The fireplace is usually the focal point of the family room or living room, and especially so during the holiday season. A warm and inviting mantel and matching décor next to it will add to the ambiance of the room and create a conversation piece when guests visit.
No fireplace? No problem. Add a faux fireplace to any room and place battery operated candles in it for ambiance, then decorate the mantel and areas next to it as desired. Purchase a faux fireplace kit, build one yourself out of plywood and paint, or buy an antique mantel at an architectural salvage store or online.
For a visually pleasing arrangement be sure to keep the décor items sized in keeping with the size of the room and the fireplace. An 8-foot tall tree would look out of scale next to a small fireplace and room with low ceilings. Conversely, small décor looks odd next to a large fireplace over mantel that reaches 12 feet.
Keep the décor in the same color palette for a striking look. Some decor trends that are popular right now for the holidays are blue and white, all white, pinks and greens, and of course, the ever popular green and red.
Add interest to the mantel décor with a theme such as trains, antique toys, nutcrackers, porcelain dolls, or stockings. This is a good time to show off a favorite collection. Choose the theme first, then select décor items that will complement the colors for a pleasing and striking look.
Marge Padgitt is the publisher of Wood-Fired Magazine and president of HearthMasters, Inc. chimney contracting company in Kansas City, Missouri. Marge is an industry writer and author.