Your fireplace is always a centerpiece in your home, but during November and December it really takes center stage. As your family and friends gather in the home to celebrate winter holidays (whether that’s Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukah or the Solstice), your fireplace mantelpiece provides the perfect opportunity for seasonal décor. You may deck your mantelpiece with autumn leaves and pumpkins, evergreen branches and candles. But how can you best impress your loved ones as they gather around the cozy fire? We’ve put together some basic tips that will help you create a balanced and beautiful look — no matter what your style is.

  1. Start with a Color Palette.

Before you do anything else, it’s a good idea to have some sort of color palette in mind. You don’t have to limit yourself to traditional combinations. Consider mixing in some blue or grey with your autumnal golds and oranges. Pair Christmas green with crisp white and black for a more tailored, sophisticated look. Starting with a color palette will help you select decorative items that compliment each other.

  1. Choose a Focal Point.

When curating a collection of objects for your mantelpiece, it’s better to start big. Choose one larger piece that you love to ground the look. This could be a large framed print or abstract painting. It could be a mirror or a more structural, three-dimensional object. Once you’ve found your focal point, it will be easier to arrange your other items around it.

  1. Create Balance and Interest.

Choosing a variety of items, in terms of both style and size, will help create interest and balance on your mantelpiece. Consider incorporating objects with at least three to four different heights. Use both two-dimensional and three-dimensional objects with a variety of textures. This mix will draw the eye and allow it to travel, appreciatively.

  1. Throw in Some Nature.

Natural elements are the perfect touch to complete any mantelpiece. This could be an evergreen garland or a holly wreath, some miniature pumpkins or bare branches. Adding these bits of nature will help the décor feel more organic and alive, less manufactured.

The best thing about these tips is that they can be applied to any design sense or personal style. The most important thing is to be true to you and create a look that reflects your individuality and the rest of your home décor. If you do that, your mantelpiece will surely wow your family and friends at the upcoming festivities.