How to style a mantel for the holidays

If you have a fireplace—working or not—and it has a mantel, you’ve hit the holiday decorating jackpot. A mantel, or mantelpiece (or chimneypiece in England), is by definition a shelf—but it really is so much more. It’s prime real estate in any room: an instant focal point, an opportunity not to be missed. Often, the architectural style of a mantel (and surrounding millwork) dictates how you decorate it—but not now. From candles and crystal to cherished collectibles, anything goes during the holidays. Mantel decorating “rules” still apply:
  • Choose a center of attention.
  • Design with odd numbers.
  • Keep scale and balance in mind.
  • Add depth by layering.
  • Stick with your theme.
Following these principles, we styled our own holiday mantel to show you how it's done. Let us take you through it, step by step.
  • Focus! Center a large mirror or work of art on the mantel and lean it close to the wall. For our spectacular statement piece, we chose our Aged Silver Provincial mirror; it always sets an elegant mood.
  • Go green. Place natural evergreen garland along the length of the mantel, dangling some over the sides for a lush look. Drape greenery on your mirror or artwork, too—for dramatic effect.
  • Add a little color. We chose sprigs of red winterberries.
  • Go glam with a few metal accents. Our lovely Pomegranates (available in gold, brass, or nickel finishes) and ever-popular Song Birds add some shimmer.
  • See the light. Amp up the ambience with candles in hurricanes wrapped in red ribbon. DIY tutorial: A RIBBON RUNS THROUGH IT 
  • Turn on the sparkle! We finished our mantelscape with mini battery-powered LED lights.
  No mantel? No worries! Try this on any long-ish horizontal surface: a buffet, a console table, or the top of a bookcase or china cabinet.  
Crafty Ways to Roll Out the Holidays When it comes to seasonal décor, ribbon is one of the most versatile materials there is. Everyone knows ribbon can transform a gift—even one wrapped in plain brown paper—with a simple twist, knot, or bow. Ribbon can give a tired wreath a festive twirl in seconds. It can dress your dining chairs for dinner. And it can stand in for garland, then top a tree with sparkling finesse. We love ribbon of every stripe, whether wide, wired, plaid, pinked, grosgrain, or velvet. We unspooled some holiday classics (a pair of tartans and razzle-dazzle reds) to jazz up a couple of our favorite everyday accents. With a snip here, and a snip there, we used ribbon to create holiday statement pieces—and you can, too. Let's get rolling! Wrap candleholders with lovely tartan ribbon to give your tabletop or mantel a quick holiday update. We used our simple glass hurricanes, available in three sizes. Cut lengths of ribbon two inches longer than the circumference of the hurricanes. Wrap ribbon around each hurricane, folding over the extra. Secure with double-sided tape. Layer narrow ribbon over wide for added cheer! Our Oval Link tray is fab as is—perfect for displaying decorative objects, candles, flowers, or for serving up your favorite cocktail. We used narrow, red satin ribbon to add a pretty punch of color. Just weave your ribbon through the links, leaving about two inches to neatly fold over and secure with double-sided tape.  
This Thanksgiving, say goodbye to entertaining stress! These simple tips can help you plan a day that everyone can love. Make a Plan Nothing is impossible once you break it down into simple steps! So: Get your menu set and your shopping done a few days before; jot down a schedule (e.g., what's being cooked in what order, who's arriving when, how you'll pace the hors d'oeuvres, dinner, and dessert) and build in some socializing time for yourself; and make sure there's enough seating for all your guests.   Back to the Future Nothing beats a recipe that's been passed down for generations. Send happy Thanksgiving memories into the future by preparing a family favorite or two – you could even have copies of the recipes for guests to take home.   Get an Early Start Check those recipes to see what you can make in advance. Stocks for gravy, sides, and dough are all good candidates for pre-prep.   Ready…Set…Set the Table! Tablescaping game on. Check out our Harvest tabletop here.   Card Your Guests Hosting a crowd? Assign seats with place cards, mixing friends and family to create a more social experience.   The Warmest Welcome Greet your guests with a signature cocktail or a steamy mug of hot mulled cider (with or without the rum!).   Open with a Wow Feel like stretching those creative culinary muscles? Start with one over-the-top appetizer to get your party started.   Child's Play Set up games, an easy craft, or a space where the little ones can put together a simple yummy dessert, and they won't have time to ask, "Is it ready yet?"   Pass the Sanity, Please If there are lots of people or lots of dishes, simplify your hosting duties: Set up a buffet near the table and let guests serve themselves.
