Salk, who is special projects editor at House and Garden magazine, showed how to put together a couple of "looks" for the mantel.
Fall Mantel: The mantel is a perfect place to celebrate autumn by bringing in some darker candles and adding crisp garnishes like boughs and leaves or accessories like walnut topiaries.
If you have a mirror above your mantel, a special way to decorate it is to place a garland wreath in its center. If you don't have a mantel, even placing a berried wreath around a mirror or painting or inside your door will give it that seasonal touch.
Holiday Mantel: You can go with a Christmas-inspired look that is traditional, but with a modern twist. The traditional elements are still there (such as pine boughs, candles and berries) but the juxtapositions of color and materials have a fresh twist. Use white candles and white berries for a change. Get creative, but don't overdo it. You want this look to last a while.
Winter Holiday Mantel: This mantel is for those who may not celebrate Christmas, but want something festive in their home. Use lots of glass and silver, which will work even through the whole winter.