A traditional mantel has one key component: layering. Give attention to details using classic colours—creams, golds, and silvers—then add sparkle, shine, and texture to create interest. It’s important also to keep it simple. Use plain glass jars or gold ornaments for shine.
To add warmth, add earthy textures—I used wood chips and greens. The greenery is key to add a touch of coziness. Hanging the greenery adds layering for richness. I added wood in the basket for warmth to offset some of the shine.
From Anna's Flowers: Gold reindeer $49.99 ec • Mantel lush garland $69.99 ea
Glass icicles from $5.99 ea • Stockings $34.99 ea
From HomeSense: Nutcrackers $9.99 ea • Velvet “joy” pillow case $29.99 • Wicker basket $24.99
From Nicholson Home Collection: Wingback chair $749
The main difference between traditional and modern is less fuss and more matte. I created the feeling of muted versus shiny. The less fussy, the better. In modern looks, the focus is on the key pieces. I used less layering and allowed the fireplace, instead of the traditional mantel, to take centre stage. Because fireplaces tend to be simple, the décor also follows. Adding a fur rug can add warmth.
The bolder, larger shapes allow for a cleaner look, and I achieve this with the greenery and the larger tree—without decorations.