For many people the fireplace, as well as the Christmas tree, plays a crucial role in Christmas celebrations. After all, both go back to the earlier pagan Yuletide festival when a large log or, in some cases, a whole tree was burnt in an open hearth over a number of days. Today, whether we have a real fire or not, the mantel is often a focal point for festive decoration and adornment. Here we feature five such mantels, each beautifully decorated for Christmas in unique, innovative ways.


Sue Conyers is a very active member of the Garden Club of Bermuda and is known for her beautiful and unusual flower arrangements. But lately she has started experimenting with different decorative balls or spheres. “We are always looking at new ideas and techniques so from making the spheres we just progressed into making the trees as well.”

As she says, she has an old cottage, complete with a traditional Bermudian fireplace topped with a white mantel, and she likes to mix the traditional with the modern. Consequently, her cone-shaped trees, some topped with crafted stars and spheres, give a contemporary twist to the Christmas tree theme. To create these tactile shapes, she uses natural materials such as rope, dried moss and angel hair, as well as decorative flower arranging wires of different gauges and colours and decorative pins. The silver, green and coppery tones of the decorations effectively pick up the earth-toned brick work of the fireplace. And the different heights of the cones add visual interest.