As the weather finally turns crisp and the leaves begin to turn, autumn is officially upon us. As October comes to a close and we look forward to November, we realize Thanksgiving is just on the horizon. If you’re entertaining guests this holiday season, begin your festive decorating preparations now. Follow this step-by-step guide to turn your mantel into a festive celebration of the Thanksgiving season.
Start with a Design Anchor
There’s usually one element that brings your whole design together – and you don’t have to run out to a home decorating store to get one. Everyday elements can anchor your design. For example, fireplace tools can add an artful touch to your mantel, while a cascade of homemade paper flowers can add visual interest without breaking the bank.
The autumn season lends itself well to rustic charm. Antique toolsets, weathered wood, and burlap elements all give your mantelpiece a rustic feel.
Mix Your Materials
Don’t be afraid to mix and match materials, even if you don’t think they belong together. For example, wood and sea glass add richness and depth to your mantel. If you’re the DIY type, consider making an upcycled sign out of wooden egg crates or pallet boards. Rough sea glass offers a welcome alternative to traditional beads.
Naturals like wood and burlap also pair well with metallic elements. For instance, wrapping a candle with birch bark and finishing with a metallic string effortlessly combines the traditionally rustic with a touch of modern flare, creating an atmosphere that is as cozy as it is bright.
To combine your metallic and rustic elements in one project, try this idea: Gather mason jar lids and arrange them in a circle resembling a pumpkin. Tie tightly in the middle. Add a cinnamon stick as a stem, and finish off the look with a burlap or leather ribbon.
Be Creative with Your Gourds
When choosing gourds for your mantelpiece, think beyond the traditional orange pumpkins. While we readily associate pumpkins with the season, varying your type and length of gourds keeps the look modern and fresh. Use different textures, from smooth mini gourds to bumpy, knobby varieties.
Ghost pumpkins are increasingly available in grocery stores, popular for their versatility. If you can’t find a white-hued pumpkin in your area, spray paint a couple of orange ones to add a new color to your mantelpiece. Ghost pumpkins also pair well with metallic elements.
Layer Your Mantel
Use a variety of heights in your mantelpiece design to create interest. Adding layers also adds depth. For example, layering a hand painted wood sign with a metallic picture frame creates changes in both depth and texture.
You don’t have to hang something above the mantelpiece to bring height to your design. Something as simple as an empty frame will help pull your look together. If you want to add something extra, make burlap pennants spelling “Thanks” and hang them within the frame for a seasonal touch.
Finish the Look with Filler
Finally, round out your look with florals and filler in a range of tones and fixtures. If you’re unsure of where to begin, just look to Mother Nature. This time of year, earth tones reign supreme. Find bundles of wheat to add to an existing vase, or use pinecones artfully scattered across your mantelpiece (an added bonus: pinecones help make a seamless transition to your holiday mantel). Dried flowers and greenery like ferns and eucalyptus help add the finishing touches.
Decorating your fall mantelpiece is easy if you follow this guide. Have fun creating a look you and all of your guests will love this autumn season.
Sarah Lograsso is the Director of Marketing for Boral North America’s stone division of brands (Cultured Stone, Eldorado Stone, Kindred Outdoors + Surrounds, Versetta Stone, Dutch Quality, StoneCraft and ProStone), where she manages all of the brands’ marketing, advertising and promotional projects and objectives. She is well versed in manufactured stone and brick veneer, masonry techniques, biophilic design, fireplace surrounds, outdoor living, fire bowls, color and texture, and up-to-date industry and market trends.