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Mantels & Entryways: Holiday Decorating Ideas

Mantels & Entryways: Holiday Decorating Ideas

Posted by Aimee Talbot on 27th Nov 2012

I love decorating for the holidays. Putting up the Christmas tree and stringing lights and garlands helps me get into the holiday spirit. After the decorations are up, I finally begin to truly anticipate the wonderful family time to come.

Inspired by this “Decorating: Holiday Mantels” slideshow at Traditional Home magazine’s website, I’ve put together a group of photos to inspire you in adorning your home for the holidays. Whether you’re decorating an antique Victorian mantel or the rustic fireplace at your Christmas cabin, you’ll find ideas you can use or adapt to fit your decor. As a bonus, I’ve included a few exterior treatments, as well, to show how you can showcase the front of your stately Victorian or cozy cottage for the holidays. Enjoy!


A beautiful mantel doesn’t have to be fussy. Here, a small nativity set literally framed by a black picture frame hung with simple red ornaments creates a lovely display with a faux, lighted garland. A very stylish and classy look!


This traditional parlor looks very festive with its classical carved fireplace surround swagged with beads and topped with a wreath. I love the way the antique mirrors flank the fireplace for symmetry. And note the beautiful antique demilune table to the right. This classic treatment will work well in your Victorian home.


Heading up to your cabin for the holidays? Let this fun, lodge-style holiday decor inspire you! The cow skull wrapped with silver beaded wire creates a festive look, while the garland brings the outdoors inside. Hanging stockings complete the traditional look. This design, which could look kitschy in a different setting, looks very natural here.


This antique fireplace gets a spectacular holiday makeover using just two colors: white and green. The key here is over-the-top styling. Mounds of white poinsettias ground the vignette, while the faux snow sculpture inside the fireplace box creates an unexpected and delightful surprise. On the mantel, large green ornaments, white snowflake decorations, and a white beaded strand top a thick natural garland. You could really wow your guests by pulling off this look!

Sensational Entryways

You can make a splash outdoors, too. Let your exterior decor complement your home’s style for maximum impact.

Bold Traditional

Here, a city house gets a bold, traditional treatment by running a lighted garland up the railing to the front door. Classic red bows start at the top of the house and continue all the way to the street. This design isn’t overwhelming because it’s scaled to the size of the house. Very appealing!

Stately Victorian

The U.S. Park Service knows decorating. They style the stately Karlan Mansion in a manner befitting the 1877 brick Victorian. Simple red garlands wrap the front columns like candycanes, while traditional pine wreaths with a red ribbon dot each window. This understated design really proves the adage “less is more.”

Charming Cottage

Cottage style is all about the eclectic combination of colors, patterns, and textures, along with a mix of old — and older! — furnishings. Here, the decorator takes cottage style outdoors by creating a garden of light. The green verge defines the garden’s edge, while lavender lights create perhaps a lilac bush, and gold lights along the ground evoke a carpet of daffodils. The wispy holiday lights capture the essence of breezy cottage style. Well done!

We’d love to see how you decorate your home for the holidays, both indoors and out! Send us your photos or link to them in the comments.

 Aimee owns with her best friend, Greg.  Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way.  She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina.  Connect with or sign up to receive this blog in your inbox!