When you plan furnishings around a fireplace, the mantel sits center stage. Local design duo @wilsongirls believe what surrounds the hearth can become the heart of your home décor.

Sisters Cathleen Seay and Jean Wilson Freeman are the Wilson Girls, beloved for seasonal popups at their converted West Greenville corner mill store.

The white building, with its blue and white awning, houses a cultivated aesthetic; part select vintage, part original art, useful collectibles grouped endearingly together, and new décor picks peppered in. Their edict is to never carry anything at Wilson Girls that couldn’t happily live in their own historic homes.

Start with a big piece of art

A big piece of art over a mantle anchors it, but don’t be afraid to change this piece out with the seasons. Even unframed art can feel right in this spot, especially when you add pieces of framed art around it.

Use vessels of all sizes

Bottles large and small, both old and new, add dimension to a mantle. Wrap lights around sticks and put blooming branches in them like quince and forsythia and mock orange.

Add books (and then small art)

Mix old and new books, because even if you love old things, you don’t want it all to look old. Books create height and are good to prop framed art on. At Wilson Girls, sets are painted in patterns and botanicals.

Bring in natural elements

Add lichen covered sticks and pinecones with abandon. Consider interesting stones from hikes and travel. Air plants are another way to tuck in nature and tie elements together.

Employ the handmade

Items made by hand add warmth. Ritual Pottery ceramic houses placed on a marble slab create a snowy scene. Add whimsy with a tiny lead penguin. Little banners mark the year, simply tacked underneath.

Embrace the chair game

Little chairs can be super helpful; they make a great place to sit seasonal décor right at your hearth. Think of them like a little side table; stack books or magazines on them.