Christmas fireplace decor ideas – 16 ways to a festive fireside

Enhance your fireplace to become even more a beautiful focal point with our collection of Christmas fireplace decor ideas, guaranteed to create a wonderfully festive and inviting feel

Christmas fireplace decor ideas. Colorful, modern fireplace with stockings and candles. Traditional fireplace with vase of flowers and foliage, candles, close up of garland in fireplace.
(Image credit: Future | Sarah Kaye Representation, photography by Polly Wreford, styling by Sally Denning | Future)

Looking to uplift your fireplace for the festive season? Make this enduring focal point even more of an eye-draw with our collection of Christmas fireplace decor ideas.

From glorious garlands to twinkling string lights, cozy candles and Christmas ornaments, a fireplace will always be one of the most popular places to decorate for Christmas decor ideas

A natural gathering point and striking design feature in a room, it pays to enhance your fireplace ideas with stylish Christmas mantel decor and more, as it will only make this warming hub of the home feel all the more special, cozy and festive for the holiday season.

Our favorite Christmas fireplace decorating ideas

'Enhancing my fireplace ideas at Christmas is my favorite job,' says Homes & Gardens' print editor and stylist, Jo Bailey. 'I tend to choose my most treasured ornaments to show off here because they can easily get lost on the tree, but will be noticed around the fireplace.'

From chic and minimal to wholesome and relaxed, explore our collection of beautiful Christmas fireplace decor ideas, as well as whole host of styling and decorating tips from the experts.

Jo Bailey Author Profile Picture
Jo Bailey

Jo Bailey is Deputy Editor of Homes & Gardens, overseeing all features for the print edition. Before joining Future PLC, she worked as an interior stylist for over ten years, specializing in commercial photo shoots for luxury clients such as; Design Centre Chelsea Harbour, Christopher Farr Cloth and Heal's. She has worked with Homes & Gardens for over a decade, having styled and produced editorial shoots and events over the years.

1. Go Big With Greenery

Festive living room with fireplace dressed in foliage

(Image credit: Future | SARAH KAYE REPRESENTATION LTD | Photography by Polly Wreford, styling by Sally Denning)

Pine, fir, eucalyptus and holly – evergreen Christmas foliage is an absolute hero of Christmas decor, so enjoy it in its fullest by using it in abundance around your fireplace. 

‘Garlands of greenery, with a rope base and swagged heavily over mantelpieces look fabulous and will last for ages if you select hardy, evergreen foliage,’ says florist Philippa Craddock. ‘Or think about using different ingredients: a mass of naturally dried grass mixed with seasonal stems will give you something beautifully unique.’

It’s a decor trick that works wonderfully for rustic Christmas decor ideas, but it can make a real statement in a more formal setting, too, as shown in the Christmas living room above.

If you're looking for more enduring festive foliage that can be used year on year, explore our picks of festive faux garlands below.

Philippa Craddock
Philippa Craddock

Philippa Craddock is a renowned designer who built her flower business from her kitchen table to a seven-figure global brand within a few short years. Philippa has developed innovative and successful collaborations with Selfridges & Co.,, US and British Vogue, and London design museum the V&A. She has also worked closely with fashion houses and lifestyle brands including Hermès, Dior, Fortnum & Mason, Chanel, SpaceNK and Alexander McQueen.

2. Style a show-stopping floral display

Fireplace decorated with candles, ceramics and vase of flowers and foliage

(Image credit: Sarah Kaye Representation, photography by Polly Wreford, styling by Sally Denning)

The best way to complement the humble simplicity of an open fireplace is with a standout floral display. This striking design, by florist Juliet Glaves, is nothing if not a showstopper, with layers of cut foliage and flowers working together to create a magnificent natural statement.

While fresh flowers only last a few days, branches and foliage can often be left for a much longer period of time. Consider replacing the fresh blooms or substituting them for dried flowers for a longer-lasting floral display. 

3. Create a cozy feel with candles

Christmas stockings hanging from a mantelpiece with lit candles in a candlestick in front of the mirror.

(Image credit: Future)

Complement the warmth and glow of the roaring flames of your fire with a collection of candles. Perfect for resting atop a mantel, or for placing on the fire surround, the best candles will always work wonderfully for festive decoration.

