Christmas Mantel Two Different Ways: This year in the midst of all of the construction chaos (the entire exterior exterior of our house is being replaced which means that we can’t have anything on any exterior walls), I have taken a more simple approach to Christmas.
First, our Christmas tree will be two different colors (gold and blue to match the mantel) instead of all of our usual ornaments. Second, we are choosing not to bring out most of the Christmas decorations (like our nutcracker collection) simply because my entire china cabinet is currently all over our grand piano and formal living room. Third, exterior decorations are not happening at all simply because there is nowhere to attach wreaths! And fourth, our mantel has to be easily reproducible (I had to take everything down from the fireplace and bookcases this morning).
Strangely enough, I love how easy our Christmas decorations are turning out to be!
Our Christmas Mantel is the best example of how beautiful a simplified approach can be. See our mantel this year versus last year (first picture versus second picture below.)
DIFFERENCE #1: GARLANDS & ACCESSORIES
Last year, it took several hours to put together the mantel with all of the birds, garlands, ribbons, and lights.
This year, I was able to assemble the entire mantel-scape in less than 30 minutes. Instead of four different garlands wound together, I used two: this gold magnolia garland and one evergreen garland.
DIFFERENCE #2: MIRRORS
You might notice I switched out the mirrors as well–I chronicled how I did that in this post Gold Mirror DIY–I refinished both mirrors for under $30 and the current faux bamboo one cost under $30 to start with!
DIFFERENCE #3: FURNITURE
We relocated our Eames chair to our master bedroom (see our complete master bedroom makeover here), and I added some symmetry with two inexpensive white Ikea chairs here (they are under $99 which is a steal for such a stylish accent chair–see all my favorite affordable accent chairs here). I love how they balance the room better and are fantastic for creating better seating areas for conversation (see all my tips on how to arrange furniture in this post).
DIFFERENCE #4: PARING BACK COLOR
Instead of lots of bright colors, I have scaled back my color palette and focused on blue, white, and gold. As a result, I have a more sophisticated and calming display. The room feels more cohesive, and flows better with the other rooms in the downstairs (our recently redone playroom for the One Room Challenge, our living room which is going to get a mini-revamp soon), our downstairs bath–another One Room Challenge makeover, our kitchen, office, backhall (makeover happening this month!) and entryway.
Last year’s bright colors:
Versus this year’s pared back palette:
All together, the differences result in a calmer, more sophisticated focal point for our most-used room of the house, and I am loving how easily reproducible it is, how simple it is, and how cohesive it looks! Make sure to see all of the AMAZING Christmas home tours this week! I always love seeing how bloggers style their homes for Christmas!
Green With Decor
Little Red Brick House
Catherina’s Creative Corner
Houseful of Handmade
Keys to Inspiration
Little Bits of Home
The Inspired Hive
2 Bees in a Pod – Jenn
Home with Cupcakes and Crinoline
Calypso in the Country says
I love both ways but the simple approach is very calming – and more appealing since it’s so much easier! I hope you are enjoying this time with your sweet children!
Brittany L Wise says
This year’s approach looks beautiful! I don’t blame you for not breaking out all the totes when the house is under construction. You still made pretty happen, even if it’s different than last year. 🙂
For the past 6 years I reuse what I have in different ways and I am surprised by how much I like changing it up as opposed to doing the same exact thing every year. Sometimes its simply, some years I spend a little extra time, but either way the most important part stays the most important.
Vicki and Jenn 2 Bees in a Pod says
We love how you have shown your evolution of design and style. The blue and white is so beautiful and calming. Your Christmas living room is beautiful! Thank you so much for touring with us. May you and yours have a wonderful holiday season!
Lydi @ Lydi Out Loud says
I love your decor theme… it is so fresh and elegant! It’s the best when you discover a style you love that started out based on necessity. Best of luck with the construction chaos!
So I love this ! Especially how you have done it two ways… I think all Christmas Decor should be done that way ….because honestly …when I first put it out I always change it later on ha ha …. Beautiful! So happy to be included in such a wonderful blog hop! Happy Holidays! Oxox
They’re both beautiful! I love switching things up from year to year too!
Annie, it’s bananas how you’ve taken this mantel and changed it up for two different looks and they’re both so beautiful! It definitely inspires me to re-imagine and reuse pieces I already own as well. Good luck with all of your projects. I know they’re going to be so pretty when you’re finished! Hugs, CoCo
Lindsay Eidahl says
I love that you changed the furniture! The living room is beautiful! I love all of the colors!
Bre @ Average But Inspired says
Hey, Annie! Yes with all that construction you HAVE to take a simpler approach!! That seems to be a common theme this year amongst bloggers. I think we’ve all had enough of “too much” – even if we’re not under construction. I love this year’s look. Well done!
Meg Green With Decor says
Your blue and white is all so pretty! It’s so much fun to look back at different holiday decor over the years! Merry Christmas!
Oh my gosh, they both look SO beautiful! LOVING all the pops of colour!
Tara @ Lehman lane says
So fun to see your fireplace two different ways Annie! I think this year’s is my favorite. Love the chairs, garland and that mirror.
Kristy Robb says
Both mantles are so beautiful! I love how you switched it up each time.
Cheers – Kristy
Jeanette CountryDesignStyle says
Love love how you shared two different decors. I love the softer calmer but I can see how children would love the pops of color. Best of luck getting things back together.
Nicole @ The Inspired Hive says
Wow! It sounds like you have a lot going on this holiday season with the exterior replacement! It’s great that you were still able to decorate, and I love the new look this year! The gold accents are gorgeous!
It’s so neat to see how you changed things up from last year to this year – both are so beautiful in their own ways! This process of experimenting is one of my favorite things about decorating 🙂
Jen @ Noting Grace says
I LOVE this idea! What an awesome tutorial, showing how to style a space 2 different ways! I personally love the blue – but the bright Christmas colors are equally as beautiful – stunning my friend!
I love the mantle so much! I don’t know which I like better. The bright colors in your space are so fun. Love it.
Nancy from Slightly Coastal
I love that you showed the different between the two years. Both look so pretty!
I love the mantel and blues for Christmas. It was really great to see the difference between the two years and I honestly love them both (I just love all things Christmas!).
Your mantel is gorgeous! I love that gold magnolia leaf garland. It’s beautiful paired with the greenery garland. I’m really loving the simplified approach as well! Those pretty pops of blue throughout the room are so lovely!