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How to Create a Natural-Looking Christmas Mantel

Happy Holidays! Welcome to the Holiday Home Tour hosted by Jenny Williamson of Evolution of Style. If you came here from my friend Rhoda’s blog Southern Hospitality welcome. Let’s talk about How to Create a Natural-Looking Christmas Mantel.


First of all, note that I said “natural looking”. I like the longevity of faux greens but the look of more natural ones. This is the fireplace in our new home. We did not build this house. Corner fireplaces can be tricky. I like to incorporate colors that are already in my home at Christmas. Who says it has to be red and green? The ribbon color reflects the color of my beams, the leather barstools and the kitchen counter.

natural looking christmas mantel by cindy hattersley

This fireplace is in our great room has very tall ceilings. I started with a pair of vintage shutters that I have owned for several years from Patine. The wreath is from Park Hill (linked at the bottom of the post). I have owned it for several years and it still looks great. Be sure and fluff and straighten your wreath when you get it out of storage or when it is new.

patine-shutters-&-wreath-cindy hattersley

Each year I style the wreath a little bit differently. Last year it remained in storage when we were in our fixer-upper. In my post “How to Make a Faux Wreath Look Natural” I go into more detail on what to do. This time I added vintage ribbon & dried oranges from Etsy, dried orange slices from Trader Joe’s, pinecones from my yard, and bay leaves and twigs from my garden. Use whatever you have that you think would make it interesting. I usually group the fruit in threes (I grouped the orange slices in twos because I ran out). Create “bouquets” of the fruit and greens in groups around the wreath. I wire in whatever I can and use the glue gun if I have to. The glue gun singes the faux greens so use it sparingly.

wreath and shutters cindy hattersley

The garland I attached (well Steve did) with two small nails in the center to the shutters that were anchored with screws at the top. This garland (is really pricey now by the way) but well worth it. It looks pretty on its own but I added eucalyptus from Trader Joe’s, more of the dried oranges and pinecones at the center.

christmas garland detail - cindy hattersley design

This is a view of the fireplace area looking from the dining area. The tree will be off to the left, coming soon. Behind the sofa is an antique wicker traveling trunk. It is topped by one of my favorite boxes that I found at Round Top, a Swedish brides box. I have not purchased any rugs for this room yet, but I plan to after Christmas. I always need to live in a space before I make any major decisions.

great-room-christmas-cindy hattersley

I added and subtracted a few items in the built-in cabinet. The antique boxes have been collected over the years. The salmon box was inherited from Steve’s parents. The folk art bunny was purchased in Santa Barbara many years ago.

cindy hattersley's built in cabinet with artifacts

This side is filled with antique baskets, vintage exercise pins, antique decorative pantry boxes, and decorated boxes. The pig was found at a junk shop.

cindy hattersley's antique boxes in her built in cabinet

On the coffee table (no longer available and not very well made (to be honest) is a vintage breadboard and an antique redware bowl filled with unusual golden poinsettias. The painting is by Carmel artist (and client of my husband) Chris Johnson. It was a gift several years ago. The lamp is from Mexico. (similar here)

cindy hattersley great room sofa area

I added a few new pillows and warmer throws for the season. I picked a warmer palette that reflects the colors outdoors and in, In the Spring/Summer I prefer a cooler pallette when the pool is open and the sky is that magnificent color of blue. All are linked below the post. I am obsessed with the Walter G line of pillows and fabrics.

As you can see I couldn’t decide if I liked the pinecones or the poinsettias best. The painting to the left of the fireplace is by Pat Huber.

cindy hattersley's natural look chritmas mantel

The little drum table came from Horchow many years ago. I could not find anything similar.

cindy hattersley's great room decorated for Christmas

You can see what my great room looked like before in y post Five Simple Ways to Refresh Your Home for Summer.


Thank you for reading How to Create a Natural-Looking Christmas Mantel. Please pop over and visit the next room on the tour Home with a Twist.