We love the more modern look of this festive fireplace, and how the using of contrasting colors, textures and shapes makes for a truly eclectic and unique display, perfect for modern Christmas decor.

4. Embrace a vintage look

Christmas mantel decor with fall foliage

(Image credit: Future)

If you love a vintage look, it's easy to achieve with a combination of found items and dried flower arrangements. When choosing your designs, consider the look you’re trying to achieve; wooden frames suit rustic farmhouse Christmas decor, while ornate brushed gold will add an elegant festive flourish, for example.

5. Opt for a 'less is more' approach

Christmas fireplace with candles

(Image credit: Future)

Sometimes you want your fireplace to speak for itself, and going back to basics is one of the most beautiful ways to decorate for the holiday season. 

‘For me, the holidays are all about gratitude for the abundance we experience throughout the year, so I like to keep things very natural when I decorate’, says Anastasia Casey, interior stylist and founder of The Identité Collective

We explore more minimalist Christmas decor ideas in our dedicated feature.

6. Decorate with twinkling string lights

Cozy christmas fireplace decorated with string lights, foliage and ornaments

(Image credit: Nkuku)

‘We use a lot of fairy lights in our Christmas decor – always warm white – as they can be adapted in a multitude of different ways, particularly when used to fringe a mantelpiece or wrapped around big indoor plants,’ says Angus Buchanan, creative director at Buchanan Studio

Entwine fairy lights into a garland, or weave them standalone through your candles, Christmas cards and festive ornaments on the mantel. We love these Stargazer Northstar Lights from Anthropologie.

Buchanan Studio
Angus and Charlotte Buchanan

Angus and Charlotte Buchanan form the husband and wife design team behind their London-based creative design frim, Buchanan Studio, set up in 2018.

7. Create a look of 'quiet luxury'

Christmas fireplace with candles

(Image credit: Future)

Create a truly elegant look inspired by quiet luxury Christmas decor ideas with a candlelit foliage mantelpiece arrangement. 

For the foliage, stick to traditional green colorways, such as classic holly and eucalyptus; play around with shapes of seed heads and leaves, but the shades should only vary from sage to emerald green. To add contrast, weave in a clean, whites, such as boughs of glossy snowberries.

Enhance this look by using pure white tapered candles, sitting on crystal and silver candlesticks. Try creating movement with the candles by arranging these candlestick in size order. Shop beautiful brass taper holders and taper candles from McGee & Co.

8. Hang a paper garland

A large christmas tree in the corner of an eclectic, cozy living room with a lit fire

(Image credit: Sarah Kaye)

Paper decorations are not only wonderfully simple, they can make for fun festive craft to enjoy, ideal for DIY Christmas decor ideas

Paper garlands are perfect for more traditional Christmas decor ideas, and can create a playful retro feel. We love the colorful paper garland used on this fireplace; perfectly coordinating with Christmas ornaments on the tree and with the colorful furniture.

9. Enhance your fireplace with a wreath

Rustic fireplace decorated with dried flowers

(Image credit: Future)

A glorious, oversized wreath can make even the most humble of fireplaces into a true statement.

There are myriad Christmas wreath ideas out there, and certainly one to suit your interiors style, but for a suits-all winner we love going with classic foliage. Real or faux, this natural display will bring natural indoors in a controlled and stylish manner. Remember that you can always add natural elements into faux arrangements – simply replace when dried out. For wholly real displays, be sure to mist with water daily to prevent it fading from glory before its time.

Co-ordinate your scheme with a matching Christmas garland, and candles picking up festive tones from within the wreath.

10. Make the most of a non-working fireplace

Christmas fireplace with wreath

(Image credit: Future)

If you don't have a working fireplace in your home – or for whatever reason you don't choose to light yours – but you have the architectural detail remaining, there's still lots of fun you can have when making this a festive focal point and part of your Christmas traditions.

An oversized wicker basket is the perfect vessel to fill to the brim with Christmas baubles and decorations. Wrap with a slender wreath and then mirror this with a twin wreath above.

It's an easy but effective scheme, and perfect if you're short on time or perhaps are staying in a rental as there's no real commitment.

