5 Mantel Decorating Ideas

A beautiful fireplace is wonderfully cozy and creates a gorgeous focal point in any room. Make the most of yours with these five mantel decorating ideas. We’re sharing tips on everything from using symmetry to bringing in natural elements!

A beautiful fireplace is wonderfully cozy and creates a gorgeous focal point in your NYC home. Make the most of yours with these five mantel decorating ideas.

1. Add Art

A mantel is the perfect place to display your favorite art. Prop an oversized painting against the mantel or hang it above. If the piece is large enough, your decorating may be done!

If you’re working with smaller pieces, lean a large painting on the mantel, then place a smaller one in front. For a completely unique look, you could also hang multiple pictures gallery style over your fireplace.

Think art is out of your budget? Search Etsy for affordable pieces or hang a striking mirror over your fireplace instead.

2. Play with Scale and Proportion

Scale is a very important consideration when it comes to mantel decorating ideas. We’ve all seen mantels covered with a number of small items. Nothing stands out, and the overall effect is cluttered and boring.

If your fireplace is on a large wall, placing a few 8×10 photos or tea lights above it will not work. Something larger and more in proportion with your space is a much better choice.

Start with the largest piece first when decorating your mantel. Then, add in the smaller pieces until you find a pleasing balance.

If you’re not sure what works, gather potential objects from around your home (art, vases, candlesticks, photos, decorative objects, etc.). Play around with different layouts. If something is not quite working, let it sit for a day or two, then make more changes. Eventually, you’ll find the perfect arrangement.

3. Create Symmetry … or Not

If your mantel has you stumped, creating a design with symmetry is a good starting place.

Start by centering something large (art, a mirror, or another decorative object) over your fireplace, then place matching objects (vases, candlesticks, etc.) on either side. This arrangement is very traditional and feels pleasing to the eye.

For a more modern approach to mantel decorating, place the art off center. Fill the empty space next to it with a mix of objects that balance it out.

4. Bring in Natural Elements

Your fireplace is the perfect place to bring a touch of the outside in. Start by filling it with logs, then tackle the mantel.

Choose a rustic wood frame for your art or mirror. Add plants, vases filled with branches, or a hurricane vase filled with driftwood you collected on vacation.

To bring extra drama to your fireplace, you could even replace a boring mantel with a reclaimed wood beam.

5. Add Light

Brighten up your mantel by adding light.

Install a pair of beautiful sconces on either side of the mantel or a few spotlights above.

Candles can also bring drama to your fireplace. Try grouping candlesticks of various sizes along your mantel or place the candles directly on top. Oversized lanterns would also look beautiful.

For more mantel decorating ideas, visit Pinterest or Houzz for tons of inspiration.

Image Source: Flickr/Kristina Daley

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