THE COUNTRY DECORATOR
Put the fireplace at the heart Of your scheme this Christmas with ideas to make it sparkle
Make your mantelpiece the focal point of your living space this winter with a few simple, festive touches
1 grand garland
Give an ornate fireplace a showstopping festive treatment that befits its grandness. Add to a collection of gilt-framed artwork with a glittering line-up of gold, silver and glass candlesticks in an array of shapes and sizes. Drape greenery along the length, decorated with cones, berries and hanging decorations. ‘A beautiful garland is a key festive ingredient,’ says Chrissie Rucker, founder of The White Company. ‘Make one yourself by winding a variety of greenery around a length of wire.’
2 Vintage Vignette
Set up a festive still-life arrangement of bric-a-brac displayed in glass jars and bottles. Keep it simple with pine cones, leaves and berry sprigs, mixed with wooden cotton reels, dolly pegs, paint brushes and postcards. Use a mirror as a backdrop for your display, layering jars and bottles in a line-up with a string of fairy lights laced in between, so the sparkle catches in the mirror’s reflection.
3 Showcase Style
Complement dusky-coloured walls with luxe metallic pieces. Dark greys, deep blues and vivid greens make a perfect foil for rich-toned metallics in soft gold, warm bronze and rich copper. Start your arrangement with a striking gilded feather wreath, hung low. For a whimsical touch, line the mantel with moss and twiggy branches, clustered with candlesticks, ornaments and twinkling lights.
4 Perfectly Packaged
Create a holiday focal point by filling an empty hearth with a stack of beautifully gift-wrapped packages in co-ordinating foils and ribbons, topped with baubles and handmade gift tags. Keep the mantel itself simple with a row of coloured glass candle holders and mini tea lights. Hang a few of your favourite cards from a length of satin ribbon and finish off with a garland of greenery above.
5 Winter Wonderland
Go full-on with an enchanting forest-themed arrangement of paper Christmas trees and candles in an all-white living room. Cut out a stack of folding trees from white paper, lining them up in front of an overmantel mirror to boost the effect. Then dot LED tea lights among them for a magical atmosphere. Balance your arrangement by filling the hearth with candles in various shapes and sizes.
6 Star turn
Take a less-is-more approach to your decor by ditching the tinsel and baubles and opting for a more minimal, modern look. Set off weathered woods, rustic panelling and timeworn paintwork with simple white candles and fairy lights for a calm and inviting look. Instead of cluttering up the mantel, go for just a single accent piece – like this lit-up wired star – for an eye-catching effect.
7 Berry Brights
Cheery red berries and greenery are firm festive favourites, so put them at the heart of your scheme with a rustic country fireplace trimmed with foliage and fir. Create a wreath by decorating a shop-bought garland with foraged berries, rose hips, pine cones and greenery. Pair this with a thinner garland trailed along the mantel with fairy lights, and a cluster of berry-red pillar candles.
8 Floral Flourish
A bold arrangement of cheery poinsettias, festive berries and foliage looks striking in a classic scheme. The clean lines of the fireplace, overmantel mirror and symmetrically positioned lanterns is softened by the vibrant colours, fullness of the florals and the slightly off-centred arrangement. Add extra colour around the room with scarlet blooms and red glass candle votives.
Candle holders, from £20 each; Ivy and Pussywillow garland, £65, allThe White Company. Use the Ownable app to shop now
Similar clip-top bottle, £2.24; Kilner clip-top jar, £4.50, both John Lewis. Use the Ownable app to shop now
Similar feather wreath, £18.39, Zucker Feather Place at Etsy.Use the Ownable app to shop now
Similar winter birch twig tree, from £139, Balsam Hill. Use the Ownable app to shop now
Similar overmantel mirror, £189, Ayers & Graces.Use the Ownable app to shop now
Similar star silhouette light, £55, Cox & Cox. Use the Ownable app to shop now
Similar wreath, £16, B&Q.Use the Ownable app to shop now
Metal and glass oversize lantern, £65, Laura Ashley, is similar. Use the Ownable app to shop now