The key to making your living space feel extra cozy and inviting this fall? Styling your fireplace mantel (or any freestanding floating shelf!) with festive seasonal accents. “It’s an easy, affordable way to echo nature’s beauty inside your home,” says design pro Danielle Driscoll of lifestyle blog Finding Silver Pennies. Here, Driscoll and other designers reveal their best fall mantel decor ideas that will suit every design style — from farmhouse to traditional to boho-chic — and make loved ones feel welcome!
Fall mantel decor ideas #1: Fun farmhouse
“This fall farmhouse mantel features soft, subtle, neutral hues mixed with bright pops of color and texture from easily made decor pieces,” says DIY pro Mariah Leeson, founder of GigglesGalore.net. The simple how-to: Lean a mix of neutral farmhouse accents, like a metal windmill, window frames and fall signs, on the wall behind the mantel to anchor the display. Hang a colorful wreath (made by hot-gluing pom-poms and mini felt pumpkins to an embroidery hoop) in the center. Next, add a surprising touch like Leeson did: “I made mini pumpkin patches on the mantel and hearth using a cute sign and faux and real pumpkins.” To finish, hang garlands made of strands of playful pom-poms, like Sheep Felt Farms “Pumpkin Latte” Garland (Buy from Amazon, $14.95), and wood beads, like MyLilian Farmhouse Beads (Buy from Amazon, $8.99), for an extra pop of cheery color.
Fall mantel ideas #2: Charmingly chic vintage
“In autumn, I love styling our mantel with rich, earthy tones — it’s perfect for this cozy time of year,” says Sharon Theresa Pinto Hess, owner of Etsy shop WildflowersFarmhouse, who shares her design and DIY tips on Instagram @CorbelCottage. “To start, gather a variety of fall-hued decor items you love in different sizes and shapes,” she says. Here, a rustic window frame leans on the wall behind the mantel and is adorned with an eye-catching copper sign and burgundy-hued leafy garland. Next, Hess lined the mantel with vintage books (pick some up at the local thrift store or flea market), brass candlesticks, a metal leafy platter and fuzzy knit pumpkins. The finishing touch of flair: an ornate swag made of wooden beads, like Dakota Fields 72” Faux Garland (Buy from Wayfair, $33).
Fall mantel decor ideas #3: Cozy cottage-inspired
All it takes is a seasonal garland and wreath and a few decorative extras to create a cottage-inspired display, like this one designed by the style pros at Grandin Road. To get the look, hang an orange-hued, leafy fall wreath above your mantel, then arrange a matching garland on the mantel to form a textured base. Lean a wooden tray against the wall and a “thankful” sign in front. To finish, flank the tray with a “skyline” of old candlesticks (spray-painted white) in various heights and a few leaf-stenciled pumpkins. For a variety of stylish faux pumpkins and other seasonal decor, starting at $11, visit GrandinRoad.com.
Tip: To make your own leaf-stenciled pumpkins, simply pick up a few fresh or faux white pumpkins (from the craft store), then place a leafy stencil, like TIAMECH A4 Tree Vine Leaves Stencil (Buy from Amazon, $6.69) onto each pumpkin and dab over stencil with a foam brush dipped in green craft paint. Remove stencil to reveal a lovely, leafy design, then let dry before adding to the mantel.
Fall mantel ideas #4: Rustic autumn look
A rustic mantel filled with a collection of wooden accents, pumpkins and autumn leaves in golden to amber hues brings the season’s natural beauty to your living room. “The fall colors represent a harvest feeling, while the leaves and pumpkins bring in eye-catching texture,” says design pro Sheila Trapp (follow her on Instagram @simple.joy.at.home).
To do: Place a large wooden frame, like Barnyard Designs Rustic Window Frame (Buy from Amazon, $39.95), on the mantel as an “anchor,” jot down a welcoming message on craft paper and attach to the frame with poster putty. Place a clear sticky hook on the frame above the center of the paper and hang a small leafy branch from the hook. To finish, add amber and white vases filled with dried autumn florals, as well as candlesticks, wooden cutting boards, gourds and faux leaves to mantel.
Fall mantel decor ideas #5: Luxe-meets-modern
“Adding a stylish and modern, yet snuggly fall feel to a fireplace mantel is as easy as layering on a few luxe textural elements,” says DIY pro Jennifer Hadfield of TaterTotsAndJello.com. “On my mantel, plush velvet pumpkins in jewel tones and leafy adornments lend a splash of color that draws the eye.”
To do: Lean a large framed festive sign on the wall behind the mantel and flank with velvet craft-store pumpkins. Arrange leafy branches gathered from the yard and a few mercury glass candleholders, like DN DECONATION Mercury Glass Votive Candle Holders (Buy from Amazon, $38.99) around the gourds. Next, cluster colorful candlesticks, a disco ball, and another velvet pumpkin on one side of the hearth. The fast garland finish: a string of wooden beads decorated with mini pumpkins from the craft store.
Fall mantel decor ideas #6: Traditional elegance
“This display is filled with rich, harvest hues that speak to the holiday in a glamorous way,” says designer Mark Cutler of LA-based luxury interior design firm CutlerSchulze. And he assures it’s easy to turn any mantel into an elegant focal point, like this one styled by Grandin Road. To get the look, hang a colorful fall wreath, then place a matching garland across the mantel. Add gold candlesticks in varying heights on mantel; top with battery-run gold pillar candles. Cut a few 10”-long pieces from a second fruit-kissed garland and connect ends of each piece together where they meet by wrapping with floral wire; slip garland halos around bases of a few of the pillar candles. Add a festive metal or gilded sign to center of mantel and weave plaid ribbon into wreath and garland to finish.
For a medley of chic fall wreaths, starting at $39, visit GrandinRoad.com.
Fall mantel ideas #7: Bright boho look
“I love autumn, and decorating my mantel for the season is one of my favorite things,” says Hadfield. “For this display, I paired textural baskets and vibrant foliage with pumpkins and twinkling lights for a festive vibe. The mix of textures, from the smooth gourds to the woven baskets, creates nice visual interest.” To do: Lean two large round basket trays (sourced from around the house or a thrift store) against the wall behind the mantel and set a tall owl-shaped vase, like Comfify Owl Utensil Holder (Buy from Amazon, $17.99) in the center; fill with bright leafy branches from the yard or craft store. Arrange extra leafy branches, a few mercury glass candleholders, pretty pumpkins and twinkly lights. Add wicker lanterns to the fireplace hearth to finish.
For more DIY autumn decor ideas, click through these stories:
A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.
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