Give your fireplace a seasonal makeover with these Winter Mantel Decor Ideas using creamy white and rustic red accents, vases, branches and candlesticks.
After the holidays, it always feels like a little bit of a let down to take down all of the festive Christmas decor. I love all of the lights and garland, having the holiday cards on our kitchen cupboards, and of course the Christmas tree. Our home just looks a little bare without it all twinkling and shiny. I decided this year I was going to do something different about it and intentionally work to change out a few core home decor elements seasonally starting with our mantel decor.
When my husband Kent and I first started dating, he was in the process of building a house in a rural community. By the time I came along, he already had the layout of the house finalized and construction was well on the way. I entered the scene just in time to help him pick out light fixtures, paint colors and to decorate it all. I joke that I knew he was pretty serious about me when he went with the burnt orange for the kitchen walls and bright yellow for the living room. As a bachelor at the time and an engineer by profession he would have chosen shades of beige if I hadn’t saved the day when I did.
All kidding aside, Kent has great design taste and included a gorgeous fireplace in his plans for the living room. It has a high maple wood mantel that sticks out from the wall above beautiful stonework and a gas fireplace. Before we got married, his mom and I went shopping for wall art and mantel decor which included tall bulky candle holders, orange candles and a large rectangular picture that complemented the bright yellow walls nicely.
Ten years, a wedding and two kids later… the candlesticks and the wall art have remained constant other than the holidays when I swap out the candlesticks for some garland and penguins. Of course, over the years I’ve also added a wedding photo and an adorable photo of our boys during a rare loving moment.
While there’s nothing wrong with this mantel decor per se, I just felt it was time for a significant change after I put it back up when the holidays were over this year. It’s been almost ten years so we were due for a change, right? One of my decorating goals for the coming year is to change out the mantel decor seasonally. However, I wanted big visual impact with small mantel decor changes and minimal cost.
Winter Mantel Decor Ideas
Disclosure: This blog post contains affiliate links for products or services we think you’ll like. This means if you make a purchase from one of these links, we’ll make a small commission at no additional cost to you so we can keep the great ideas for the home coming your way. All opinions expressed are our own, derived from our personal experience.
As I thought about the winter mantel decor ideas I wanted to incorporate above our fireplace, I immediately thought of creamy winter white and rustic red colors and accents. Once I determined a color scheme I went shopping at a home decor store to find things I thought would coordinate well together. In the end, I choose to change the candles and candlesticks, replace the wall art with a mirror and add a few more winter mantel decor ideas to tie it all together:
As you can see, a few small decor changes can make a big difference. Here are four winter mantel decor ideas to help you achieve the same look above your fireplace. Be sure to scroll all the way to the end of this post to see my suggestions for where you can find similar decor for your own winter mantel.
1. Choose neutral pieces for your focal points. The first thing that catches your eye when you look at someone’s fireplace is whatever is hanging on the wall above the mantel. For ours, I chose to replace the long rectangular wall art with a circular mirror that’s framed with a creamy winter white that matches the trim in our home. By keeping the focal point a neutral color, I can easily change the other mantel decor to reflect seasonal colors without having to replace the wall art each time.
2. Reuse home decor you already have. Once you determine your color scheme, shop your home to see what other home decor you already have that could work. One of the photos on our mantel is a picture taken by the minister who married Kent and I. Right before we took our vows, he whipped a camera out of his suit coat to take our picture. While he joked that he had a better vantage point than the official wedding photographer, he also said with all seriousness that he wanted to capture THIS very important moment in our lives. THIS was the moment right before we took our vows promising to God and one another in front of all our family and friends to love and honor one another for the rest of our lives.
He encouraged us to frame this photo and put it in a prominent spot in our home so we’d always remember those promises. On the old mantel, I had it in a thin dark brown frame until I discovered this decorative winter white one tucked away downstairs in a guest bedroom. Looking around your home you can uncover treasures like this that can be reused and help you save money in your decorating budget.
