A Classic Christmas Mantel: White Lights and Brass Accents

Whitney Curtis

Article Posted By: Whitney Curtis

of The Home Depot

A Classic Christmas Mantel: White Lights and Brass Accents, by Whitney Curtis of The Curtis Casa

Classic doesn’t necessarily mean old-fashioned. Take for instance the shimmering Christmas mantel decorated by design blogger Whitney Curtis. It’s timeless. But she added a clever twist that makes it fun and completely up-to-date.

Whitney writes the popular design blog The Curtis Casa. She’s is one of the several top design bloggers who took part in our Holiday Style Challenge. We sent each of these creative people a mystery box of Christmas decorations from The Home Depot. We wanted to see how they’d use the decorations in their own homes.

Whitney took lots of holiday greenery and lights and combined them with shiny gold and brass finishes for her holiday mantel. The twist? In a clever DIY project, she used rope lights to spell out a holiday message… though the spelling itself is a matter of perception, as you’ll see.

My husband and I have spent four Christmases in our home in Atlanta, but with a little bittersweet twist, this year’s Christmas decorating is our last in this house. My mantle is one of my favorite areas of the house, (painted brick!) so I was excited to give it an appropriate sendoff, for one last Christmas together.

I love love love white lights for the holidays. When we were growing up, we always had two trees – a colored light tree for us kids and the fancy white light tree with all the fancy ornaments. My traditional side is just so drawn to the white lights, I had to do classic white!

A Classic Christmas Mantel: White Lights and Green Garlands

It took a while for the overall look to come together, but when it did I couldn’t have loved it more.

We layered three brass mirrors in varying shapes on the mantle, layered with 9 ft. Douglas fir garland, 6 in. and 4 in. LED pillar candles, and accented with a few brass candlesticks I’ve collected from the thrift store.

The garland has small and large pinecones and red berries mixed in which makes for a really nice texture.

We also dropped in some gold snowflake shaped ornaments (you can see them peeking out in the photo above!) from the Regal Holiday Christmas Collection by Martha Stewart to create a little sparkle.

A Classic Christmas Mantel: Mirror with Snow Effect on Holiday Mantel

And of course our dog, Birch, tried to get in on all the action. Eating ornaments, running away with wrapping paper – he’s a mess!

A Classic Christmas Mantel: A Dog Named Birch Gets into the Christmas Spirit

I love that the Martha Stewart collections have special sets of ornaments too– pine cones, drums, owls, and my favorite, birds! The gold and glitter paired so well with white lights and brass mirrors.

A Classic Christmas Mantel: Bird Ornament

A Classic Christmas Mantel: Christmas Tree with Gold and Silver Ornaments

To accent the mirrors even more, we used Santa Spray Snow and an ornament to create these really pretty snowflake patterns in the mirror. It helped create the holiday mood and prevented any overload of mirrored surface. (And there’s one of the little gold snowflake ornament we dropped in!)

A Classic Christmas Mantel: Snow Effect on Mirror

My favorite part of our mantle though, is our DIY joyful sign, written in rope lights. They’re hard to twist into words but it’s totally do-able! Make it yourself by following the Joyful Rope Light Sign tutorial here on the Home Depot Blog.

We hung it from the bottom of the mantle, over the firebox for a new, modern twist on a traditional look. The white lights twinkling in the word joyful make for such a striking look. It’s beautiful!

A Classic Christmas Mantel: DIY Rope Light Holiday Message

 A Classic Christmas Mantel: DIY Rope Light Holiday Message with Possible Spelling Issues

And I’ll tell you a funny story that goes with the joyful sign… Do you notice anything funny about it?

When we were almost done setting everything up, admiring our work and getting ready to photograph, we were all looking at the sign, admiring it, excited about the DIY, talking about how joyful we felt, when my sweet Grandma casually glances over and reads the sign, outloud: “JOYFEEL.”

Mom, my sister Anna and I turn simultaneously to look and we all burst into laughter.

It looks like joyFEEL, not joyFUL. We laughed and laughed!

It took so much work to wrap the rope lights into the letters, we didn’t even notice how much a “U” looked like two “E”s. But you know what? This holiday season, we are joyful and full of joy and feeling joy, so it doesn’t matter one bit how we spell it.

A Classic Christmas Mantel: White Lights, Brass Accents, Holiday Message in Lights

From our family to yours, we wish you a joyful holiday season!

A Classic Christmas Mantel: Owl Ornament, Garland and Mirror

Whitney Curtis turned her love of design, decor and gardening into her blog, The Curtis Casa, where she shares DIY projects, decorating ideas and fashion finds. She lives in Atlanta with her husband and their dog Birch.

Take a look at how she decorated her back deck in a Patio Style Challenge here on The Home Depot Blog. We’re thrilled to reveal, too, that since she completed this Holiday Style Challenge article, she joined the blog staff here at The Home Depot full-time. Keep your eye on The Home Depot Blog for more of Whitney’s great DIY, gardening and design ideas.