The stockings were hung by the chimney with care...
The only problem with this decoration attempt is that Mom wanted new stockings that coordinated with the silver, white, and turquoise mantel decorations, while the kids insisted that they keep their childhood stockings. To be fair, these stockings were deeply connected to years of Christmas morning memories and sewn for each family member by Auntie Patty! So, back to looking for ideas to accomplish a holiday mantel look I desired.
I decided to honor the beloved stockings and adjust my expectations for a "sophisticated" mantel. My solution was to add pine cones, red wooden-bead garland, and red bell garland to my color scheme. Not only did adding red provide a unifying element between the mantel and stockings, but it also added texture and a woodsy-feel with the addition of the pine cones.
When creating my seasonal Christmas decorations, I like to begin by using some of my usual decor then mix in some new seasonal items like white iridescent garland, red wooden-bead garland, silver garland, silver and red ornaments, and Christmas lights. The spun-silver vase on the left and the turquoise candle holder are both decor items that I had already been using in my family room.
Most of my old incandescent string Christmas lights have burned out, so this year I invested in several new LED string lights. I don't care much for the coolness of the light quality, but I did find a pair that alternates cool and warm tone white lights. I enjoy the sparkle of the lights and the mantel would not look the same without them!
If you are looking for/finishing up decorating, I found the festive red jingle bell garland at Crate and Barrel and the red wooden-bead garland at World Market. I cut the jingle bell string into several pieces to spread cheer around the monochromatic collection of glass. The mercury glass trees came from Marshalls this season, but I have seen them at HomeGoods as well. The trees lent some needed height to my mantel composition. I love the texture, shine, and cheer in this shot.
Finally, the coffee table adjacent to the fireplace needed some livening-up. In this case, I used a large bowl that usually sits on the coffee table, but by adding holiday elements, it turned the ordinary into the celebratory. I added white and silver ornaments and some embellishments from the floral department at a craft store along with a few glitter-dusted pine cones (that were made for me by a dear friend) to achieve a festive look I can enjoy for the season.