3. Keep the home decor you love. The other photo on our mantel for the past few years is one of our boys in a rare tender moment. They both were wearing red hoodies and I captured the shot on my iPhone one day while we were playing at the park. It wasn’t a professional photo or even one that I took on my DSLR camera, but it reminds me they can be sweet to one another sometimes.
I have the boys’ photo in a black picture frame with creamy white letters spelling out the words to “You Are My Sunshine,” a lullaby I sang to them almost nightly when they were infants. I love this photo and the frame so I made sure to incorporate it into our winter mantel decor and probably will keep it for all the other seasons too. Sometimes you just have to keep what you love.
4. Make a plan to change things seasonally. As I put together our winter mantel decor reusing or keeping home decor we had and adding neutral elements, I started to mentally formulate a plan for what I could change out seasonally. I want to keep the basic elements, but swap out the colorful ones and add a few new things to change the mantel decor for spring, summer, fall and the holidays.
For example, when spring comes I think I’ll take the rustic red flowers out of this short creamy white vase. I want to replace it with something green and leafy or mossy that’s about the same size.
While I love the bare sticks and red berries in the owl vase, I’m going to fill it with bright flowers or maybe some green vines of some sort in the spring. Likewise, you’ll notice the candlesticks I’m using now are a neutral color, so I just have to replace the red candles with lime green ones or another spring-like color.
We’ll see what I can find at the home decor store or what I already have somewhere here in the house to use. I promise I’ll share photos throughout the year so you can see how the mantel decor changes and can get inspired to make similar seasonal changes with your own mantel.
Get This Look for Your Winter Mantel
We shopped online to find similar products like we used for our winter mantel decor, in case you wanted to get this same look above your fireplace. As you shop online, search for terms like “antique white”, “distressed white”, “rustic” and “shabby chic” to find home decor like this.
White Owl Vases
- Home Decorator’s Collection – The wide owl vase is similar in size to ours.
- Abbot Ceramic Owl Vase
- White Ceramic Owl Decorative Vase
White Framed Mirrors
- Round Cream Somerford Wooden Wall Mirror
- Desmond Round Mirror Distressed Stone Grey
- Supreme Sadie Wooden Mirror – This one is different, but has a white washed look that would be great for your winter mantel decor.
Short White Vases (Search for succulent vases or planters to get this same sort of look.)
- French Country Design Off-White Ceramic Small Decorative Vase
- I think this short Water Pitcher Flower Vase would also be pretty or this Rustic White Display Bowl Vase.
Wood and White Candlesticks
- You Are My Sunshine Frame
- Distressed Wood Frame with Gilded Border
- Lightly Distressed Frame
- This Wood Lace Doily Pattern frame with a bird is totally different, but I think the white lace pattern is beautiful and would be great winter mantel decor.
Other Decorative Accessories
- Red Candles – If you prefer to use LED candles, I think these distressed pomegranate LED candles or distressed burgundy red LED candles look like mine.
- Floral Branches – The key is to a mix a few different kinds together. I also included a few branches with small red berries and a couple of small red feathery floral picks like these duck flower stems only smaller.
- Red Hydrangea Floral Pick – You could also use one of these red artificial hydrangeas.
Do you change the mantel decor above your fireplace seasonally? What elements do you include or swap out? Please comment below and share. We’re always looking for new ideas especially as we consider changing out our mantel decor for spring, summer and fall throughout the rest of this year.
While you’re here, be sure to check out other winter ideas on Kenarry: Ideas for the Home, like this Winter Monogram Decor or this Chunky Yarn Winter Wreath. If you enjoyed these Winter Mantel Decor Ideas, please share it with your friends or pin it for later:
Carrie is the chief writer, crafter and cook here at Kenarry: Ideas for the Home. She’s an optimist by nature and enjoys sharing recipes, trying new craft ideas, planning for parties and events as well as organizing and decorating. When she’s not blogging, preparing meals or picking up around the house, you’re bound to find her hidden away in a castle under the stairs reading to her two young boys. Whether you’re cooking, crafting or creating for your family, follow Carrie on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Instagram to get inspiring ideas for your home.