The fireplace mantel can be a focal point for self expression. Designers Kathryn Carnegie and Julie Doan display a prized antique camera collection in combination with favorite books to create a beautiful linear composition. The mantelpiece provides an excellent opportunity to introduce color in a quiet room dominated by a cream color. Photo by Kathryn Carnegie and Julie Doan.
A Natural Inclination
With the help of magazine photos and inspiration from HGTV's "Design on a Dime" show, Buffy Hamilton said she visualized the look she wanted and personalized it.
"I wanted to create a soothing oasis in my 1950s living room," she said. The mantel reflects the primary tones of the room and an adjoining office with “soothing cocoa/khaki with soft white and hints of silver." The textures reflect natural, organic elements that are evident in the accessories of the living room. Photo by Buffy J. Hamilton.
Finding a Classical Balance
Using soothing colors and classical ornaments, such as urns and topiaries, designer Linda Leyble creates a symmetrical balance in the center of the room. Architectural accents and classic sconces further illuminate a sense of balance. Photo by Natasha Beccaria.
Seizing on the Season
Heather Sleightholm weaves a consistent color theme through her mantel decor. Tying seasonal themes, such as handmade autumn garlands with family heirloom photos and eclectic curiosities, the earthy colors pull it all together atop the white mantel. The presentation is creatively playful for the season. Photo by Heather Sleightholm.
The Mantel as Easel
The heavy stone mantel has become an easel for a favorite piece of art. The indirect light of the two sconces adds a dramatic ambiance to the room. Photo by Melody Saunders Brenna; Stirling Stone Works.
A Museum on the Mantelshelf
The mantel is the perfect stage for displaying your prized collection, no matter how eccentric or esoteric it is.
Steve Erenberg wonderfully displays an engaging "head collection" on his fireplace mantel. He likens the headgear to the tribal masks of Africa. The collection is both an absurdity and a curiosity that draws instant attention. Photo by Jeff Li.
Employing an array of complementing colors, floral artist Philippa Tarrant envisioned a simple and elegant homage to autumn. The five-flower arrangements echo the floral pattern of a classic fireplace while the square vases mirror the wall relief. Photo by Philippa Tarrant Floral Design.
Expanding the Mantel
When Xylem, a cabinet and architectural millwork shop, was called in to upgrade this room with built-in bookshelves, it had an opportunity to expand and highlight the fireplace mantel. While the eye is drawn to the center with the traditional mantel and geometric mirror above, shelves on either side provide additional "wings" to display books and decorative items. Photo by Stefan van Staveren.
The Classic and the Contemporary
The fireplace mantel in this century-old Arts-and-Crafts home extends the entire length of the wall. Built-in bookshelves bracket a white brick fireplace, creating an expansive mantelshelf. An unframed, rectangular black and white photo of a cityscape joins brightly-colored glassybaby candles to add a touch of the contemporary. Photo by SwitchYard Media.
What better decor for this minimalist, modern, glass home than an unobstructed seascape vista? Sometimes the spectacle of nature shouldn't be disturbed. A simple, beautifully contemporary hearth matches perfectly with its natural surroundings. Photo by Spark Modern Fires.