Neutral Christmas Fireplace Mantel


Isn’t this a crazy week! The rush of the upcoming Holidays, going on outside, makes me happy that this year I chose to decorate our little lake cottage in Neutral colors.  My Neutral Christmas color palette, like a fresh dusting of snow in the mountains, is so calming.


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Recently I shared our Night Before Christmas Neutral Holiday Tablescape, but my favorite project, so far, is decorating the fireplace mantel in neutrals; mainly shades of brown and white. It’s truly beautiful! The natural textures and muted colors seem grounded to Nature and create a “quiet” winter mood to the room. Woodsy, Understated & Peaceful.


How to Arrange a Neutral Christmas Fireplace Mantel


As I pulled together items for a neutral decor, I kept two things in mind – Texture and Color. It came together quickly once I chose the wooden JOY sign as the anchor that the other items could be built-up around. Since the JOY is painted a distressed white, it blended into the pale yellow wall background – not good – so I placed a large tobacco basket behind the sign to add some contrast. The basket’s weathered gray wood is a subtle color change and its lattice adds a graphic interest to, an otherwise, flat wall.


Once that was done it was obvious the JOY needed to be raised higher. I tried a box then a stack of boards as hidden lifts, before finally bringing in a tree trunk round (normally used as a base under my glass dome.) The trunk round is broken in half : (  so it worked great to place each trunk half side-by-side. The JOY sign sits across both halves, leaving enough room to place a birch bark candle. I like how the edges of the two trunk pieces are round against the straight-edge of the mantel; I even let one half-round extend over the front edge of the mantel. This is the first year I have had a nice deep mantel top to decorate. The wood mantel is a whopping 11-inches deep, almost double what it was, so the display has dimension to it.


The triangle arrangement happened almost effortlessly as I moved and edited the decorator items, standing back and redoing it several times (I did say, “Almost”). Look at it again, (take out the reindeer, the black lantern and globe) there you go, see a simple triangle? I added the reindeer to fill in blank space and the black metal lantern and lighted glass globe to give weight and texture to both sides. Tip: If you struggle when arranging your fireplace mantel, move the items around until you get that simple triangle, then fill in the spaces to balance. It’s SIMPLE! The triangle arrangement forces an eye-appealing variation of heights. Don’t forget to shop your house…you will be surprised how old things look fresh in a new setting.

What MOOD does your Holiday decorating create?

Oops…I just realized when I was linking past posts, that I never shared the full DIY on how to build a simple fireplace mantel…so… that is scheduled to post in January. Also slated for January – a Nordic mid-century DIY, using the furry-delish pillow seen in photo #3 uptop. I’m can’t wait to share that!


Thanks for Meeting Me Lakeside,

new Kathy sig w wc & big mug 159x50