How to Decorate a Holiday Mantel

A step-by-step guide to our favorite mantel formulas

02 December 2021 -

Mantels are one of our favorite surfaces to decorate for the holidays…

and since the fireplaces are often the heart of the home, it’s a great place to make a statement with festive additions and natural, textural elements.

Although there are countless ways to decorate mantles, we have a formula we’ve used over the years to create the perfect simple yet festive mantel. If you’re looking for inspiration on how to decorate your fireplace mantle this year, here are some ideas:

Step No 1: Add a focal point. 

When decorating any mantel, we like to start with a focal point. Whether a scene-setting art piece or a statement mirror, a centered anchor draws the eye and creates balance.

From The McGee Home

From our McGee & Co. 2020 Holiday Collection

Step No. 2: Set the scene with greenery 

There’s no better way to bring a festive feeling to your mantel than by adding a layer of dimensional greenery. From seeded eucalyptus to textural cedar, faux garlands set the scene for layering.

We love the look of hanging greenery to one side to create some asymmetry, and it’s simple to re-create this look in your own space by laying your garland flat over the top and letting one side hang lower than the other. If you’re using a garland that isn’t heavy enough to weigh down on it’s own, try securing it under one of your stocking holders!

From our McGee & Co. 2018 Winter Catalogue

From The McGee Home

Step No. 3: Layer in décor 

When layering decor on a mantel, we like to create groupings to bring asymmetry to the look. Whether it’s a group of decorative trees or a layered art piece, try playing with different levels to get a balanced look. 


Stagger your décor – Instead of doing equal amounts of decor per side, our team likes to unbalance items to create more interest. If you’re draping your garland to one side, try styling your taller items on the other! If you’re going garland-less, try using potted greenery on one side with shorter, contrasting decor on the other. 

From our McGee & Co. 2020 Winter Catalogue

From The McGee Home

From our McGee & Co. 2020 Holiday Collection

Step 4: Hang your stockings 

Stockings are a great way to bring personality and texture to your mantel, and they bring an instant cozy feeling to every fireplace look. If you’re going for a uniform stocking look, try staggering them to create an asymmetrical look with uneven sides for more interest.

From The McGee Home

Step No. 5: Add in the details 

If you love the look of uniform stockings but still want to personalize them for each family member, adding bells, ornaments, letters, or even ribbons in different colors is a great way to set them apart.

From The McGee Home

Date Posted
02 December 2021