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.

Beth Miller’s gorgeous cedar mantel and surround make her fireplace even more Bermudian. She accentuates the warmth of the wood by using Christmas tree branches as the basis of her theme. Artificial red hypericum berries, gold pinecones and lime green glass balls in matte and shiny finishes add Christmas colour to the branches, while votive candles and small wired lights give more illumination. “Every year,” she says, “I use a variation on this theme based on the colours of the decor in my living room. I mostly use things that I already have in my Christmas decorating box, unless I see something in the shops that strikes me as being the perfect thing to add.”

This year she has aimed for a more dramatic touch by adding six mercury glass pillar candleholders of different heights graced with white candles and placed in groups of three at each end of the mantel. She also has added artificial gilded and frosted grapes that fit beautifully with the gold pinecones. The overall arrangement is traditional but also stylish and pleasing to the eye.