Monday, November 28th (Front Porch/Outdoor Spaces) Evolution of Style | Maison de CinqHome by Heidi | Southern Hospitality | Cindy Hattersley Design   Tuesday, November 29th (Entries/Dining Rooms) Hello Lovely | A Stroll Thru Life | County Road 407 | Southern Heather | Classic Casual Home | Most Lovely Things   Wednesday, November 30th (Living Rooms/Dens) Northern California Style | Thrifty Decor Chick | Summer Adams | Make Mine a Spritzer | Sincerely Marie Designs | Postcards from the Ridge   Thursday, December 1st (Mantels/Kitchens/Laundry Rooms) Southern Hospitality | Cindy Hattersley Design | Home with a Twist | Sincerely Marie Designs | Citrine Living Friday, December 2nd (Bedrooms) Dimples and Tangles | This is Our Bliss | Shine Your Light | Sincerely Marie Designs

Reader Interactions


  1. Cindy@CountyRoad407 says

    I too have a corner fireplace and it has been the bane of my existence! Yours is absolutely stunning. This spring I’m going to rearrange my furniture like yours and see if I like it. The bottom of our fireplace has a stone base that is about 6″ tall and sticks out about 2 feet. Fingers crossed! I really enjoyed your tour. The mantel, the colors, the vintage pieces… All beautiful. And I totally want those chairs! So glad to have hopped with you this week. Merry Christmas!

  2. michele@hellolovely says

    Those shutters with the rich look of the greenery and ribbon! Oh I love this style so much, Cindy. And I’m a fan of mixing real and faux because after years of using fresh evergreens from our former wooded lot, I learned what a messy enterprise it is. Drove me nuts, and I was vacuuming needles all year long! I do need to work on my dried citrus slices though – mine have always come out of the oven ugly. Never thought about buying them! Thanks for this helpful guide, friend. Wishing you peace from the heartland, right where you are.

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Michelle

      I am sure if I attempted dried fruit it would be a disaster! I just love your new home!

  3. Juliet says

    Gorgeous, Cindy! Those vintage shutters are perfect over the fireplace and create a perfect backdrop for Christmas greenery. I love the color ribbon you chose. And also the touches of greenery you added to the shelves around your TV. I’m going to try that. I’ve said it a million times, and can’t help saying it again, your new home is fabulous. What a fun first holiday seasons you’re going to have there. xo

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Juliet

      I love that ribbon too. Your library really looked dreamy all decked out for Christmas!!

  4. Amanda says

    This is so stunning! Your garland looks absolutely beautiful and I just love all of your textile choices. It’s such a beautiful room! Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!

  5. Heidi says

    Hi Cindy,
    So pretty!I love the use of natural elements, and I’m doing more of that this year. Your home is gorgeous and so inviting for the holidays!
    Xo Heidi

  6. Jill says

    Looks absolutely beautiful Cindy. I haven’t used traditional Christmas colors in years. Our home is decorated in teal, sage green and deep tans. Our decor tends to go with those colors, along with gold, bronze and copper.

  7. Barb L says

    Oh so perfect Cindy! Love the shutters on your mantle, and the wreath and garland are just beautiful. The natural elements and the warmer colors are so festive. I really enjoy the home/holiday tours! Thanks so much (I can’t even imagine how much work is involved!)

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Barb

      I am getting faster in my old age but it does take time. More to come! Hoping Steve get’s the Christmas lights up tomorrow!

  8. Nancy says

    What a beautiful mantel and beautiful room! That first shot directly of the mantel is a WOW!…And I’m not a natural (decorating) girl in any way, but I love this!

  9. Tammy says

    A beautiful room for the holidays. I love your Natural-Looking Christmas Mantel. The dried oranges and touches of natural elements in the space are beautiful.

  10. Patricia Huber says

    That is the warmest, most inviting room any time of year. I love the colors you are using for Christmas.

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Pat

      Your painting is the icing on the cake. They are among my most treasured possessions. Steve always says if we have a fire, he knows what I would grab first!!

  11. Teri says

    Love your style of decorating! Are those chairs flanking the fireplace swivel chairs? Could you source them? I’ve been looking for some like this in a neutral but not solid color.
    Thank you!

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Teri

      The chairs are not. They are chairs that I purchased for a clients home and she was tossing! I had them recovered in a performance fabric for my former family room. I had limited space and they fit the bill. I may replace them at some point, but they are working well right now!

  12. Annie Diamond says

    Cindy! Your home looks beautiful decked out for the holidays! I love the poinsettias in the bowl with the greens! Your greenery looks so real!

  13. Karyn says

    Love all the colors you chose. What an amazing poinsettia! I’ve never seen one that color. Thank you for sharing your beautiful new home. Wishing you all the best in this holiday season.