Setting a deliciously chic table for Thanksgiving is surprisingly easy—if you have a plan. We think the holiday lends itself to a harvest-inspired, rustic farmhouse look, so we chose a subtle seasonal palette: Think fall leaves (taupe, gold, burnt orange) and blue sky. We used natural materials as well as Ethan Allen decorative accents, to complete our tablescape. Step 1: Start with any table that will comfortably seat your guests—we used our classic, plank-top Miller table to set a “country” tone. Step 2: Lay a foundation with a few basics—be creative! Instead of using a traditional tablecloth, we draped a plaid throw (a good friend routinely uses her favorite Tartan wool blanket) diagonally across the table to show off the beautiful wood. Brilliant idea, right? One caveat: be sure you don’t mind if your tablecloth stand-in gets a little messy. Next, create a “frame” for your centerpiece using natural fall foliage from your yard and add candlesticks for height (and later, ambience). Step 3: Can you set a fall table without pumpkins and gourds? We think not! We placed them in and around our leafy branches, mixing colors, shapes, and sizes. Step 4: Add volume and a little bling; a few of our faux Gold Artichokes did the trick. Step 5: Fill in the “blanks” with some seasonal fruit; we scattered a few gorgeous pears. And remember: The more imperfect it looks, the better! Step 6: Set the table with neutral white plates or use a combo of your favorite flea market finds. We added pops of color with a mix of cloth napkins, and gave each plate a final flourish with a sprig of bittersweet berries. P.S. After the holiday, use your greenery to make small wreaths to hang around the house—because everyone knows that leftovers are the best part of Thanksgiving!
As carefree summer gives way to fall, the kids transition from all-day play to schoolwork squared. Suddenly you’re knee-deep in books, binders, backpacks, lunchboxes, pencils, and permission slips. One thing is sure: The house needs organizing (and quick). Looks like clearing clutter is your first assignment of the new school year. Luckily, our Ethan Allen | Disney collection has you covered! From cubbies and craft tables to desktop caddies, we offer dozens of ways to restore order to places where kids’ stuff tends to multiply—mudrooms and playrooms included. A NO-MESS MUDROOM. We call it a fun and functional storage solution of epic proportions—and we designed it just for you. In black and white with accents of bold yellow and bright red, our Mickey Mouse Colorblocked Cubbies do more than hold jackets, hats, backpacks, gym bags, and boots. This piece cheers up an entryway in a flash. ON THE WALL. It’s bright, fun, modular storage for the kids' room, playroom, kitchen, hub, hall, or anywhere you need it. Our WOW organizers can be mounted directly to the wall with ease—or group a few together and stand them on a counter, desk, or table. NEVER FELT SO GOOD. Our Fantastic Felt baskets provide the perfect storage space for pillows, blankets, toys of all sizes, clothes, books, and so much more. Clever zippered corners let these baskets fold flat for easy storage when they're not in use; available in small, medium, or large. Add a Felt Desk Caddy (with sturdy spinning base and four spindle rods), which is designed to hold small Fantastic Felt holders. ONE SMART DESK. There’s no getting around homework, so why not do it in style? The Animator’s Desk features three drawers and three cubbies for filing stuff, a corkboard back for pinning stuff, and a roomy hutch with a charging station. Available in Snow and Mouse Grey, we give it an A+ in both functionality and stylish good looks.