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Theme Builder LayoutUncommon Ground

Do you study mantels and display shelves like I do?

Here is a round up of ideas for Fall mantels and display shelves from my inspiration files. I shared a few mantel tips last year as well with my own Christmas mantel. I like to look at inspiration photos to get tips and ideas for layering, accessorizing and other creative ways of decorating using what I have.

Theme Builder LayoutSouthern Living

Books and vases and other items can be used for stacking varied accessories at different heights for visual interest. Notice the mix of textures from the roughness of the mantel to the bumpy textures of the pumpkins to the shiny vases!

Theme Builder LayoutMy Blessed Life

A fun garland in a seasonal color always makes a fireplace feel more festive.

Theme Builder LayoutCentsational Girl

It is hard to go wrong with simple white or glass accessories and pops of the season in the branches and leaves. This more minimal display (above) is asymmetrical, which gives it a nice visual twist.

Theme Builder LayoutHouse and Home

A random vintage collection of treasures is a way to show off personal stories and memories as a focal point. You don’t have to have a staged look, it is your home! Decorate the mantel the way you want to!

Theme Builder LayoutBetter Homes & Gardens

Surprising use of three wreaths over the mantel makes this fresh, unexpected and fun. Who says you can only use one wreath over the fireplace?

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And if you want a little creepier decor just for fun this Fall, a few spider webs and black crows will do the trick! via Better Homes & Gardens

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Day 3: Why I Love this Season

Day 4: Ideas for Decorating Naturally

Day 5: Simple Fall Decorating Around The House

Day 6: Your Style: Get in the Holiday Groove

Day 7: Creative Memorable Holidays

Day 8: What Dessert to Make for Fall Parties!

Day 9: Things to Treasure List

The rest of the 31 Day Participants!


  1. Theme Builder Layout

    I like the mantel ideas. I especially like the bag next to the fireplace with the pumpkins in it. What a great idea and something I can do in my apartment. Pottery Barn has some fun spooky accessories that would be great for a mantel or shelf!

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    These are lovely pictures. Oh, how I wish I had a normal mantle! Instead I’ve got a weird off-set media shelf above my fireplace. Sometime in the next week or two, I’ll attempt to decorate it for fall.

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    HI Melissa, I love this post! I’m all about shelves and mantels for the Holidays. They just scream at me to be redone for the holidays. I love all the ideas you have shown here…they are wonderful. I have a woodstove in our older farmhouse…oh well…but I’ve made up for no mantel with other shelves and I just love decorating them this time of year. I’m enjoying all your posts and all the participants…it’s just wonderful.

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    I really like the simplicity of the Centsational Girl mantle. But I’m finding I layer a lot when arranging my mantles and shelves in my own home.

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    Thank you for the ideas, I got some good pins! :)

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    I love the mantle with the spiderwebs and the crow with a nest under the bell jar. I have a great bell jar and may just do that on our mantle. Super cute!

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    Very cute ideas! My mantel is one of my favorite places to decorate, so thanks for sharing the inspiration!

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    I’m always looking for good mantel/shelf ideas….that seems to be a weak spot for me.
    Thanks for sharing-

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    Yes, I do look at vignettes and bookshelves and mantels. Of all these, I find one positively annoying because it looks cluttered and the items are diminutive. (It’s the House and Home one.) Now, why couldn’t I just focus on all the other scrumptious ones?

    Thanks for always sharing a variety of styles!

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    Oh thank you Melissa. This post is so timely. I have been wanting to attack the mantle for many months, but really had no idea what would work. Thank you for these ideas that are so real and “doable”. Btw my favorite happens to be My Blessed Life’s contribution…just our secret…he, he, he. Have a wonderful day!

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    Oh thank you Melissa. This post couldn’t be more timeley. I have wanted to attack the mantel for quite some time, but had no clue as to where to begin. These examples are so real and “doable”. My favorite happens to be My Blessed Life’s contribution. It just speaks to me. You should hear what it is saying…lol. I hope everyone finds at least one moment of inner peace today.

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    Once again, I’ve been inspired by you. Thanks and wishing you a happy day.

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    I LOVE the pleated pale blue skirt on what looks like a bench in the centsational girl photo (white furnishings). Wish I could find something like that! Just linked over to your Christmas mantel post too… how fun that HGTV uses your ideas! Doesn’t surprise me though :)

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      Thank you Pam! It surprises me :-)

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    So much inspiration to start off our week!! Thank you Melissa, I really loved the straw wreath en masse!! I would use white pumpkins just because I am not an orange gal, but I really loved the rustic touches in this mantel. Happy Monday,

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    Great post! I haven’t gotten to our mantle yet because it is weird and kitty cornered with a TV on it. Any suggestions for decorating around media on the mantle? Would it just be way to tacky or something worth trying to work around?

    Love all the pictures!

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    Lots of terrific inspiration in this post. You – most awesome teacher – noticed things I didn’t even see. Thank you!! :-)

    It may be my mood…but, Centsational Girl’s mantel and decor is stunning. I love the lightness and yet it still sings “Autumn.”

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    Love this post, and your whole 31-day series so far! Thanks for the inspiration.

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    I love decorating our faux mantel, but I’m always looking for new ideas to gain height.

    Our mantel is only about 4 inches wide – so it’s tough to find things to give visual interest that don’t look like they are ready to fall off.

    Hopefully, this year I can start with a 10″ or 12″ candle and work from there :)

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    Love this! Thank you so much for including my mantel/fireplace!! :) Can’t wait to see you! xo

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    I’m so glad to see some mantle ideas. I keep walking past mine everyday thinking it definitely needs a change. You’re inspiring me to do something about it. :)

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    I don’t know why it took so long, but I’ve recently realized that the reason this one cabinet’s shelves kept bugging me was because I failed to add layers. Since then, I’ve really been paying attention to shelves and displays in shops, on blogs, and in magazines, and have added some depth and variety to that cabinet.

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    I’ve been enjoying decorating my display shelves this year, I never did that much before, but this year I’ve done the hutch in the kitchen I’ve decorated for 5 holidays already. Reading blogs about it seems inspiring.

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    Melissa you are not the only one who studies mantels and display cases!

    Absolutely adore the details and attention given to these! What great ideas for holiday gifts for friends and clients, mantel decoration pieces!



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    Love the bright orange garland – gives it so much festive color!

    And I do like the three wreaths – it’s unique and lovely!


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    !!! BRAVO! olivia – greece


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