5 Ways to Decorate Your Fireplace + Mantel in the Off Season

Why waste a space when you could be styling it?

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While we agree that it's way too hot to enjoy a crackling fire from your sofa, that doesn't mean you should neglect these fiery focal points all together! Summer is the perfect time to sweep the wintery ash from your hearth and replace it with a pop of sunny personality.

Blooms + Botanicals

Redwood Mantel With Black Accent Mirrors

Redwood Mantel With Black Accent Mirrors

As seen on Fixer Upper, the Haires' living room gets a redwood mantel to match the one in their living room, tying the rustic look through the whole house.

From: Fixer Upper

Summer is in full swing, and it’s time to switch out those sad, ashy logs in your fireplace with your favorite blooms and greenery. We love the way lush ferns breathe life into neutral spaces while nestled in a firebox. Equally as beautiful? Take inspiration from this gorgeous arrangement as seen on Fixer Upper by Joanna Gaines. She arranged creamy (and dreamy!) hydrangeas in a constrasting tin flower box for a look that's equal parts rustic and elegant. Nestle your blooms into your hearth or prop them front and center on the mantel and watch it gift your space with vibrancy and freshness reminiscent of the summer season.

Summer Glow

Eclectic Living Room With Stone Fireplace

Eclectic Living Room With Stone Fireplace

A beautiful beige fireplace is the focal point of this eclectic living room. An antiqued mirror hangs above the mantel to reflect the light and luxury of the beaded chandelier.

From: Design on a Dime

No, we aren’t talking about sun tans here! One of the best things about a burning fire is the cozy ambiance that accompanies it. But instead of roasting from the heat of a full-blown fire, we suggest creating ambient lighting through summery, scented candles (think coconut and citrus)! There are countless ways to arrange your candles, but we're obsessed with the way these glam candlesticks dress up this fireplace. Arrange your favorite scents to glow in the hearth of your fireplace or even lined across the mantel. The results? Sweet smells and summery ambiance, all without breaking a sweat.

Fiery Reads

Contemporary Entertainment Wall

Contemporary Entertainment Wall

Black bookshelves contrast against the white brick fireplace and provide a display for the homeowners' books and accessories. The wall above the fireplace is painted a dark charcoal so that the flat-screen TV almost disappears and doesn't compete with the design of the space.

What to do with your sandy reads when you return from your annual beach escape?Turns out your hearth, mantel and built-ins alike are the perfect place to store and display all of your favorite summer page-turners. Take note from designer Jenna Pizzigati-Coppola and arrange your books with their spines facing outwards. Doing so makes reaching for your favorite guilty pleasure a breeze and also gifts your space with a literary rainbow. Our tip? Organize your collection with like sizes and colors. This eliminates the risk of your space appearing messy and instead reflects a sense of purpose and style.

Color Outside the Box

Transitional Aqua Living Room With Gray Stone Fireplace

Transitional Aqua Living Room With Gray Stone Fireplace

Feminine frills and a fun, whimsical palette balance the heavy, masculine fireplace in this transitional living room. The bold tangerine accents add a punch of excitement to the room's spa-like blues and whites.

Photo by: Jenna Buck Gross

Jenna Buck Gross

Cast aside all that's neutral and grey because nothing says summer more than poppy and punchy pigments. Taking a break from toasty fires doesn’t mean you have to turn down the heat altogether. Bring your fireplace up to speed this season with hot-hued artwork and accent pieces. Gravitate towards pieces with bold oranges and magenta or even sea-inspired aqua. We particularly love how designer Jenna Buck Gross incorporates a colorful floral painting on this mantel to celebrate this sunny season.

Mirror, Mirror, on the Mantel



Summer is kind enough to gift us with the longest and sunniest days of the year. With all the gorgeous, natural light coming through your windows, it only seems right to make the most of it. Our suggestion? Mirrors. They actually reflect all that beaming sunlight peeking through your windows and even make spaces feel larger. We love the way this oversized mirror above the mantel creates a sense of airiness. Plus, there are a million different shapes, sizes and styles of mirrors that are guaranteed to fit your space and budget.

Check Out 17 More Fab Fireplace Designs

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Be Playful

Look for unusual items to mix in with artwork and books. Here, designer Emily Henderson collects brightly colored arrows in a glass cylinder and adds a diminutive shoe and doll-size ladder for a touch of playfulness. 

From: Emily Henderson and Emily Henderson

Photo By: Zeke Ruelas via Style by Emily Henderson

When in Doubt, Layer

Graphic wallpaper creates a bold backdrop for this vignette where layered accessories are more visually appealing than if the same group of items had been simply lined up. To get the look, start with tall artwork in the back, topped by smaller framed pieces in front. Add a stack of books, accessories and a touch of greenery to bring life (literally) to your display.

