A Kid-Friendly Christmas “Mantle” in the Playroom

November 17, 2016

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This post is in partnership with Lowe’s.

Since this is the first holiday season that we’ll have the playroom/family room completed, we wanted to deck it out a little bit since we spend so much time down here. Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to visit Lowe’s headquarters and peek at their Holiday collections that are available at Lowe’s stores this year–right now!, and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on some things. Almost everything you see here is from Lowe’s and if you mouse over the photo, I linked to all the products directly to the Lowe’s site.

This little corner was also featured in TABLE magazine’s winter issue (on stands now!) where I was able to share a few tips for decorating a mantle, even if it isn’t a mantle. If you don’t have a fireplace, a piano, credenza, sideboard or even a shelf can be transformed into a merry mantle by following these five tips.

1. Extra long garland that reaches the floor (we used two pre-lit artificial lengths for this) is a super dramatic way to announce, “Holidays! We’re here for it!” But don’t take the twinkle lights as a sign the garland is fine as is. Go the extra mile and string ornaments the entire length of the garland. If you have little ones at home, spring for ornaments that won’t break like these sweet nature-inspired ornaments from Lowe’s. Or, if breakables aren’t in your vocabulary, nothing is as glam as glass globe ornaments cascading down the mantle. Trust.


2. Decide on a focal point. This could be a mirror, wreath (if your garland is green, switch up the wreath for a punchy color or neutral pine cone one), art or a fun letterboard (this one is from Letterfolk co.) spelling out a holiday line—can’t go wrong with a quote from your favorite Christmas movie or song!

3. Add in something tall. These antlers from Lowe’s are designed to be placed in a tree or wreath—hence the long stick base, but they make a pretty great unexpected “floral” when put in a vase. Seasonal flowers, birch logs or sticks leaned against the wall, a glass vessel filled with ornaments, or a few tall candlesticks would also make the nice list.

4. Layer in something short and squatty, bonus points if it adds a horizontal to your mantlescape. Think a stack of books, a decorative box, your favorite holiday scented candle, or an elongated basket or tray. I filled a shallow basket with soft, squishy ornaments from Lowe’s that look like snowballs. They’ll be out all winter!

5. Lastly, that garland you worked so hard on (see #1) should weave in and out of the rest of the décor, rather than placing everything in front of or behind it. This simple trick will create lots of depth and a feeling of collectiveness.


Since we put all the greenery and ornaments on the piano “mantle”, we placed this simple white tree next to it. The lights can be white or colorful (or flash between both!) and the girls are in Christmas heaven down here. Any decorating going on at your place?
Ps. Double wall sconce is from here, blue bench is from here, letter board is from here, white vase is from here

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What do you think?

  1. gigi says:

    How did you attach the garland to the piano? I would love to do this to my mantle instead of a tree.

  2. Shauna says:

    Where is the buffalo check pillow from please?? ?

  3. Lindsey says:

    Could you share where you purchased your piano bench? I’m looking for something just like that (to use as a coffee table). Thank you!

  4. Lauren says:

    Great decorations, and since we don’t have a mantel, I love the creativity!

    A question – do you think your carpet has held up well? I just went back and read your posts about choosing and installing it since we need to re-carpet high traffic stairs to the basement. Thanks!

  5. Stephanie says:

    Beautiful! I never would have thought of Lowe’s as a source for such unique decorations. Thanks for the inspiration.

    (I hate to be that person, but it’s “mantel.”)

  6. Amy says:

    Where is the tree skirt from?

  7. Jeri says:

    At the risk of sounding stupid. I’ve been buying little gnomes to represent each of my kids. Is your little gray gnome from Lowes as well? I’m running out of search ideas and an ornament sized one would work.

  8. Okay. Those antlers would be adorable poking out of a tree!

  9. Kayla says:

    Those woodlands ornaments are so sweet! Perfect for grabby little hands.

  10. Thalia says:

    I love the “Elf” quote on your board! It all looks amazing :)

  11. Lisa says:

    I love it all! Everything you do is amazing! Do you mind me asking where you got the plaid throw?

  12. abby says:

    so beautiful! LOVE the idea of making a christmas mantle using a piano (i have no mantle, but i DO have a piano!).

  13. Karen F says:

    This is gorgeous!! You are so talented!

  14. Kristen says:

    The garland you created is gorgeous! I love the idea of having the garland full of lights and ornaments cascading down the mantle, so pretty!

  15. Oh my Julia !!! That new family picture is so precious and lovely !!! I though the last one was the best ever, and then you change it for this one which is even more perfect !! You have the cutest family ever ! (I’ll have to contact you later on about something regarding this)
    Also this mantle. So cozy so cute !!!

  16. Katy says:

    This is SO GOOD. Everything you touch turns to gold. I am going out to buy all of this today.

  17. Megan says:

    The wall sconces instead of a traditional piano light. Love. Such a fun idea to decorate the piano as if it were a mantle. That white tree is a fun pop on the moody dark wall.

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