Elegant Halloween Décor Ideas For The Mantel

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If your tastes run more toward understated elegance, you’ve still got lots of options for decorating your Halloween mantel in a way that celebrates the holiday without becoming garish.

Elegant White Halloween Mantels

If you like monochromatic designs, ghostly white is a perfect choice for a dramatic, understated Halloween statement. An existing white mantel further enhances this effect. You may want to try some or even all of these ideas:

  • Display a collection of white mini-pumpkins and gourds on top of the mantel or some large ones down in the fireplace area.
  • Drape all white decorative items with sheer white gauze, webbing or lace.
  • Accent your mantle with a white lace or fabric mantle runner.
  • Hang white distressed windows or shutters over the mantel.
  • Hang a white-framed mirror over your mantel. You can even paint a faint ghost on it if you like.
  • Accent your display with white candles, fluttering white ghosts and a white skeleton or two.


Elegant Halloween Color Schemes

Choosing a simple, subtle color scheme is an equally effective way to keep your Halloween decorating elegant. Here are a few approaches that might work for you.

  • Black and white: For a truly sophisticated Halloween display, stick with a basic black and white palette. Start with a white design scheme and add black touches such as somber crows, spiders, wrought iron candlesticks or cats. Black webbing also adds a nice touch of contrast to a mostly white design.
  • A color or two: Just a little touch of color makes a very graceful statement. Perhaps you’d like to add a light wooden haunted Ouija board, some deep orange glowing Jack-o-lanterns or a few green, orange or purple skeletons posing on your white mantel.
  • Warm autumn hues: Design your entire Halloween mantel in shades of orange, yellow, dark red and earth tones with just a touch of black. You might want to feature garlands of autumn leaves, some pumpkins and ornamental gourds and a few bats, black candelabras or black-framed pictures.


A Taste of the Dark Side

Even if you’re going for a sophisticated look, Halloween is still a holiday that explores the dark side. The trick to keeping things elegant is not to overdo the macabre. Make sure your mantle says Halloween and not just autumn with just a few spooky elements such as:

  • A banner or signs with sayings such as “boo” or “beware”
  • Death themed items such as skeletons, skulls, ghosts or tombstones
  • Halloween themed animals including bats, black cats, crows, spiders and other insects
  • Characters such as witches, vampires, zombies or monsters.


Time & History

Antiques add a chilling sense of time passing into history, which is just right for Halloween’s exploration of death and the unknown. Here are a few weathered touches you might want to incorporate into your holiday mantel designs:

  • Vintage hardcover books
  • Antique cameras, clocks or sewing machines
  • Elegant silver or China tea set
  • Weathered lanterns, sconces and candelabras
  • A pair of skeletons dressed in Victorian wedding outfits
  • Antique gloves, hats or button down shoes
  • Vintage framed photos.

To make sure your vintage items look truly spooky, drape some black or white faux cobwebs over your display.

Simple Country Elegance

Since Halloween coincides with the late fall harvest, country-style themed Halloween displays are always appropriate. These ideas will help give your Halloween mantel a gentle country chic:

  • A layer of hay or straw
  • Black barn stars
  • Hand carved pumpkins, illuminated from within
  • A scarecrow and some cute black cat sculptures
  • Halloween themed embroidery work hanging above the mantel
  • Old dark wooden windows or shutters in front of the fireplace or hung over the mantel
  • Wooden alphabet blocks that spell out “Happy Halloween”
  • Country Halloween crafts
  • Wicker, foliage or floral wreaths
  • Birdhouses painted in Halloween colors
  • Wooden signs
  • Wheat stalks in a vase
  • Metal or wooden bucket of pumpkins
  • Country fencing around the fireplace area.

Finishing Touches

Here are a few more ways to create a festive yet elegant Halloween mantle:

  • Halloween tree: Hang small Halloween ornaments on a potted tree.
  • Holiday Flowers: Arrange some orange or yellow blossoms in a clear vase with black, orange and yellow glass beads.
  • Snow globes: Buy or make a dark, sophisticated Halloween snow globe with shining glass, black glitter, floating bats and a tall black base.
  • Lighting: Try a pair of tall, black candlesticks with black candles for either side of the mantel, a subtle string of white or orange lights or some attractive Halloween luminaries.
  • Chains: As long as you don’t overdo it, a thick chain or two across your mantel makes a dramatic Halloween statement.
  • Twigs: Spray paint some twigs black and arrange them in a black vase, skull or Jack-o-lantern.
  • Unique fireplace glow: Rather than light a traditional fire, fill your fireplace with a collection of Jack-o-lanterns in a variety of sizes, shapes and colors and illuminate from within using candles or LED lights.

By mixing a little Halloween thrill with some tasteful arrangements, your fireplace mantel design will maintain its dignity without loosing its sense of fun. Your beautiful Halloween mantel will help set the tone for warm, sophisticated holiday celebrations.

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Last Updated: September 16, 2012
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About Roberta Pescow Roberta Pescow holds a bachelor's degree in communications from City University of New York, Queens College and is a freelance writer and editor in the NJ area. The author of "A Life In The Service" and "A Monster's Tears," she enjoys writing informative articles, personal essays, fiction and music.  Roberta is a proud mother of two. Her other interests include fitness, photography, sculpture and meditation. She is a voracious reader and holds a 2nd degree black belt in Tae Kwan Do. Roberta enjoys decorating her hectic, but happy home and garden in original and affordable ways.  

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