Welcome! I’m happy to share with you our Christmas mantel and a tour of our dining room, which happens to be where our fireplace is located. It’s not typical, but we love the warmth and the old-fashioned “gather around the kitchen hearth” feeling it gives the space.
The fireplace is here because this used to be the living room. We renovated and switched things around to make better use of the home’s square footage.
I was nervous about going against convention and worried we would miss having a fireplace in the living room.
I sure am glad I ignored those little voices! Not only does the fireplace create a cozy atmosphere when guests come over, but I get to decorate the mantel without a TV getting in the way. ;)
We can still enjoy the fireplace from the living room, since the two spaces are open to one another, with only a partial wall dividing them.
Our kitchen opens into the dining room, creating a space that is at the same time an eat-in kitchen and a formal dining room. It has become the place where everyone gathers when they visit.
I like to make the fireplace wall the focus of the dining room, so the rest of the space has just a few simple touches that pick up on the Christmas mantel theme. It also helps keep the space from feeling cluttered.
There is a wall of built-in bookshelves next to the fireplace, so the decor could easily feel chaotic. To avoid this, I decorate with a subtle palette of greige, cream, white and celadon. I use dark accents to add contrast and interest.
With a neutral base, I then add color as the seasons change. This year I decided to simplify and add just a few touches of deep red. You can see last year's mantel as well as how I decorate it the rest of the year here.
The lettering on the vintage sled, which was my father’s when he was a boy, picks up on the red of the brick.
My girls’ initials on the bears, the cranberries in the garland and the accents on the wreath continue to carry the red throughout.
A plaid scarf casually laying in a basket brings just enough red to the bookshelves to tie it all together.
I hope you enjoyed my dining room tour, decked out for the holidays, and that it has left you with some ideas about how to create a Christmas mantel of your own.