By Shay Nikole Garrett
The holidays have arrived once again. As families come together and lights line the streets, home décor settles in our minds. From front door greetings to mantle gatherings, oversized ornaments and lush garlands appear throughout homes. From traditional to progressive, holiday decor can cover a wide range of themes.
Designer Angela Mazanti draws on various inspirations when creating front door and mantle design & decor. When designing for Annesdale Mansion, Mazanti was inspired by the style and age of the home. “I wanted to do something that would be very similar to what you could have seen from the very first Christmas in the home,” Mazanti explains. Matching decoration size with the scale of the space is the key, according to Mazanti. The ballroom of Annesdale Mansion is majestic, with an oversized mirror crowning a grand fireplace. Mazanti used long and thick magnolia-leafed garlands with extra-large sugar pine cones to match the grandeur of the room. She then added large ornaments, ribbon and fresh fruits to spice up the mantle setting.
“People decorated with what they could forage around their homes back then and using fresh, exotic fruits was a sign of luxury and wealth,” Mazanti says of the fruits included in Annesdale’s mantle design.
In contrast, Mazanti chose a modern, whimsical design for the second mantle. The all-white backdrop allowed her freedom to add pops of color with a collection of nutcrackers and glitter ornaments. “I love to do something that is not expected but yet keep it close enough to tradition that it feels like Christmas.” Mazanti says. “Christmas is magical to me and I think the more glitter the better.”
Mazanti based the design of the third mantle on traditional reds and textures, choosing a charcoal gray to ground everything. The idea was to keep it warm and cozy for both children and adults. A wooden reindeer pulls a sleigh with two cheery, stuffed children that represent her two grandchildren. “I used a rustic flocked garland that added to the idea that the weather outside is frightful, but the fire inside is delightful,” Mazanti says.
These designs can be recreated and personalized by including what suits your design tastes the best. “If you like the idea of using a look that is inspired by nature, then you can go outside and cut fresh leaves and evergreens from your yard,” Mazanti advises. A mixture of leaves and Christmas greens works well with any mantle design. For more sparkle purchase pre-made garlands with lights or glitter in them or add holiday-inspired knickknacks from the craft store. For more dazzle throw in extra ribbon, ornaments, fresh fruit or even antique toys.
The latest trends for holiday decor range from austere to more-is-more. Thick garland with extra lights and add-ins are quite popular this year, but Mazanti adds, “I am also seeing lots of neutrals that are very beautiful and can have a very sophisticated look by keeping the theme monochromatic.”
Picking a theme when designing mantle and front door décor for the holidays is the easiest and best way to go. “For example, if you like the characters from all of the old Christmas shows we used to watch as children, feel free to add those in the garland,” Mazanti says. If you seek a more sophisticated look add beautiful ornaments and bountiful ribbon. For a rustic feel add elements from nature—pine cones, branches, leaves etc. Fresh fruit and greenery lend a more Victorian theme to mantle design.
Holiday decor is an easy and fun way to put your custom spin on the season. These looks create lasting memories and add life to the home during holiday festivities. “Mantle and front door decor welcome guests as they arrive and create a sense of anticipation about what’s inside,” Mazanti says. Guests and family will remember the joy and relaxation the decor creates for many holiday seasons to come.