Fireplace Decor: Hearth Design Tips

Top designers mix up the mantel, creating graphic, asymmetrical or three-dimensional arrangements easy to replicate in your own home. Here are five ways to make your mantel marvelous, and heat up the decor of any room.

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See, Touch, Admire

Whether hung on a wall or propped up, the things above your fireplace don't need to be two-dimensional. In fact, in a contemporary home where there is no shelf at all above the fireplace, says designer Raji, "you absolutely need a three-dimensional sculpture, because a flat thing like a painting will almost disappear." Art galleries and museum shops offer lots of sculptural choices. But don't be afraid to think beyond officially-designated objets d'art. New York-based interior designer Amie Weitzman has mounted antique weathervanes and giant African currency above her own fireplaces; the effect, she says, is offbeat and dramatic. Design by Gina Fitzsimmons.

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