15 Mantels That Do It Right
These mantels make year-round decorating look easy.
During the holidays, fireplace mantel decor seems to be at an all-time high. But what should you do during the rest of the year? We’ve rounded up some of our favorite mantel decor ideas that will work like a charm all year-round.
One Color Family
If you’re having trouble figuring out what type of decor you’d like to display on your mantel, try sticking to one color. This is a great way to take off the pressure when trying to pick out a curated collection of items. When sticking to one color, you can even stick to one type of item, such as the simple collection of vases displayed above.
Instead of choosing a single color, choose a theme when picking out items to display on your mantel. This works especially well if you favor a simpler mantel or if you’re trying to create a more zen feeling in your home.
Art as the Centerpiece
Another very simple mantel solution is to choose one bold piece of art as your centerpiece. With a favorite piece of art on display, there is no need for any additional items. In fact, sometimes a cluttered mantel can take away from the focus of the art.
I love the approach of extending a mantel to coordinate with the rest of the decor in your space. In this case, the long, chunky wood mantel extends beyond the fireplace to coordinate with open shelving off to the side. The decor works so well together, you almost don’t even notice the TV above the fireplace.
Show Off a Collection
If you have a collection or two, your mantel is a great spot to show it off. These silhouette cutouts work well together simply lined against the wall on top of this bedroom mantel.
Gallery walls can often feel a bit overwhelming to put together, however, a great solution is to layer your art on top of your mantel. Hang one piece and lean the other to create a more casual look. This approach is also great, as you can easily switch up the art whenever you're looking for a change.
Sometimes less is more when it comes to mantel decorating. In this example, two simple candles and a vase of flowers are paired with one graphic piece of art which, again, really allows the painting to take center stage.
Gold candlesticks pair seamlessly with a big, gold mirror in this example. Simple white decorations don’t take any of the focus away from the metallics. You can choose to use one type of metal or mix metals (like brass and silver) for a more modern look.
Depending on the setup of your room, sometimes necessity dictates that your mantel is “decorated” with a large TV. In cases where the TV is your focal point, you can work with it by using the area next to the fireplace to decorate. The setup above includes built-in shelves and cabinets that allow for some additional decor. If you have a similar room, try not to load up the shelves with too much so your space can avoid feeling too busy.
If you’re a vintage lover, your mantel is the perfect spot to display some of your thrifty favorites. No matter what style of vintage you favor, you can usually make your items work together. Keep things at varying heights, and don’t’ be afraid to use your entire horizontal space.
A Bare Mantel
For a bold fireplace mantel, remember that you have the freedom to “decorate” with nothing at all. In the photo above, the channeled wood mixed in with the dark color of the fireplace is so spectacular, it honestly doesn’t need any decor at all.
Using a Large Mirror
Another great fireplace mantel trick is to use a large mirror. This works especially well in a smaller space that you’d like to make look a bit larger. Before deciding on a mirror, however, test it out in the spot you’d like to place it, as you want to ensure that there are no weird reflections.
Bright Colors + Some Kitsch
Don’t be afraid of a little bit of color on your mantel! This is a great example of how you can easily get creative with your space. Using the bright colors of the art as a starting point, this mantel was decorated with a simple pompom garland.
Go Black + White
No matter what color schemes you have going on in your home, sticking to a simple black-and-white palette always works. In this example, the neutral space is complemented with a few graphic art pieces and some simple decor. A subtle pop of color comes from the green plant on the shelf.
If you have high ceilings, don’t be afraid to take your mantel onward and upward, like in the example above. This simple wood mantel is “topped off” with some additional coordinating shelving, each of which features some decor. Keep in mind that for setups like this, it’s not easy to switch out your decorative items, so make sure you love everything that you're displaying on your higher shelves.