Pair a Bench & Wreath
Try a low take on a mantel space by pairing a simple bench with an impressive 60-inch decorated Christmas wreath for a clean, uncluttered look. A white shelf inside the wreath holds a little village and a stocking, while a throw, pillow and wrapped gifts soften the bench.
Draw a Chalk Fireplace
Make a chalkboard fireplace by covering a hardboard panel with chalkboard paint and drawing on a faux fireplace complete with flames (get help from our simple patterns). Frame the chalkboard with moulding, lean it against a wall, and surround the hand-drawn hearth with Christmas decor. After the holidays, hang the chalkboard on a wall and use it for notes, lists, or art. It also makes a great calendar above a desk.
Start with a Bookcase Base
Let a console or low bookcase anchor a mantel look that relies on weathered and metallic finishes to convey modern rusticity. Decorate the top of the bookcase with mini Christmas trees and other holiday mantel decor, then mount a branch on the wall above to hang stockings. Sprinkle holiday touches among the everyday items on the shelves.