Decking Out Your Mantle With Antique Elements


Design & Decor | PUBLISHED 11.23.21 | Michelle Whitener
A portrait of George Washington surrounded by eclectic holiday design elements creates a historic holiday mantle-scape. | BRG

It’s that time of year when everyone is pulling out their holiday decor and decking their halls. One of my favorite things to decorate for Christmas besides my tree is my mantle. It’s my favorite cozy spot to gather with friends and exchange gifts by a warm fire.

The theme I chose for my mantlescape is historic with a blend of modern touches.

I was able to achieve this look using antique elements with just five easy steps.

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Decking Out Your Mantle With Antique Elements

1. Layering Design Elements

First, I layered different types of faux greenery and gold wooden beads to add texture texture. You could also do real and have that wonderful woodsy smell for the holidays throughout your home.

A great tip to keep your greenery in place is to use a command hook on each side of the mantle. It works perfectly!

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2. Give Symmetry

Then an antique candlestick and a modern brushed bottle tree are placed on each side of the mantle to give it symmetry. I love to blend new items with antique or vintage ones; it adds so much character to a space.

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3. Add Ribbon

I used a wide Williamsburg blue velvet ribbon and a black & white cotton striped ribbon. I decided to add one bow in the center in front of a pineapple.

The pineapple is a traditional expression of “welcome” throughout the South and in areas along the Eastern Seaboard. It symbolizes warmth, welcome, friendship, and hospitality.

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4. Include Dehydrated Oranges

I used Dehydrated oranges to make a traditional orange garland that I placed throughout the greenery. This orange garland adds a timeless & handmade look, which I love!

Here is the perfect tutorial if you want to dehydrate oranges to add to your holiday decor.

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5. Finish with Art

Last and certainly not least, I placed an antique portrait of George Washington above the mantle. He completes the historic look I am going for and adds that antique element. I hope he feels right at home.

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You also can deck out your mantle using antique decorative elements found in auctions. I even spotted a cute metal pineapple as well as a set of two cut crystal and brass pineapples in a couple of the auctions coming up.

Remember, the key to a beautiful mantle is to keep layering your favorite items until you achieve the look you are going for with your holiday decor.

Happy Holidays, Michelle



Share your holiday mantle design on instagram.

#BRGmantlescape or #BRGstyle


About Michelle Whitener

Interior designer Michelle Whitener, the owner of the lifestyle and design brand MW Designs, based in Northern Virginia, join us to share her tips for styling a festive historic themed holiday mantle.

Michelle is a designer known for creating sophisticated and collected spaces with lots of texture. Every room’s design has a unique feel with a blend of old and new items, with traditional and modern aesthetics. You can find daily posts filled with design tips & home inspiration on both Michelle's blog (MW Designs Blog) and Instagram (@mwhitenerdesigns). She was also recently featured in Washingtonian Magazine.

"I have always referred to my style as traditional with a twist of modern, vintage, and rustic. My design philosophy is to mix and blend the things you love that make your home a reflection of you. It doesn't matter what is on-trend, just that you love it and it reflects your personality." -- Michelle Whitener, MW Designs


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Keywords: antique, vintage, mantle, holiday, Christmas, pineapple, hospitality, layering elements, art, George Washington, portrait, holiday decor

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