11. Create a warming scene

Cozy living room with candles and decorated mantel

(Image credit: West Elm)

Use a collection of candles, lanterns and string lights to decorate your fireplace to create an enhanced feeling of warmth and coziness; as shown on this glorious gold fireplace by West Elm.

12. Keep it traditional with stockings

Colorful living room with fireplace decorated with foliage and stockings, large christmas tree with wrapped presents

(Image credit: Shop Kit Kemp)

In years gone by there wasn't a fireplace to be seen on Christmas without a stocking. Reclaim this tradition by hanging a stocking for each member of your family, even if just for decorative purposes. Continue this old-school theme with the most delicate of filigree style ornaments. 

For a truly classic look, avoid anything too overtly 'modern' like fairy lights, bold colors or glitter and instead rely on your stockings to take center-stage, or complement with more traditional decorations such as foliage, a shown here in this living room designed by Kit Kemp.

13. Enhance your fireplace with fragrance

Christmas fireplace with garland

(Image credit: Future)

‘The perfect Christmas scent allows me to reminisce those evenings by a cozy log fire,’ says Henry Miller-Robinson, Co-Founder of K&H Design. ‘My favorite incense is Oulan Bator by Astier De Villate, with its notes of leather tobacco and wood smoke.’

A sumptuous garland lain over a mantelpiece is a classic Christmas move when it comes to decorating a fireplace, but make your garland work that bit harder by including seasonally scented elements. Add in dried oranges, lemons and cinnamon sticks, along with fragranced foliage like pine and eucalyptus, to be transported to Christmas Day with every inhale.

To build out the garland, add in textural detailing, such as hessian ribbon, seed heads and delicate twigs. This Potpourri mix from Amazon has scent notes of  fresh cut evergreen, crushed pine needles, orange zest and fir balsam.

14. Decorate your mantel with a collection of festive ornaments

Close up of decorated mantel with christmas ornaments and foliage

(Image credit: Layered Lounge)

A mantel provides the perfect platform to get creative with a whole host of festive ornaments, you really can create the most pretty of festive scenes, as shown above by Layered Lounge.

You can also make the most of left over Christmas tree ornaments. Whether you simply rest them atop your mantel or hang them from a garland, it can create a wonderfully coordinated look with your Christmas tree ideas.

15. Mix fruit and foliage – and candlelight

Living room mantelpiece decorated with Christmas foliage

(Image credit: Chris Terry)

This gorgeous idea from chef and lifestyle guru Clodagh McKenna is super easy to recreate, and its foodie theme works well for Christmas table decor ideas, too. 

McKenna has simply taken foliage from the garden and dotted bright flowers and fruits in traditional Christmas colors amongst it. And, of course, candlelight adds to the atmosphere.

16. Make your display personal

Close up of mantel decorated with foliage and shells

(Image credit: Jon Day Photography / Designers Guild / Trenoweth House)

How you celebrate Christmas is totally unique to every individual, so add some of your personality to the space above your fireplace.

In this home in Cornwall in the United Kingdom, a former vicarage belonging to Amanda Back, head of communications at Designers Guild, the fireplace decoration has been enhanced with beautiful garlands of shells, adding a wonderful note of individuality and uniqueness that beautifully pays homage to the home's coastal setting.


How should I dress my fireplace for Christmas?

'The challenge when decorating a mantelpiece is that often they are narrow' says florist Simon Lycett.

‘If this is the case, a garland made from foliage bound into a length of rope or sash cord will form a generously but flat-backed swag of greens, the weight of which will help to keep it in position.’ 

Next, address the decorations. ‘Stems of berried ilex and holly can be secured with florist’s wire, and pine cones with clusters of dried flowers or seed heads look lovely either left natural or sprayed for a festive feel. Lightweight non-breakable baubles can add some sparkle along with strings of battery-operated fairy lights.'

For some more styling tips, and to help you dress your Christmas fireplace to perfection this festive season, we explore in our dedicated features, how to decorate an empty fireplace and how to style a mantelpiece.

Thea Babington-Stitt
Content Editor

Thea Babington-Stitt is a Content Editor at Future. She has been an interiors journalist for nearly 10 years and has held positions at LivingEtc, Country Homes & Interiors and Homes & Gardens. Currently, she is writing for Ideal Home and Style At Home's websites and magazines.

With contributions from