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How to Decorate a Fireplace Mantel: 14 Classic Tips

How to Decorate a Fireplace Mantel: 14 Classic Tips

So you got yourself a beautiful fireplace mantel that’s serving well as the focal point in your living room. 

While the fireplace is a piece of art by itself, you want to make it more beautiful. You need to draw attention to the piece with some great mantel decor without overcrowding it. Figure out what type of art or aesthetics you like. It could be photography, live items such as potted plants, or even a certain color theme. 

Gather your ideas and find a way to make them blend with your mantel to accentuate its aesthetics. 

The best mantel decor ideas come from within. Still need a little nudge in the right direction? Here are some great fireplace mantel decorating ideas to consider.

Uniform is Unique

Isn’t this beautiful?

What color is your fireplace mantel? Does it look so good that you’d want more of that color in your house? 

Pssst! If you still don't have one, you can check out different ethanol fireplaces and choose one that fits your house best. 

You can decorate your fireplace mantel by painting the brick surround, wall, and trimming in the same color. 

Alternatively, you can paint it to match the dominant color in your living room. 

This trick will help to emphasize the details of your fireplace, and give you a cohesive backdrop.

The Black and White Classic


If there’s a color combination that never goes out of style, it's the black and white combo. 

Whether you’re matching clothes or creating a color scheme for a photoshoot, black and white is always a safe choice. 

If you like a laid-back yet classic touch to your home, why not try this combo?

You could paint your mantel black and the surrounding spaces white. Your mantel decor will stand out without you needing to add too much detail to it. 

Bring in Color

Bring in Color

Source: Pinterest

Make it pop!

When styling your mantel, a wild and bold dash of bright color will bring more life to your farmhouse living room than any painting would. 

However, don't overdo things. Use complementary bright colors such as blue and white, orange and green, or any other combo you prefer. 

The bright colors make your fireplace mantel stand out in the room and strengthen its position as the focal point. 

Color Blocking

Block ‘em colors.

You love different splashes of color and would like to use them on your fireplace mantel but don’t know how. Try color blocking to decorate your space. 

You can paint your brick fireplace red and the surrounding areas white to bring out the mantel as the focal point of the room. 

You don’t have to stick with red and white. Consider the other colors in the room or your favorite shades. Work with the best blend that brings out the beauty of your home decor.  

The colors give your space the glamor it needs without making it a colorful eyesore. 

Less is More

Less is beautiful.

Sometimes, minimizing mantel decor is the perfect way to decorate your fireplace. 

What do we mean? 

If your fireplace mantel already has multiple designs or color schemes, you don't need to add extra mantel decor. Remove any artwork, potted plants, or extra pieces on display and see how beautiful your fireplace turns out.

This hack will accentuate your fireplace’s original beauty without being overshadowed by extra decorative pieces.  

Get Fancy

Most fireplace mantels have a flat surface on top where you can place different pieces of art, plants, or photos.

You can work with different decor ideas, such as :

  • Colorful vases
  • Potted plants
  • Framed pictures
  • Vintage collections
  • Medals and trophies
  • Candlestick holders

These pieces will improve your mantel aesthetics and help you draw attention to it. 

You can learn DIY decoration hacks and come up with some wonderful ideas for your fireplace.

Mix and Match Frames

Beautiful layers.

Instead of using one large art piece over your fireplace, you can choose a few of your favorite symmetrical photographs and use them to spruce up your fireplace mantel ideas. 

Use three-layered photographs to create a casual feel to your mantel decor. 

The photographs could be of people or objects you love, pieces of your vintage collection, or expansive landscapes.

The photographs add a touch of personality to the most beautiful piece of art in your living room. 

Selective Decor

Hang down decor.

While you want to bring life to your fireplace mantel ideas, you don’t want your fireplace to look like a disorganized gallery. 

You can go minimal and add a dash of personality to the decorations. Some of the decor items you can use are:

  • A vase
  • Candles
  • A hanging potted plant
  • A small stack of your favorite books

Match the shades of the items you use. The color echo you create will improve color-cohesiveness in your room. 

Pick shades that blend well together and create a neutral and relaxing atmosphere in your living room. 

Blogger Bre Bertolini shared how she used selective decor on her mantel. Most of her followers loved the outcome. Here’s a screenshot of the reactions:


Use Books to Decorate

Wise decor.

Do you like reading beside your fireplace? 

Well, you can use your mantel as a bookshelf to show off your personality and decorate it at the same time. 

Arrange your favorite reads in a stack depending on size or color. 

You can place the biggest books at the bottom and the smaller ones on top to create a spiral staircase effect. 

Dominant Centerpiece

Isn’t this a beautifully placed centerpiece?

If your fireplace mantel requires a huge facelift, you can use one major centerpiece to give life to the room. 

Mirrors are fantastic for this, but you can also use prints or paintings. Opt for a symmetrical or round mirror depending on your preference and the size of your fireplace.

A mirror also helps to brighten up the room by reflecting light across the walls.  

Alternatively, a painting of one of your favorite places will transform you to another world as you gaze above your mantel. 

Elongate the View with Adjacent Shelves

Create a  wider view.

If your fireplace mantel is small compared to the width of your living room, you can expand its appearance by making shelves on the sides. 

Shelves are an excellent interior designing hack that you can use to bring a modern feel to your living room. 

Use them to display some of your art pieces or place items such as books, electrical appliances, and remote controls. 

Tip: Don’t crowd your shelves, so you don’t steal the spotlight from the fireplace. 

Show Off Your Prized Possessions

Give off a vintage feel.

In the spirit of using DIY hacks to materialize your ideas, you can show off some of your favorite pieces on the fireplace mantel. 

If you have medals from work, a sport, or a hobby, hang or place them on the mantel. 

Use your interior styling prowess and make beautiful DIY pieces that give your fireplace a personalized and homely look. 

Nothing Clicks as Good as Metal

Metallic beauty.

The metallic pieces lying in your attic could come in handy in improving the interior design of your mantel to look more fashionable. 

You can use one type of metal or mix them. Combining brass and silver pieces can create the perfect display. 

Use… Nothing!

Beautifully plain.

A fireplace in itself is a piece of home decor that stands out in your living room.

If it’s well structured, contrasts beautifully with other colors in the house, and has beautiful flames dancing in it, it’s well qualified as a piece of art. 

Leave it bare and enjoy it in its most authentic form. 

Spruce Up Your Mantel Decor

Spruce Up Your Mantel Decor

Other than keeping you warm in the cold weather, a fireplace mantel can also be a great decorative piece in your living room. 

You can use DIY tips to decorate your space, work with items you already have in your home, or buy decorative pieces. 

Understand the decor needs in your living room and use the best ideas from our list to spruce up your fireplace mantel.

Featured Image from: Flickr by GPA Photo Archive

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