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"Spruce" up the Mantel & more with Buffalo local, Emily Fee!

Style maker and influencer Emily Fee offers up her tips and tricks for bringing creative mantelpieces to life just in time for the holiday season! Plus, take a peek at her family’s favorite holiday traditions!

Holidays are a break from the hectic hustle and bustle of everyday life. They’re also the time during which we gather around the fire on a cold night as we sip our hot cocoa. A decorated mantel also adds a personal flair with an echo of peace on earth.

Mantel Decorating Tips!

  1. Soft tones paired with a burst of color make this fall mantelpiece a focal point without being overwhelming!

  2. Even without the traditional red and green scheme, this classy neutral palette still feels merry and bright! Wood carvings add depth without being too aggressive.

  3. A colorful wreath helps to ring in the new year with metallic tones. Metal and crystal can help offset greens and cast a warm glow for the holidays.


When it comes to garlands, keep the color palette simple. Sticking to one to three colors prevents the mantel from looking too busy and creates a visual balance with proportion, height, and scale.

Creative Tip!

  • Try out vintage items found around the house like serving trays or candlesticks to add a pop or accent with silver and gold.

  • For Thanksgiving this year, Fee featured dried magnolia leaves because of their neutral color but bold, varying texture.“It helps make the mantel look thick and dense without doing too much.”

“Last year we started a new christmas tradition, Jolabokaflod, The IcelandIic tradition of giving books on Christmas Eve. Sounds simple but the thought of supporting local book stores and spending the day reading together gives me all the holiday feelings!”

What is Jolabokaflod?

Jolabokaflod (pronounced yo-la-bok-a-flot) is the Icelandic tradition of gifting books on Christmas Eve. Roughly translating to “Christmas book flood,” Jolabokaflod first began when paper was one of the few commodities not being rationed during World War II, and as a result, Icelanders would give books the night before Christmas. They would spend the rest of their evenings reading, a practice that is still present in the culture today.

So, before those presents appear under the tree or in those stockings hung by the chimney with care, spread some Christmas cheer by checking out a local bookstore for the next best page turner.

Who knows? This might just become one of

your favorite holiday traditions!

Catch up with Emily Fee on and Instagram @emily.fee! Fee currently resides in WNY with her husband, Myles, and their two kids, Colette & Wesley.


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