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How to Design a Modern Gothic Mantel

gothic mantel

Halloween tends to be one of the kitschier holidays, but more and more, the design savvy are looking for ways to bring contemporary style to its over-the-top tradition. Take cue from this modern Gothic mantelpiece arrangement, if kitsch Halloween isn’t for you.


Styling by Annie McDonald & Emma Reddington

Photos by Kristin Sjaarda


For this look start with some Gothic staples like pewter, tarnished silver, vintage cloth-bound books and lots of candles. To give it that contemporary direction, make sure to choose candle sticks and lanterns in modern shapes and styles.


Once you have set the scene, layer the surface with natural textures like Spanish moss, birch bark, and autumnal leaves. Birch bark is a great way to make any look feel more contemporary.


Finish off with a Mid-Century modern mirror (anything square and unadorned will do), a dark grey wall (Benjamin Moore, “Metropolis”), black painted mantelpiece and asymmetrically hung lights in a style that brings the look together.


Shopping Guide

  • Shaped Owl Lanterns – Pottery Barn
  • Pewter candlesticks – Vintage
  • Black Antler Candlestick – The Walrus
  • Pewter Vase and Plates- Vintage
  • Turo Hanging Light – Castor Design
  • Mirror – Vintage
  • Spanish Moss – Michaels

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