In your living room, you have a darling fireplace with a lovely mantel. You may have a few trinkets on it, or it may be completely empty. Either way, perhaps you’ve decided your mantel needs a little extra pizazz. But how do you begin?
Whether you’ve just moved into a new home or have lived in the same cozy house for several years, decorating your mantel gives you a creative outlet and gives your room a unique personality. You can also regularly change up your mantel décor for a fresh look.
But, if you need suggestions for decorating your mantel, take a peek at the following tips to get started.
- Have a Focal Point
Most fireplaces draw the eye, especially to the wall above it. An empty wall above a mantel can seem particularly drab and plain, so this is the perfect place to put a large painting, tapestry, or photograph.
Some people like to use decorative platters or mirrors as a focal point on their mantel, and others may go for a framed quote or some other wall hanging. Whatever you choose, be sure it’s large enough to accentuate your fireplace. Too small of an item may look odd or unfitting, and too large of an item will overwhelm the space.
Place your main feature first so you can arrange smaller items in respect to its appearance and size. You can hang your focal point above the mantel, or you can simply set it in the center of the mantel.
- Use a Secondary Focal Point
A second large item in your arrangement can help connect your main feature to smaller objects on the mantel. Of course, don’t choose anything larger than your feature item, as too big of an item could detract too much from your focal point and look out of place.
For a great secondary focal point that isn’t too eye-catching, use a large vase with flowers or some other foliage. You could also use a lantern or a smaller framed photo or picture that nicely complements your main feature.
- Stick to Some Kind of Theme
For a unified look, have all your pieces somehow relate to one another. You might follow a group of colors that match the rest of the room’s décor, or your mantel decorations could have a charming, worn look to them.
You could also follow a more obvious theme and give your mantel a more oceanic look with seashells or coral, or you could go for a floral look with dramatic silk flowers and ceramic vases. Perhaps you want everything to relate to elephants. The possibilities are endless.
If you enjoy changing your décor regularly, decorate your mantel according to the season or upcoming holiday. Hang a twig wreath with burlap flowers on or under the mantel for an extra autumn element, or put flowering branches in a vase for a pop of spring.
- Incorporate Patterns Carefully
As with any décor, you don’t want to overwhelm the space with too many patterns. But that doesn’t mean you have to avoid fun, busy patterns altogether. Be brave and add a couple of patterns into your design, but do so carefully. Use related solid colors to tone down busy patterns and connect them.
Should you have an item with a particularly wild pattern but want to include more patterns, incorporate one or two subtle patterns to keep your arrangement from becoming too busy. Also, don’t feel like you can only use similar patterns. Experiment a little and see what patterns go well together, such as quatrefoil and floral.
- Vary Size and Height
For a visually pleasing arrangement, have decorative items with different heights and sizes. Having everything the same height and size can give your mantel a rigid, dull appearance.
To decorate your mantel with more variety, use candlesticks or books to your advantage. Look for different sizes and shapes of pottery or sculptures. You can also use lanterns, silk flowers, or whatever you like.
- Layer a Few Items
Once you’ve collected all the bits and pieces for your mantel decorations, think of how you want to arrange them. To give your piece more dimension and appeal, try layering different items on your mantel. Place one piece in front of another, or slide a large piece behind a smaller one.
It helps to layer items that are similar to one another, such as candles or vases, for a cohesive design, but it’s not always necessary. Play with a few options and see what works for your mantel.
With these tips in mind, get creative and enjoy decorating your mantel. Have fun with it and let your own personality shine through.
However, don’t let your fireplace cramp your style. If it’s looking a little worn down or in need of an upgrade, look to a fireplace specialist, such as Alpine Fireplaces, for an improvement. Turn your woodburning fireplace to gas, or simply get a new fireplace that suits your taste.