7 Magical and Minimal Mantel Decor Ideas for the Holidays

Skip the holiday tree if you want, but you must add some pizazz to Santa's entranceway.

Gorgeous Holiday Mantel in Minimalist Living Room with Christmas Tree
Photo: Madeline Harper Photography for IDCO Studio

Christmas trees may get the lion's share of attention when it comes to decorating for the holidays, but they're not the only place to spread yuletide cheer come December. With seasonal celebrations back on many social calendars this year, gathering spaces like your living room or family room should get a bit of extra attention too.

The spot that boasts the biggest potential for a festive upgrade? Your fireplace mantle. Think about it: It's already a natural gathering spot for family—nothing says "home for the holidays" better than a crackling fire and some Bing Crosby carols. Plus, if the promise of a visit from Santa isn't enough to motivate you to search for Christmas mantel decor ideas, we don't know what will.

Whether you're already in the habit of leveling-up your fireplace with Christmas mantel decor or are on the hunt for some fresh new ideas to implement this season, we have just the inspiration for you. Oh, and here's the best part: All of these mantel decorating ideas are simple and minimal—no panicked runs to the holiday aisle at the craft store here—so you can spend more time on all the best parts of the season (Home Alone movie marathons and sugar cookie baking sessions, we're looking at you).

01 of 07

Candy-Colored Forest

Mantel Decor Ideas, Colorful Bottle Brush Trees
Studio DIY

Forgo the ever-popular red and green color combo for a rainbow of celebratory hues, as inspired by Kelly Mindell of Studio DIY. The crafty influencer turned to a forest's worth of vibrant bottle brush trees to enliven her Christmas mantel decor. The finishing touch? Classic red and white felted stockings, which Kelly actually made herself—you can find the full DIY here.

02 of 07

Seasonal Swag

Christmas Mantel Decor Ideas, Greenery Swag and candles
Francois et Moi

For a modern twist on Christmas mantel garland, consider decorating your hearth with an asymmetrical swath of greenery, like Erin Francois of Francois et Moi did at her friend's 1920's Minneapolis home. To achieve this dynamic look, she mixed fresh cedar and pine greenery with faux steams of magnolia and evergreen for a garland that is hearty, full, and fragrant. Dried orange slices and a slew of brass candlesticks finish off the simple yet stunning look.

03 of 07

Snowy Scenery

Christmas Mantel Decor Ideas, Minimalist Garland
The Crafted Sparrow

When it came to decking the halls at her house, blogger Rebecca Lopez of The Crafted Sparrow gave her mantel a genius seasonal update, swapping in snowy artwork to help bring the chill (especially necessary, since she calls sunny Arizona home). She paired the prints, found on Etsy, with whimsical twinkle lights and a touch of greenery for a modern and cozy scene worthy of the North Pole.

04 of 07

Retro Revival

Christmas Mantel Decorating Ideas, Retro Inspired logs in fireplace
Sugar and Cloth

If your preferred holiday vibe is bright, bold, and colorful, then you'll love this next Christmas mantel decor scene from Sugar and Cloth. There is nary a sprig of greenery in sight—instead, Ashley turned to a retro-inspired palette and quirky accents (faux reindeer taxidermy, anyone?) to enliven a non-working fireplace. For a similar look, shop for a colorful holiday sign to string atop your mantel, then accent it with unexpected pops of color using ribbon, fabric, ornaments, and more.

05 of 07

Simple Elegance

Gorgeous Holiday Mantel in Minimalist Living Room with Christmas Tree
Madeline Harper Photography for IDCO Studio

Subtle can be just as seasonal, as proven by this cozy scene courtesy of Anastasia Casey of IDCO Studio. Using a refined palette of cream, green, and golden mustard, she transformed her living room into a sophisticated holiday retreat anyone would be lucky to score an invitation to. Her classic mantel decor draws the eye immediately, thanks to the addition of fresh greenery, velvet ribbon, and an arrangement of muted pillar candles.

06 of 07

Blue Christmas

Holiday Mantel, Blue Christmas Stockings
Ruth Eileen Photography for Finding Lovely

Cool blue accents can make for a frosty and fantastical twist on the traditional holiday palette. Case in point: This elegant Christmas mantel decor from Finding Lovely, which gives an icy baby blue top billing for the season. Blogger Jackie accented the chic scene with crisp neutrals and a simple arrangement of ceramic trees for a holiday scene that is a breath of (frosty) fresh air.

07 of 07

Pretty in Pink

Holiday Mantel Decor Ideas, Pink Bottle Brush Trees
Stephanie Elliott Photo

Photographer Stephanie Elliott allowed her charming collectibles to take center stage on her holiday mantel, pairing the vintage ceramic reindeer figurines with equally charming bottle brush trees and greenery. A grouping of knit stockings completes the look, hanging all off to one side for a playful twist on tradition.

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