Here at Darcy Miller Designs, we’re all about celebrating the seasons, and right now it’s a winter wonderland inside our Studio. That’s because we invited my talented friend Bryan Rafanelli, author of A Great Party, and planner behind tons of amazing events—including Chelsea Clinton’s wedding and more than a few Obama state dinners—to collaborate on decking our mantel for the winter.


We wanted decor that would last well past the holidays and into the new year. So, we skipped the boughs of holly and decided on a color scheme of silver and white for a look that’s icy, magical, and glittering. That meant filling the shelves with wintry snow globes and decorating with lots of baby’s breath, which looks like snowballs or snow-covered trees when massed together. My drawings of snowflakes, which we enlarged, printed, and hung from the mantel and ceiling, are falling on all of it, and there are also touches of glitter and faux jewels sprinkled throughout, making the vibe Let it Snow meets Let it Sparkle.

The end result is a fresh take on winter that’s both frosty and festive. And, the best part was, of course, Doing It Together (because you know D.I.T. is my favorite thing!) with an amazing talent, and equally amazing friend like Bryan—because one of the best things about winter is the chance to cozy up with friends and family.

We used paper snowflakes and baby’s breath arrangements to set a wintry scene—both are affordable, long-lasting, and easy decorative touches that have a big impact. Swags of tinsel hang from the mantel, bowls of silver candy resting above it, fit in with our silver color palette and add a frosty glow.

A printed blow-up of my drawing of a friendly snowman is in no danger of melting beside the fireplace. The “snow-covered trees” in front of him are baby’s breath topiaries in glass vessels.

“Snowballs” of baby’s breath seem to float above glass vases, and baby’s breath topiaries look like miniature snow-covered trees. Link to make your own here.

A snow-globe placecard holder is the perfect spot to leave holiday greetings (its flat bottom lets it sit comfortably on the mantel).

Winter scenes placed atop faux snow (or any white batting!) in large glass vessels to resemble a snowy meadow. click here

Bryan found inventive, wintry ways to add silver-and-white elements to the room filling tall glass vases with felt “snowballs,” metallic glitter, and jingle bells. Massing together small decorative objects in one container adds up to an impressive, unexpected display.


Shelves are filled with fun holiday decor from silver party hats, to disco ball snowmen, to Frosty the Reclining Reindeer. The top shelf holds a winter scene made of fake snow, a mini evergreen, my drawing of a snowman, and a toy that looks like Bryan’s pickup truck—which adds an unexpected pop of color.

To make the winter-scene “terrarium” more eye-catching, Bryan gave it some height by resting it on top of a stack of his books, with the dust jacket removed so it fit in with the white color scheme.

1. Toy Truck, 2. Mini Faux Tree, 3. Glass Cylinder, 4. Artificial Snow

1. House Figurine, 2. Glass Snowmen, 3. Jingle Bells, 4. Faux Snowballs, 5. Book, 6. Crystal Ball