styling – three holiday mantels

A couple of weeks ago, The Globe and Mail, Canada’s leading newspaper, asked me to work on a story about holiday mantels. The idea was to decorate three separate fireplaces each with its own look. In addition to styling the mantels I was also set the task of finding the locations. Luckily for me, I have visited my share of homes in the city of Toronto! 

First up was a contemporary take on the Christmas mantel which I infused with a Scandinavian feel. The Pia Wallen slippers and stocking, Kubus candle holder and the crumpled white bowl filled with osange oranges set the scene. (All picked up at Mjolk in Toronto – thank you Juli & John!) The felt garlands, storage box and wreath are from West Elm and completed the look. For a bit of a twist, I added in a collection of wooden dolls by Alexander Girard.

The second mantel of the day was a beautifully detailed Victorian number with elaborate mouldings and original tiles. The homeowner already had some deep blue and white elements going on (both the elephant lamp and large blue and white plate belong to her) so I continued in that vein. I added in some small potted cypress and cedar trees in porcelain bowls and vases, blue ornaments and two tones of blue grosgrain ribbon.

We also did a cover shot with this mantel rearranging the pieces ever so slightly. My favorite piece would definitely have to be the navy blue and white Santa ornament that my assistant Annie McDonald brought along. He is just perfect! Most of the blue and white plates in this shot came from one of my favorite vintage stores, Hawk Eyes.

The last mantel of the day was a wood panelled Tudor-style room with an elegant jade green tiled fireplace. Wax dipped pine cones, antler heads, birch candles and a vintage wood sleigh gives this mantel a slightly rustic feel while still saying true to traditional roots.

For a look at the story and complete listing of all the products please check out The Globe and Mail.

Do you have a favorite?


Photos: Kristin Sjaarda
Styling assistance: Annie McDonald



Filed under design work


  1. Posted December 10, 2012 at 11:21 AM | Permalink

    Great job!!!!!! I love the last one it feels what winter is all about,cozy and warm!

  2. Posted December 10, 2012 at 11:25 AM | Permalink

    Love the modern (and I am usually a traditional girl). You balanced it beautifully, and the asymmetrical wreath and stocking placement is bang on. Love the pops of red!

  3. Posted December 10, 2012 at 12:07 PM | Permalink

    Love it Emma!!!
    I noticed the Santa! We have the same one from our trip to Amersterdam!

  4. Posted December 10, 2012 at 6:37 PM | Permalink

    beautiful, Emma! My favourite is the Victorian!

  5. Posted December 10, 2012 at 7:32 PM | Permalink

    Lovely! My fav is the modern/scandi one. But they are all so well done.

  6. Posted December 10, 2012 at 10:06 PM | Permalink

    I’m torn between the Scandi and the Victorian — that jade green fireplace, oh wow!

  7. Posted December 11, 2012 at 12:55 AM | Permalink

    Love them all, but my favorite is the one with the blue dishes. I collect dishes, so this would be easy to replicate!

  8. Posted December 11, 2012 at 12:58 PM | Permalink

    Wow so pretty! You did a fabulous job!

  9. Posted January 8, 2013 at 4:09 PM | Permalink

    oooh, ♥ the scandinavian ‘mantel’… this is coming from a finn…

    here’s our ‘scandinavian christmas’:

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