A well-styled mantel can be the focal point of a living room, but getting it just right can be tricky. So cluttered it becomes overwhelming, but so bare that it looks boring. Here are some tips – and some mantel decorating ideas – to help you create the fireplace of your dreams!
Whether you have a real fireplace or a faux fixture, a decorative mantel is a great way to set the look and feel of a room. Do you want something comfortable and inviting? Modern and minimalist? Charming and chic? Once you’ve decided on the overall feel, it’s time to start thinking about what to put on the mantel. This is where we step in!
In the future, we share professional tips for designing overhead fireplaces, plus 30 Beautiful Fireplace Decorating Ideas This is sure to inspire design inspiration!
How to Design a Mantel Like a Pro
There is no “one size fits all” approach to designing your fireplace space, but there are some basic guidelines to keep in mind. Get the most out of your mantel with these decorating tips.
Create a focal point that serves as an anchor for your mantelpiece (for example, a mirror, an oversized piece of art, or a decorative wall hanging). You can hang this piece in the center above the mantel, or lean it against it. Alternatively, you can place it off-center, but make sure it’s asymmetrical enough to look intentional!
Add some weight to the sides of the anchor block. To create a balanced composition, flank your centerpiece with matching items such as a vase or candle, or keep something asymmetrical for a more refined look – plant elements on one side, candles on the other, for example series.
Arrange pieces of different heights together to create a coordinated yet visually interesting display. Place one large object next to various small objects, or stack objects on top of each other (for example, a small stack of books with knickknacks on top). Our favorite pieces to use are floral stems, frame prints and candle holders.
- Obey the rule of thirds
While even numbers can sometimes seem too old and stale, odd numbers often feel more natural and balanced. You can make your mantel display more interesting by placing similar decorative items in groups of three to five rather than in pairs. This trick is called the rule of three.
- Get leads from your space
Whether your mantel décor is simple and unassuming or grand and sophisticated, it should never be separate from the rest of the space. Pick colors and textures from the rest of the room and try to incorporate them into your arrangement to match the aesthetic of your home, whether rustic, classic or modern.
Instead of hanging decorative items, consider layering them and leaning them against the wall. We like to layer the anchor pieces with smaller artwork and add some candles or other accessories to fill. Layering works on all types of wall decor, from art prints to mirrors to architectural elements like window screens and even salvaged shutters.
The changing seasons can make many interior decorating choices feel almost overwhelming—but not your mantel! Just add some holiday elements to an already stylized vignette to give your room a quick seasonal update. You can even take this opportunity to do some DIY projects with your kids!
Mantel Decorating Ideas to Get You Inspired
Now that you have the basics down, scroll down to see how it all fits together in the different vignettes. While browsing Instagram lately, all these mantel decor ideas gave us pause. it has started.
We love the look of this asymmetrical design from ourss9! The balance here is dynamic and – for us – more fun! Not to mention that color coordination is the point.
For a more orderly look, replicate your decor on the left and right sides of the mantel. Instagrammer sarahrosewheeler Decorate her sunburst mirror with palm leaves and it works great!
Art is always a good conversation starter. Find several prints in different sizes and stack them on the mantel (no hammer and nails required). Add some trinkets to tie them together.
Feel free to mix and match frames and different art styles to create contrast – a framed magazine cut or oil portrait combined with a sketch is a winning combination!
Pay attention to proportions
Remember to always layer art proportional to the anchor pieces. If it’s too big, it will overwhelm the center piece. If it’s too small, it will blend in. Theoldhouseonmain The proportions are just right!
If your space is really small, try layered mirrors instead of artwork – they reflect light and make the room feel larger.We love these stacked antique mirrors from jennybrooks. Well done, Jenny!
Whether you have a non-working fireplace or a working one that you are not currently using, you can still make the most of it by placing an art print against the fireplace opening for a casual display.
Statement Mantel Art
A mantelpiece is the perfect place to display a large piece of art.Victorian love Decorate her mantel with striking modern art to catch the eye and make the space really pop!
