There is so much inspiration and so many ideas when we decorate for Christmas.

But then, when all of the decorations are put away – do crave simplicity for a little bit?

I do.

But I couldn’t just leave my mantel empty...

So, I was trying to come up with some mantel decorating ideas for the winter season.

But I wanted to keep it simple.


Usually, I have a plan – even if it changes, I start with an intention for how I am going to decorate my mantel.

But, it turns out – this time I didn’t need a plan.

I started with placing the canvas I finally had made from our family photographs we had taken last year by Eve's Wish Photography.

Then I placed the stove board that has been covering the front of the fireplace.


And then I just began placing things there as we were undoing Christmas.

It turns out, I had used a lot more non-specific Christmas things than I had realized, so everything with a warm wood texture, was placed.

It can be that easy - just take a common element - like warm wood tones - and begin grouping them together.


Starting with a family photo, a mirror or a rustic piece of wood as a center point - simply build like things around them.

The items I used were spools and mashers and somehow to me the look kind of like a group of trees.

They really have nothing to do with winter, but somehow they work (at least in my mind).


So what do you have then you can use on a shelf or a mantel in repetition?

Mason jars?

Glass vases?

Candle holders and candlesticks?

Small baskets?

Or maybe you have a bunch of types of items in one unifying color.


It doesn't have to be complicated and stressful.

A simple switch of pillows and blankets and that was it.

And as I sat down as the only person in the world to watch Revenge and not Downtown Abbey – it was done.


I imagine I might want to put my mirror back up there soon since I do love the way it reflects light in the winter, but for now, this suits me just fine.

I love that it was simple, no stress – not even a mess – which is very unusual for me.

How about you – now that your shelves, mantels and tabletops are empty - what are putting in their place?

Oh, and I am sharing over at...

Savvy Southern Style

Home Stories A2Z

P.S. If you are interested in seeing other mantel decorating ideas, you can visit here.

January 07, 2013 — Laura Putnam