Fall & Thanksgiving Decorating

How to Create a Beautiful and Neutral Fall Mantel

In this post: Whether you are decorating an actual fireplace mantel, or you’re using a shelf/ledge like we are, you can create a beautiful and neutral fall mantel as easy as counting to five. 

Last week we shared our fall table and dining room as well as our fall porch decor. Today I’m totally excited to show you our fall mantel and living room. I’ve always wanted a mantel to decorate. There’s just something about that space. The ledge. The height. The creative options. Since we built our mantel last year, it’s has been the very first thing I decorate each season. It’s the first space I start imagining with the change of seasons.

how to create a beautiful neutral fall mantel pin

I knew we’d make good use of it, but I had no idea how many renditions it would go through in such a short time! This fall I had the added bonus of not spending a cent on decorating our mantel and living room. I purchased nothing.



How to Create a Beautiful and Neutral Fall Mantel

Whether you are decorating an actual fireplace mantel, or you’re using a shelf/ledge like we are, you can create a beautiful and neutral fall mantel as easy as counting to 5! 

neutral fall mantel

1. Start with a dark backdrop

I left up our faux distressed gate to create a grounding backdrop for all the other neutral and white fall decor on the mantel.

2. Dress it up with a banner

In this case, I added the burlap banner I made last fall to the faux gate background. But you could also string a banner across the front of the mantel itself. 

3. Add the little details

The large pumpkin and the three pears were purchased on sale at Michael’s (at some point over the last year). The two smaller pumpkins and the pitcher were from the Superstore (aka Loblaws or Zehrs). The books were picked up in various places – including some old hymnals from my sweet Mother-In-Law. And both the small trencher and the framed stitched art are leftovers from our old business. Even the berries, leaves and flowers are fake and totally reusable!

4. Remember the Triangle

When you’re putting together a display of any type, it’s good to keep the triangle in mind. Keep the middle of your display higher than everything and the two sides about the same. Here’s what I mean:

fall mantel with triangle

Do you see how the faux gate is the tallest thing? And the pumpkin on the pedestal on the left is approximately the same height as the branches in the vase on the right? 

5. Tie in the rest of the space

For the rest of the space I brought out the oatmeal coloured throw blankets we had originally purchased for the Steven & Chris video shoot last October to cozy up with the Ikea down-stuffed pillows.

The taller birdcage on one end table was from Walmart while we were working on the Curb Appeal Series outside – but in the end I didn’t like how it looked on the porch. The smaller birdcage beside that was from Homesense in the spring. The stacking round boxes on another end table are also leftovers from our old business.  All the bowl fillers and pip berries have been collected over time and toned down (or brightened up, depending on how you look at it) with plenty of whites and creams.

So many pieces put together by pulling them from around the house or out of our fall decorating tote!!! It’s like Christmas when we open that up every year.  Super easy decorating that’s beautiful and light on the pocket book!

Just for fun, let’s compare last year’s mantel with this year’s: I’ve obviously used some of the same elements. BUT the styling has evolved and gotten better (thank goodness!).

And one more gratuitous shot of this year’s mantel…

neutral fall mantel

We’re really enjoying cozying up in our simple fall living room and fall mantel!

Have you decorated your house for fall yet? Are you a white-on-white autumn decorator or do you prefer splashes of orange and red and yellow for fall? 


shannon sign off

home made lovely book on table with get it now text button

I'd love to chat with you in the comments!


  1. I loved your faux distressed gate so much that I asked my husband to make us one and we are using it as a fireplace cover. I will be showing it on my blog tomorrow and wanted to ask if I could share your picture from this post as my inspiration picture. Thank you so much for inspiring me with your work!! Thanks again, Shelly from http://www.shellybailey.blogspot.com