This outdoor living space, located in the backyard of the home featured in December’s cover story, is just as jolly as the indoor rooms thanks to a candy-cane-inspired multi-branch garland loaded down with red and silver ball ornaments. Decorator Melissa Laney pulled the scene together with tartan bows that match the ones on the Christmas tree nearby. Photos by Melissa Oivanki

Make the most of the mantel this season with ideas for tried-and-true holiday trimmings

Twinkling trees are nice, but if you think about it, the fireplace is the real centerpiece of all the Christmas action. After all, this is the spot the family gathers around with cups of cocoa on Christmas Eve, the place where you mark births and marriages by hanging new stockings, the portal through which Santa comes sliding with his pack full of presents. 

With all eyes on this opening, perhaps it’s time to rethink the typical garland and spruce up the mantel this year with a fresh approach to holiday decorating. Below, you’ll find plenty of hearth-warming inspiration from homes featured in past December issues of inRegister. Refined or rustic, bold or elegant, these designers and homeowners highlight the hotspot of the holidays in ho-ho-haute style.

Southern Sparkle

Designer Colleen Waguespack decked these halls with sophisticated details befitting the home’s New Orleans Garden District inspiration. The subtle shimmer of silver and gold complements rather than competes with the home’s neutral palette. Boxwood topiaries in white urns flank a Trumeau mirror by Julie Neill atop the mantel. Waguespack’s colleague Sweet Dupuy added gilded magnolia leaves to the garland that drapes across the mantel and adorns two graceful reindeer at fireside. 

Spirit of the Season

A family-heirloom nativity scene dressed with evergreen clippings takes center stage above this antique Carrara marble fireplace. A simple pinecone wreath is suspended from the top of an antique gilded mirror, and a pair of 19th-century candelabra bear their own crystal ornaments.

Shades of the Sea 

Last year at this time, local design pro Shane Griffin was helping decorate the White House for the holiday season, after being chosen for a decorating team from around the country. Known for his skill in making a residence look festive, Griffin took inspiration for the holiday décor in this home in Bocage from the Lisa di Stefano painting that hangs above its living room fireplace. He pulled ocean blues and cool greens straight off the canvas and onto the fresh cedar garland below, adding antlers, moss-covered spheres and glittery ball ornaments. “Layering is key,” Griffin says.

Gold Rush

Wide damask ribbons combine with shimmering solid ribbons in this vaulted-ceilinged keeping room’s mantel-top garland display. The monochrome look gets its finishing touches in dangling gold ornaments that hang from both the top and sides of the swag.

My Fair Lady

A whimsical Ashley Longshore painting of Audrey Hepburn is the star of this showstopping fireplace scene in the home of The Queen Bee owner Michelle Beauboeuf. Decorator Thomas Hebert added the lush garland that extends to the floor on both sides of the hearth, complete with oversized bows at the edges of the mantel. A pair of gilded nutcracker soldiers from The Queen Bee stands guard over St. Nicholas’ entry point and the Fig & Dove stockings that will soon be filled with Christmas goodies. 

Is your home all decked out for the holidays? Share it with us on Instagram by tagging @inregister in your posts.