I have something shocking to tell you: Christmas is just just around the corner. We are filling our Nell Hill’s store with one lush and lavish display after another, creating a winter wonderland that delights all the senses.
To celebrate, we’re doing the holidays up big, big, big. We’re starting with a series of holiday decorating blogs, where my team and I will share inspiration and ideas for making your own home merry and bright for the season. First up? Holiday mantel decorating tips from Bruce, our marketing and visual manager.
I’m pretty crazy about anything that’s blue and white. But blue and white pottery, in particular, makes my heart hammer hard. So we created a holiday treatment on this mantel that’s an ode to my lifelong color crush. Our focal points are these classic urns that feature a fresh, contemporary vine pattern. Since dramatic mantel displays have a variation in height, we flanked the urns with a pair of boxwood topiary. Bruce likes to include some element of light in his holiday mantel displays, whether it’s a strand of lights or a single candle, so he added this beautiful etched glass hurricane lamp in the center.
STYLING TIP: “Fit your holiday decor to your room, not the other way around,” Bruce advises. What colors are featured predominantly in your home? Use that palette to inspire your seasonal displays, so your holiday decor does not clash with the rest of your home.
The focal points in this look are classic urns that feature a fresh, contemporary vine pattern. (Handout/TNS)
My favorite mantel displays include layers of greenery. On this inspiration mantel, our base layer is a classic evergreen garland, swaged in the center and cascading off each end. Next, we added a host of picks and ribbon to give the mantel this full, rich, finished look. While we stayed within a tight bouquet of colors — blue, white and green — the overall display is so beguiling because of all the different textures and finishes, from the glistening lime green berries to the frosty white leaves.
STYLING TIP: Make sure your greens don’t go crashing to the floor, taking all your pretty breakable accents with them. To keep that from happening, we anchor our heavy greenery displays to the wall. We place screws on the right and left side of the mantel, where it meets the wall, then use florist wire to secure the garland to the screws. To keep the breakable ornaments from falling, we cinch them to the greenery using plastic zip ties.
MERRY AND BRIGHT
This room, with its peony colored ceiling, is the place we get to experiment with bright, bold, saturated color. And, oh my, did we have fun with this mantel! A wonderful modern painting and a pair of floral chairs got us started on this scene that proves holiday décor can be effervescent and overflowing with energy.
When designing mantel displays, Bruce creates a visual pyramid that draws the eye to the center of the mantel. In this asymmetrical display, the towering glass candlestick is our apex. The footed bowl filled with ornaments and the etched glass hurricane follow the visual lines, repeating the sparkle of the dazzling garland treatment.
The rope of garland dips dramatically at the mantel’s center, then finishes with a flourish on each side. Check out how we transformed this traditional evergreen garland, amping it up just by weaving in splashy white leaf picks. To finish, we picked out a rainbow of super fun, over-sized tree ornaments in a variety of shapes. Some are wired snug to the garland while others dangle below, adding to the whimsy of the mantel.
STYLING TIP: Decide on one look for your holiday displays, then repeat it throughout your home. “Your mantel should reflect your tree, should reflect your table setting, and so on,” Bruce advises. “Then, all of a sudden, it’s a great beautiful story that envelops your home.”
This column was adapted from Mary Carol Garrity’s blog at www.nellhills.com