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Holiday Mantel Ideas

The hearth is likely the focal point of your entire home and during the holidays it becomes the backdrop of every family gathering as well. It’s important to only use your fireplace properly during this time and to make sure all holiday decorations are placed safely around the hearth. One of the greatest joys a homeowner may have is to decorate the fireplace mantel for Halloween, then Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Here are our favorite tips and tricks for safe and stylish holiday hearth decorations.

Safety Firstholiday mantel decor

Make sure your holiday hearth is decorated safely. All freestanding decorations such as trees and figures should be placed far enough away from the fireplace opening so that it will not reach the flame if it falls over.
DÉCOR TIP: Add a fireplace screen, gate, or custom glass door set that will prevent anything from entering your fireplace.

Any hanging decorations should be secured with nails and staples. Commonly used adhesives such as command strips and tape can detach when heat or cold temperatures arise (such as the heat from a fire). If the decorations detach from the mantel, it could fall into the fir. This can result in an accidental fire that can cause costly damage to your home and injury or even death to your family. No decoration or specific look is worth risking your property or your life. Only decorate with proper connectors and attachments that will stay put.
DÉCOR TIP: Install hooks that stay year-round and you won’t have to worry about adhesives that will fail you.

Purchase and use decorations that are non-flammable for your mantel. Using dried flowers, grasses, and other organic materials such as pine cones, branches, and corn can result in disaster if ignited by a stray spark. If you choose to decorate with organic and natural materials, place them in containers such as vases, baskets, and bowls.
DÉCOR TIP: Use vases as well as bowls on the mantel to add height to your display.

Functional Decorations

Photos –

Your mantel may be cluttered with picture frames and to-do lists, but you can make it fabulous for the holidays with a little adjustment here and there. Instead of a mish-mash of photo frames of all sizes and styles, choose a few large frames in the colors of your choice, fill the frame with chicken wire or string with twine and clip a variety of photos to the wire of twine.

Calendars –

Instead of the boring and cluttered calendar and to-do list, put a calendar on your mantel that will make you smile as you pass it. A chalkboard sign that features the day’s to-dos, the countdown to Christmas, a note to Santa, and more. There are also desk calendars that are durable and stylish available each year.

Wood –

You can incorporate firewood into your holiday hearth decorations. Fill a vase with kindling, stow some seasoned firewood at the fireplace opening, and even a decorative fireplace screen can bring the whole look together.

Mirrors –

If you like to look in the mirror when you pass through the bedroom or bathroom, consider putting a mirror or two on the mantel. Choose a decorative one with a frame, or just use the glass. Pair with some traditional decorations, photos, or art.

Books –

Part of the spirit of the upcoming season involves literature. Whether your holiday traditions include reading The Bible or if you prefer Charles Dickens or even Dr. Seuss, your books can bring together a beautiful mantel decoration. Choose your favorite few Christmas books and incorporate colors and themes from their covers or their text.

Lights –

Candles are not the only lights that can bring life and light to your mantel. A kerosene lamp adds height and style to your mantel. If you’re uncertain about putting kerosene in the lamp, don’t. It will still be a beautiful addition to your mantel.

Fruits –

Who said fruit bowls are only for the kitchen? People buy fake fruit to decorate mantels and shelves all the time. Why not use the real thing? Find a bowl that you can’t live without and compliments your mantel and your living space, then fill it with all of the fresh fruits that you love.

Entertainment –

Though some may disagree, the mantel is a great place for the television. To prevent falls and accidents that can cause injury and break your television in the process, mount your television above the mantel. In order to safely mount a flat-screen onto the chimney, have a professional chimney sweep check out the chimney and install a mount. If you’re interested in surround sound or smart device streaming, you can hide a speaker in your mantel decorations as well.

Clean Chimneys for Christmas

When it’s time to decorate for the holidays, consider cleaning it! Scheduling a chimney sweep now will mean a chimney system that works more safely and efficiently, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Additionally, your chimney will not stink of soot and creosote and your fireplace will be free of stains and ash. If you have glass doors on your fireplace, make sure they’re clean for those holiday family festivities. Schedule a chimney sweep with A to Z Chimney Services.

If you reside in the Sacramento area and own or rent a home with a fireplace and mantel, call 916-408-2496 to talk to a chimney and fireplace expert today.

Fall Fireplace Mantel Decor Ideas

Your fireplace has most likely been out of commission this summer but hopefully has been cleaned and inspected already! During the offseason homeowners don’t have to worry about the fireplace unless there’s a problem, but fall is the hearth’s time to shine! Your fireplace is not only a valuable heat source but also the focal point of your entire home. When it’s time to light your fire, it’s also a great time to think about decorating your fireplace and mantel for the fall season and for the holidays.

Safety Firstcozy living room with fall decor

It’s important to do all you can to keep your fireplace safe and free of clutter even when decorating. It’s not enough to have a safe and clean chimney system and know how to use it properly, you must also make sure that your decorations are safe as well. Coming into the fall and then the holiday season, homeowners will begin to decorate the fireplace. It’s a perfect backdrop for all of your family festivities but can quickly turn to disaster if certain precautions aren’t followed.

Things to Remember When Decorating the Mantel

1. Do not leave decorative items hanging above the fireplace. Garland and lights should be properly secured to the fireplace.

2. Freestanding decorations should be kept far enough away from the fireplace opening that if it falls, it will be a safe distance from the fire.

3. Nothing should be put inside or too near a fireplace, even when the fire is out. Debris left inside a fireplace can become a serious fire hazard when a fire is burning.

4. Anything attached to the chimney above the mantel should be installed properly and only if your certified chimney sweep deems it safe.

5. Always use decorations that are flame-retardant. Do not place dried branches, limbs, or any organic material near your fireplace or on your mantel.

Mantel Ideas from the Professionals

Melons and Fruits – Melons and apples are a beautiful decoration for the fall and are not flammable. You can pair pumpkins and gourds with vases full of turned leaves. Plastic leaves are not as flammable as dried leaves and placing them in vases keeps them contained. You can also fill large vases or bowls with the apples to keep them from rolling.

Photos – Family or fall photos are a great way to decorate the mantel. Include decorative photos of leaves, landscapes, and holiday combinations between family photos.

Metal – Some bronzed or buffed metal can be the perfect shade to compliment the changing seasons. Metal vases, pitchers, candleholders, and baskets can create a great look for your mantel and keep items safely contained and away from the fire.

Early Christmas – Let Christmas come early by bringing together rustic scenes, photos, silhouettes, and garland. The mantel and fireplace are exactly where the holiday spirit thrives in the house, and the magic will begin with the first spark of the fire.

For more ideas, check out MidwestLiving’s “28 Fall Mantel Ideas” and “50 Gorgeous Holiday Mantel Decorating Ideas”.

We want you to love your mantel and your holiday fireplace, but not at the expense of safety!

If you have any concerns with the safety of your fireplace, contact A to Z Chimney Services to schedule a chimney sweep or diagnostic inspection today Call us at 916-408-2496 or contact us online.