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Karyn

      I found them at our local nursery Bay Laurel Garden Nursery. They are just terrific if you happen to be local.

  14. Jenny says

    It’s absolutely gorgeous Cindy! I love the colors and natural look of this space. Thanks for joining the tour again this year!

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Jenny

      Thank you so much for organizing such a big event all by yourself! We so appreciate it!

  15. Marty says

    Love, love, love it all. My favorite colors and of course the architecture in this room is to die for. That wreath is so pretty and the garland is the perfect touch on the mantel. Such a beautiful room.

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Marty

      I loved your dining room. Thank you so much. You have inspired me so much over the years.

  16. Elizabeth@pineconesandacorns says

    Everything looks so beautiful Cindy. As you know I love pinecones and this they work in every decor. I have been using oranges for years, it is a fun way to add natural, beautiful elements to your room. Thank you for sharing! Merry Christmas.

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Eliz

      I love pinecones and acorns!! Summer called the pine cones acorns. She said “I gathered some big acorns for you Gaby”!!

  17. Shari says

    Beautiful, tasteful, natural…as usual!! Beautiful,
    ONE QUESTION, why did you move the white chairs so close to the fireplace???

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Shari

      I just moved them for the photo. This room has a few challenges. If you could see it from above you would know what I mean. If you move them closer to the rest of the seating area they interfere with the fireplace.

      • Shari says

        Thanks! This looks similar to a room to be in my future house so just asking!we do love a fireplace! (Gas, at our age! Lol)

        • Cindy Hattersley says

          In California, you can no longer have a “real” fireplace. I will say I do not miss the mess of a real one.

  18. Katherine says

    Cindy, the garland and wreath are exquisite. You are so smart to add such pretty elements like the sliced oranges to add color. Your bows are gorgeous. It’s not easy to tie a good looking bow. Even the pine cones are special.
    You and Steve did an outstanding job of hanging the wreath. That was not an easy thing to accomplish nor was the garland. Congratulations.

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Katherine

      Thank you. I am not a bow person for some reason. I like ribbon streamers but I just have a hard time with bows and hearts. I guess it is the tomboy in me. Don’t get me wrong I appreciate them in other’s decor just not my own. Steve is the master of figuring everything out. I just get the ideas!!

  19. Marti says

    Hi Cindi,
    What’s the wall color in your fireplace room ?
    The greens, golds, oranges fruit are comforting colors, especially this time of year,
    perfecto ! Marti in Paso

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Marti!

      We did not build this house as you may know if you are local. Hopefully, we will meet one day. I may plan a little gathering in the Spring. The color is creamy by Sherwin Williams. It works in this house but I honestly would have never picked it. You are welcome to come see it sometime if you are considering it.

  20. Karen H. says

    Cindy, you have styled this room beautifully. I love the natural looking wreath and the touches of bronze. Your ability to mix patterns and fabrics is so lovely. Enjoy the holiday season!

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Karen

      Thank you so much. I so appreciate your kind comment. I love decorating for Christmas.

  21. Kim Wheeler says

    Cindy love the garland and the wreath! Adding the natural bits is so smart . Really looks good and smart you can change it each year and not have to buy a new pieces! The yellow bow is gorgeous! And goes with your whole beautiful mix. This is Christmas decor at its best- and very Californian! I love all you do!

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Pal

      You have got to come down! Thanks so much for the sweet comment always greatly appreciated!

  22. Tamara says

    Cindy, that garland and wreath are absolutely gorgeous! The orange touches are so festive and beautiful, I just love every detail. That ribbon! What a stunning room as well, it’s so welcoming and warm…perfect for the holidays! Merry Christmas!

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Tamara

      Thank you so much! I have had a long day and have not made it over to see your beautiful work but I will!!

  23. Karen B. says

    This is beautiful. I love the dried fruit and velvet ribbon, complimented by the pillows. I never thought about corner fireplaces, but in your case it’s so nice to have the fireplace at an angle so that those on your sofa can benefit from the beauty and warmth.
    I love your new house.
    Karen B.

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Karen

      Corner fireplaces are tricky to say the least. This one is no different but it is lovely. I am figuring things out as I go!!

  24. Mary Ann Pickett says

    This is SOOOO gorgeous. I’m going to buy your garland and add to it as you did. Thanks for all the Inspiration. Pat’s painting really complements your room.

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