The Schaefer House decorates a Christmas mantel for the Meeker family.


One of the most important parts of decorating your home for Christmas, other than the tree, is the mantel. As the heart(h) of your home, the mantel is a natural focal point for family and guests. A perfectly decorated mantel will complement other elements in your home, according to Susie Hinds, owner of The Schaefer House. In addition, the mantel should play on your specific tastes and include personal elements.

For the Meeker home, it was important to play off the natural light and elements. The room is full of natural light from the huge windows overlooking a beautiful wooded area. The fireplace is made of light stone, and the rest of the room contains several elements of dark wood and reflective materials.


“You have to start with a good core and base,” says Hinds. “That’s greenery. We have used the same greenery in the store for years. This is good quality, long needle pine. Quality is imperative because it looks real without the mess and care. This greenery will last for years and can be reinvented with each use.” Along with the pine needles, fir, cedar, and eucalyptus leaves were added for more texture.

Texture is an important element when decorating a mantel. It adds interest without overwhelming the eye. The natural elements (greenery, pinecones, and berries) complement the natural stone of the fireplace, while the mirror plays off other reflective elements in the room and softens the dark, rich wood surrounding the mantel. The light colors of the ornaments, berries, and trees also soften the mantel while adding texture.


The ribbon, while humble, is one of the most important features. This double-sided ribbon serves the dual purpose of adding color and contrast. “Ribbons are like the accessories to an outfit,” says Hinds. “They finish up and tie together the entire piece.”


To make this mantel truly fit in this home, ornaments that suit the family’s tastes are included. The deer, pinecones, and sheer woodsiness of the display fits the personality of the home. The piece fits so well, in fact, it’s easy to forget that it isn’t up all year long.