Vintage Meets Contemporary

Antique books paired with sleek white vases full of grasses weave together old and new. Use a stack of books to elevate an item so there's a range of heights in your design. 

Create a Focal Point

Consider the room as a whole when decorating your mantel. This living room is full of color and pattern so the mantel features clean, simple decorations. A large octagonal mirror not only centers the fireplace, but also acts as an anchor for the whole living room. Simple vases and flowers complete the look. 

Photo By: Stephanie Rau / Getty Images ©2013, HGTV/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Take a Casual Approach

Art draws your eye to the mantel and takes up more visual real estate than a lot of smaller objects. Also, by leaning the art against the wall, you create a more relaxed, lived-in look. Long stems of cut flowers take advantage of the room's tall ceilings and add height to the display. 

Photo By: David Owen Strongman/Getty Images

Show Off a Collection

Mantels are a great place to showcase favorite objects, such as a collection of dishware. Hang vintage plates on the wall, then arrange smaller pieces on the mantel, using a variety of sizes and shapes. To add extra color to this mantel, green liquid is added to apothecary jars.

Photo By: Photo Credit: Edward Addeo © Gibbs Smith, Farrow and Ball, Brian D Coleman, Edward Addeo (photographer)

Make It Personal

Family photos are the perfect way to personalize any space. Here, designer Joanna Gaines added a black-and-white family photo to keep with the space's neutral theme. A few colorful vases add a bit of pop. 

From: Chip Gaines and Joanna Gaines

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images © 2013, HGTV/ Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Be Bold

Designer Sarah Richardson livens up the area above this mantel with a kicky tone-on-tone striped turquoise wallpaper. Artwork hung asymmetrically, balanced by a grouping of colorful pottery, adds more visual interest and a more contemporary feel.  

Photo By: Stacey Brandford Photography

Light It Up

Lighting is such an important part of any living space and needs to serve both task and ambient needs. Here, lantern-style sconces add beautiful accent lighting to the reclaimed barn wood overmantel. If the area above your mantel isn't already wired, call in an electrician, or simply place lanterns fitted with battery-operated votives on either side of the mantel for a similar effect.  

Branch Out

Adding a natural element to your mantel creates a more inviting display and adds that spark of life. Best of all: Cut branches are free — just head outdoors with clippers in hand to create a dramatic statement that will last longer than fresh-cut flowers. 

Enhance Your Style

Look to the style of your fireplace for inspiration. To complement this fireplace's rustic style, designer Joanna Gaines added a collection of old books, a vintage botanical print and vases filled with fresh-cut flowers.  

Use Framed Artwork

Instead of one large framed piece of artwork, create the same impact with a collection of smaller pieces Here, four pieces are framed exactly the same and then hung as one big piece of art. Pretty vases and candlesticks finish out the look.

Incorporate Shelves

Make a new addition look like an always-been-there architectural element by surrounding it with built-in shelves. Designer Mary Jo Fiorella tops this modern gas fireplace with a long, rustic wood mantel and flanks it with floating shelves to provide plenty of display space.   

Keep It Simple

A beautiful mantel doesn't have to include tons and tons of accessories; sometimes, simple is best. Designer Ana Donohue adds just a few elements to this floating wooden mantel for a look that's effortless and chic. 

Think Outside the Box

Instead of an arrangement of accessories, create an unexpected design on the wall above the mantel. Designer Darlene Molnar makes a large clock using an eclectic mix of numbers in this contemporary living room. 

Put Treasures on Display

Scour your closets for beautiful yet meaningful pieces. Here, the homeowner is able to create a striking display while showcasing his polo accomplishments.

Photo By: Photo Credit: Edward Addeo © Gibbs Smith, Farrow and Ball, Brian D Coleman, Edward Addeo (photographer)

Scale is Key

Take your living room's height into consideration — in a vaulted room, small items might get lost, while large objects will overpower a small space. Here, an antique window frame and magnolia wreath sits on top of painted white shiplap wood siding. Tall distressed blue candlesticks help balance and add height to the display. 

Have Fun With Color

In this all-white living room, a rainbow of colors is used to draw the eye to the mantel. The playful touches of striped artwork and a row of colorful pom poms adds just the right amount of pop.  

Pick a Palette

Limit your color choices to create a cohesive look. A color scheme of white, gray and sand allows a mix of accessories to look unified. Add in a mirror to help the space appear larger and bounce light around the room. 

Celebrate the Seasons

Empty antique frames create a versatile backdrop that's easy to switch out for each season. Trade the pumpkins and small wreath for a fresh herb wreath and colorful flowers for spring, seashells and driftwood for summer and greenery and twinkle lights for winter. 

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