, look for unique mirrors at flea markets, thrift stores or retailers such as Ross and TJ Maxx. You also can find affordable options, like this 33-inch high by 26-inch wide arched mirror from Amazon.com, priced at about $77. If you plan to use the mirror as the primary accent on your mantel, select a mirror with a decorative frame that complements the rest of your home's decor. For a more subtle look, choose a simple frame that doesn't attract too much attention and allows other objects on the mantel to take center stage.
Options for candles are endless these days, but look for candles with festive flair. These candles from Pier 1 Importers are affordably priced at $10.00 to $12.00. Display them on decorative candlesticks of various heights, or place them in glass hurricanes, accented with acorns or even pinecones. Combine candles with mirrors for the added impact of reflected light.
Fill vases, like these from West Elm, with trimmed branches, and place them in small groupings across the mantel. They range in price from $10 to $89, so choose the sizes and shapes that fit best in your home. As you work, take time to step back and view the arrangement from different angles of the room, and exchange items until you find the look you like.
Pulling it all together
You don't need professional training; you just need to know the basic philosophy that pros use on a regular basis. Designers use elements such as line, pattern, texture, shape, size and color to create balance, unity and contrast. What does all that mumbo-jumbo mean? In a nutshell, the goal is to combine these elements to create an appealing display. Unify your arrangement through similar colors, but create visual interest by combining items of various sizes, patterns and textures. If this makes you somewhat nervous, browse the Web to find great examples, like this display from Home Goods, and just recreate what you see.
Ultimately, it's all about you, so decorate until you're so delighted that you can't stop staring.
How to make a Thanksgiving garland
Garlands are great decorations for harvest time or Thanksgiving. Make a harvest garland Thanksgiving craft with a scrapbooking craftswoman in this free video on gifts and crafts.