When designing a mantel, try to incorporate organic shapes into your decor. The_strawberry_house_london Her mantel is lined with sculptural pieces and some greenery has been added for a soft, natural look.
A set of small glass vases seems ideal to fill with flowers and brighten the mantelpiece. Use grocery store flowers or forage greens for colorful blooms on your mantel!
If you need more minimalism, whether for space reasons or because you prefer a cleaner look, a flower vase in the center of the fireplace can also be sublime.
double layer style
A mantel is great, but what about two? Leopard_print_stairs Shows how to make this concept work. Two tiers of shelves are filled with knickknacks and plants, topped by an oddly shaped mirror. Talk about fantasy!
Collections on display
A mantel is a great place to display collectibles, such as stained glass vases or antique vases. Here, stained glassware adds a subtle touch of color to an otherwise dark space.
Upcycled Mantel Decor
What if we told you that your collection might be stashed away in a cupboard or closet at home? Repurpose an old mason jar in the kitchen, or use a medicine bottle that doubles as a vase!
love is in the air
When it comes to reusing what you have around the house, Instagrammer Woodlands Redesigned her wedding banner as a Valentine’s mantel and it turned out amazing!
mantel plant shelf
row of potted plants same color Can be a lovely fireplace vignette. Stick with upright varieties or mix them with hanging vines for added visual interest.
To add some greenery to your mantel without committing to the real deal, look no further than fake ivy strands! Wrap them around a mirror, or let them hang soothingly from a mantelpiece.
spray some ghost
We love spooky mantelpiece props! Styling your mantel and mantel area is fun because it allows you to add a touch of seasonal charm to your space without committing to decorating the entire room.
Another DIY project for a mantel is to combine wrap and lap features. Paneling that runs all the way to the ceiling will accentuate the height of your room, making it feel spacious and open.
The beauty of simplicity
Sometimes a mantel can feel a bit over the top, so it’s refreshing to have a few items carefully placed on the fireplace.Check out this simple mantel by mcchills_nest That’s all the proof we need.
DIY flower curtain
For the DIY minded, you can give your mantel a spring update floral curtain! A great backdrop for trinkets and other display items, it’s sure to add a pop of color to your mantel setting.
Maxine Maison Giving her mantel a fall makeover with some little pumpkins. If you have a faux fireplace, interior openings can also be the perfect display nook!
If you have leftover balloons around your house, don’t let them go to waste! Case in point: Instagrammer miafelce Created a jaw-dropping decor for her mantel using baby shower balloons.
If you like out-of-the-box mantel ideas, here’s another one from ourss9 You probably haven’t considered it. Crafty Instagrammer turns to round paper fans to spice up her fireplace decor!
clean and modern
This is a modern interpretation of a traditional fireplace, with an arched mirror and a very stylish ring vase. Proven fireplaces work in a variety of interior styles, including modern spaces.
Mcchills_nest Decorate her fireplace with a flock of DIY flying bats and some well-placed pumpkins. Her Halloween mantel makes a big statement without visually overwhelming the space.
Country did it right
By adding distressed wood trim items (like frames, shutters, and wall hangings) and soothing earthy colors, a rustic fireplace truly comes together.Take inspiration from round_hill_nest More!
If your mantel features a letter pegboard or chalkboard, adding a seasonal message to it is a fun and creative way to welcome the new season without adding more!
less is more
With this minimalist mantelpiece from husband.wife, we are not moved by what is present, but by what is not there. The empty wall space where the anchor should be placed is a strong statement.
How comfortable is it to organize a mantelpiece for the winter holidays?If you want a characterful Christmas mantel, check out this modern holiday foliage from helloflorauk!
here you are!
By now, you should have a good idea of how to design a mantel the right way. Now is the time to get creative and start designing your own mantel. Don’t be afraid to experiment, and most importantly, have fun!
Got a mantel idea we missed? Let us know in the comments below!