Wintery Mantel

By Kate Riley December 7, 2011

Well it’s certainly looking a lot like Christmas around here which means some things are done like the tree and mantel, but much of it is not. I’m going very minimalist with the décor, perhaps it’s because I’ve had to bring it all out a few times this year, so I’m keeping it simple.  I’m in a ‘less is more’ mode right now and loving the fuss less look.

Most of my holiday decorations are a mixture of white, gold, and silver, and every year I just pick a color to layer on top.  This year I’m loving crimson again. I’m infatuated with white ceramic things, you’ll spy a new snowfall tree from Z Gallerie and two white reindeer I picked up in an after Christmas sale last year ~ they’re both my favorites right now so they got the prominent placement on the wintery mantel.



And how about that gorgeous mirror?  It’s the Bellasol from Ballard looking lovely in the living room but it’s really just visiting ~ it’s destined for the powder room in January.  I found it on sale at Ballard with free shipping two weeks ago, the sale couldn’t have been better timed since I’ve had my eye on it for a year now for the bathroom.  I’m loving the way it bounces images around the room.

Those are the same stockings from last year, just embellished with red yarn and pom poms. The iron fireplace screen was an antique faire find last spring, a steal at $40.

christmas mantel stockings


Yes, I have a giant 9 foot moss covered branch in my living room and yes I love it. The story behind it is here.  I’m obsessed with this branch, it’s like it fell off the tree because it wanted to live in my house.

The new club chairs with nailhead trim were acquired from Joss & Main (I saved up enough credit over there to only have to pay cash for half of one) and if you love them too they’ll be available at my sale next week.  The white furry pillow is actually a reformed bath mat (read about it here) and the lamb’s wool “throw” is just the cover to the West Elm mongolian lamb’s wool pillow I’ve had for awhile (seen here).  Red velvet pillow from World Market, red sparkle pillow from Crate + Barrel.

christmas mantel cg


mantel side view cg


I’ve had these little red cardinals for years, and they look so cute posed on the branch.

red cardinal oak branch cg


The sweet little tin I found at a thrift shop last week, one dolla. Red glitter tree from Tar-jay (last year), little red disco ball from Pier One (also bought last year). That glossy curvy white cocktail table it sits on was a Joss & Main find from this past summer.

peace hope evergreen cg


You’ve seen the Z Gallerie candlesticks before, they reappear here constantly.

right side of mantel cg


Dash & Albert rug borrowed from the dining room, I always take the dining room rug out for our holiday party buffet otherwise it ends up covered in food ~ it looks great in here for the season.

kate living room cg


Of course if you were actually sitting in those chairs, you’d see the piles of Christmas stuff all over the sofa on the opposite wall, but that’s another tour for another day.


rhoda button holiday home


Thanks so much Rhoda for hosting such a great party, hop on over to Rhoda’s to take a look at all the merry mantels!




  1. I love your combination of white and red! You’ve inspired me to dig out my red cb2 disco ball ornaments and put them to good holiday use with some of my white ceramic things. The sheepskin is the perfect touch too. So soft, comfy and cheery!

  2. WOW, SERIOUSLY!? I am LOVING it!! It looks like Santa’s living room & mantel!! The fluffy pillows and cardnial birds, wow….magizine cover, h-e-l-l-o!!! Crisp and that pop of red color….Stunning!!

  3. I love your room. I ended up going with a twig tree too this year, and I really like it (especially since I wasn’t going to put anthing up this year). My pictures are nowhere near as nice as yours (, but that’s alright – I’ve decided that improving my skills will be a New Years resolution :)

  4. absolutely gorgeous! Stunning. I love how serene it feels. Wonderful job. I’ve just completed our mantel as well and I struggled a bit as I painted it black this year (used to be white) so I had to come up with a completely new look! (It’s on my blog if you want to take a peek). I love the elements in your room Beautiful :) The hits of red really infuse a great energy into the space.

  5. I’m in love with trees we have planted over 100 trees in the last year. I love the tree branch, beautiful job. Need to go find a branch.

  6. I so love your style, you are an inspiration! I love how while using light colors the space looks warm and cozy. I am in love! BTW, you have the best mirrors! I have an obsession when it comes to mirrors, just ask my husband. :P

  7. Really pretty and elegant – I had to comment – I love the cardinals, whenever I see one I truly believe it is a message from my Grandfather from heaven. I am quite sure that makes me insane, but I am good with it!

    Merry Christmas,

  8. Love it all!!! Have you ever blogged about your rug? Where did you get it? Also is your tree branch leaning or in a pot? Love that!

  9. Oh that’s so sweet Laura, I love that! Merry Christmas from your Grandfather!!!

  10. I absolutely LOVE the way you’ve decorated. I too have been leaning towards more simplistic and clean-lines approach. I’m drawn to all things white lately, so this room is like a dream!

    I am not going to get anything done at work today now that I know there are HUNDREDS of mantles to admire!!

  11. Love love it all especially the moss covered branch, that is what makes the room imho!! Love the little touches of red, not too much just the right amount, so pretty and snowy looking,
    Merry Christmas,

  12. Hey, Kate!! It’s as gorgeous as always, love the simple & pretty white & red. And you know I love, love your big branch too. How cute are those red birds perched on it?? Those 2 new chairs are super too, congrats on the J&M thing. Too cool! Merry Christmas, my friend!! xoxo

  13. I love it!! It’s fresh but elegant, and not overdone. I love that big branch tree with your cardinals.. where would one find one of those?!!

  14. I think it is gorgeous, Kate. Simple, elegant and glamorous. I have a soft spot for birds and adore the sweet red cardinals.

    • Just three for the kiddos Steph, me and the mister hang ours on Christmas Eve!!!


  15. Love the branch! Your whole display looks magazine worthy. Lovely!!!

    ~ Emily N. from “too Blessed to Stress”

    • Hi Heather, they’re nice and firm but not hard and not too soft either… just right!

  16. That is absolutely beautiful! One of my favorites!! I’m your newest follower from the a2z mantel party.

  17. I’m loving your J & M chairs and am SOOOO tempted since they are drastically reduced right now.
    BUT, I am terrified of the light color. Every time someone walks into your living room and sits in one of those gorgeous chairs are you on pins and needles? Also my hubby is 6″ 4″ do ya think his knees will be up around his ears when he sits down? Hard to get a true feel for the scale of these beauties.

  18. So beautiful and simple! You did it yet again!! Ahhhhmazing! Pillow covers from a bath rug….brilliant!

  19. This is so me. I have a cream living room and lots of branches. I so love the idea about the stockings hanging over the fireplace grill. Genius. I think I will steal this idea for next year.

  20. CG? Would you just come and decorate my whole house? Any occasion will do. I was born, sob, without the decorating gene and my house looks like it!! Help me!!

  21. So classy and elegant Kate! What did you decide about that one rectangular (Pier One?) mirror that replaced the glossy white one? Loving this round one! I had actually recommended it a little while back to a friend when I was helping her redo their dining room. :)

  22. Oh my word – it’s gorgeous! Yes – I’m talking about the branch – ha! Everything else looks nice, too. I’ve got to go read the story about the branch now. I’m sorry I missed it!

    • Hi Nancy, yes, they’re firm but not hard. They’re very comfortable, but pay attention to the size, they’re not particularly roomy but they are a nice comfortable place to sit.

  23. Totally love it! It looks very sophisticated and chic. I love the little tree & deer on the mantle and the brnch, too!

  24. Lovely as always! I especially love the white and gold. So elegant! You have a gift, there is no doubt about that!


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