If you search the internet for “fall mantels,” there’s no shortage of decorating ideas. Some folks go all out with banners, gourds, and autumn leaves and such; while other mantels are so minimal they barely read as season specific.

I generally enjoy seasonal decorating, more so Christmas than any other time of the year. However, I decided to perform a little experiment. I gave myself twenty minutes to shop my house and pull together our fall mantel decor. The goal was to create something with items I already had and to do it in 30 minutes or less. Here’s what I came up with…

Here are 7 HASSLE FREE decorating ideas for creating your fall mantel:

Mix it up

Add an interesting mix of items on your mantel. Statues, sculptures, books, photo frames, and an item or two that symbolize the season work together to produce a well balanced vignette.

Think beyond typical fall colors

I purchased these mini-pumpkins from my local grocer for my kids to paint as a fun afterschool activity. Who knows what colors will exist on this mantel when their masterpiece is complete? However, the pumpkins alone keep the mantel’s theme season specific without the use of traditional fall colors.

Use books to add height

On my mantel, I used books to add height to a photo frame. You can also turn them vertically (using bookends) to create height and balance when using them alone.

Incorporate heirlooms

The mantel design is centered around a mirror that I inherited from my grandmother. It’s traveled my home from my master bedroom, to the home office, and now to the kitchen mantel. The wooden vase on the far right was an item inherited from my aunt. It actually is a part of a series, the other vases are on a mantel on the reverse side of the wall. The black statue on the far left was gifted to us from my mother.

Add greenery

Green plants last much longer than fresh flowers and add life to the space versus dried branches or leaves. This fiddle fig leaf is an easy low maintenance option. Want something completely foolproof? Try decorating with succulents.

Make a Wish List

You may find that you want to purchase just a few items to get the look you want. I would love a pair of candle sconces to flank my mirror, but if I don’t come across them on my regular shopping trips, it’s okay. Everything is fine (and free!) as is.

Grab a Seat

The wing chair was reclaimed from the kids’ play area. It will get more use here beside the fireplace and serve as a great reading area for my morning/evening meditations. I don’t worry too much about sticky fingers on the upholstery. It happens. The slipcover is easy to remove and toss into the wash.

You know your work is done when a friend decides to join you. It’s quickly become his favorite spot, too!

How do you decorate for fall?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

About Erika Ward

Multi-passionate entrepreneur, spokesperson, speaker, and philanthropist, Erika Hollinshead Ward worked in the design-build industry as an accountant before turning her passion for interior design into a successful business. Named by Atlanta Tribune as having one of the top design firms for two consecutive years, Erika is a highly sought after expert whose work has appeared in several media outlets such as House Beautiful Magazine, Better Homes and Gardens Magazine, Fox 5 (Atlanta Affiliate), Huffington Post, HGTV.com and many others. Her influential voice in the home improvement sector has lead to marketing collaborations with leading home and lifestyle brands including Home Depot, S.C. Johnson, and Home Decorators Collection. Erika holds an undergraduate degree from The University of Georgia and resides in Atlanta with her husband and five children. With her sharp business acumen and design prowess, you can rest assured that she is one to watch as a voice for working mothers, women entrepreneurs, and interior design enthusiasts.

View all posts by Erika Ward

Stay Connected!

Get Updates via Email!



  1. Maribel Says:

    Love the little details, simple, elegant and Fall festive. Just love the idea of the mini pumpkin in the dome, adorable! Thanks Erika!


  2. Niki McNeill Says:

    I want to print this out & hand it to every customer that comes into Pottery Barn asking me about their mantle (a daily occurrence for me!) I truly believe your mantle should be a collection of items that are personal to you! Not an assortment of meanness props just taking up space.

    And the doggy shots are just too cute :)



  1. MASTER BEDROOM MAKEOVER WITH LOOM DECOR! - BluLabel Bungalow | Interior Design Advice and Inspiration | BluLabel Bungalow | Interior Design Advice and Inspiration - April 23, 2013

    […] pink upholstery with a slipcover and moved it to the playroom (remember this post?), then to the sitting area in the kitchen, and then I finally decided to have it reupholstered. Ahh, this chair is […]

Leave a Reply