Though Thanksgiving hasn’t yet arrived, we’ve already seen many homes decked out for the holidays with colorful lights, evergreen wreaths, and other whimsical displays. We wouldn’t be surprised if, inside these festive homes, we’d find a tree decked out in Christmas splendor.

But if you’re still in the planning stages of your holiday décor, an easy place to start would be your mantel. It’s a small space that can have plenty of impact, but can also be decorated in stages. For example, you could start by adding a classic evergreen garland for the week of Thanksgiving, then add on ribbons, ornaments, and nostalgic elements like nutcrackers once you get closer to Christmas. No matter what route you decide to take this year, here are a few fabulous holiday-perfect mantels to inspire you:

1. Try a unique color scheme.


This mantel featured in House Beautiful puts a stylish twist on traditional holiday color schemes. Instead of red, green, or gold, crisp white and purple contribute an unexpectedly festive feel. The colors work especially well with silver accents, like the vintage-inspired mirror paired with this mantel, and classic winter greenery.

2. Incorporate colored glass in your display.


This simple mantel décor idea also comes from House Beautiful, which suggested pairing colorful glass with candles. The gorgeous glass beautifully catches the light without necessarily feeling too over-the-top “holiday”. Intrigued? See the vintage French Emerald Green Glass Ribbed Vases curated by Beth Webb.

3. Telegraph holiday spirit with seasonal plants.


Amaryllis and paper whites subtly contribute a holiday vibe in this stylish living room from Traditional Home. The red tray definitely feels like Christmas, but it also brings out the colors in the upholstery and rug. We also can’t help but notice how the Lucite table almost feels like “ice” in the winter. You can add a similar table in your living room with a Plexi-Craft Large Waterfall Coffee Table.

4. Create a nostalgic feel with retro elements.


Mid-century décor complements pared-down silhouettes of modern fireplaces, like in this look styled by The Marion House Book. Less can be more in this case: The grouping of vintage figurines, a sculptural candleholder, and crisp red and white decorations stylishly feel seasonally appropriate.

5. Go simple with a thin swag.


If you already have a television mounted over the mantel, take a cue from Eden Passante of the blog, Sugar and Charm, and add a low-profile garland that won’t overwhelm the fireplace. Her DIY version brings together eucalyptus, citrus, and other greenery for a striking look.

6. Go low-key with everlasting holiday décor.


A classic paper link garland (remember making those in elementary school?) and a “leaf” wreath in Christmas hues are just enough to contribute a holiday feel in the living room of designer Devin Kirk. The garland might be a fun project to keep kids busy during get-togethers.

7. Decorate with floral motifs.


Like amaryllis and paperwhites, poinsettias are another flower that just says “holiday”. Instead of living poinsettias, this garland idea from House & Home magazine recreates poinsettias out of pink and red paper for an even more colorful upgrade to a mantel. Coordinating ornaments and a twinkling garland add fun flair to the look.

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