Traditionally, the fireplace was the focal point of a room because it was the only source of heat. The mantel was merely functional, housing utensils for stoking and cooking over the fire. While most homes no longer use fireplaces as the primary source of heat, the fireplace and, by consequence, the mantel remains central to most living room designs and layouts.
This essentially means you don't have to put in a lot of work to draw attention to your mantel - but now that it's getting attention, it might as well be pleasing on the eye! However, making your fireplace mantel look beautiful does not have to be difficult. Check out our list of suggestions for decorating your fireplace mantel like an interior design expert!
There’s a well-known formula among interior designers to create depth and layers to your mantle, without making it feel overcrowded and cluttered. This formula is broken down into the following parts; the anchor, the weights, the décor, and the filler.
You should begin with your anchor, and this should be your focal point and should be positioned in the center of your mantel.
Some examples of pieces that make good anchors include large mirrors, a large family photo, a large framed quote or wall art, or a large canvas. Emphasis on the word large here, as remember- this will be the focal point of your space, thus drawing in the most attention.
Next, you’ll need to add weight to each side of the mantle. These are used to balance out the overall look and they should be taller than the filler and décor layers. Tall lanterns and vases with flowers with long stems make for great weight pieces.
You’ll now need to use layer décor to overlap your anchor on both sides. Some great examples of layer pieces include tobacco or wicker baskets, small signs or framed quotes, a family name letter or special family number, or a small neon sign.
The final step to creating layers to your mantle, these should be appealing to the eye and adequately fill the space between your main pieces. You could even consider adding seasonal plants or making festive garlands when holidays roll around.
Take the modern approach
The key to modernizing your home is to keep it clean, crisp, and simple. It's an excellent alternative for homeowners who dislike clutter or maximalist styles.
When deciding on which modern fireplace mantel décor to buy, most interior designers take the “less is more” approach. They usually utilize a huge centerpiece and coordinating accessories to go with it. Here are the key characteristics of modern interior design:
- Lines must be horizontal or vertical and never curved.
- There are little to no loud or distracting components.
- A structural piece that is visible
- Reflective surfaces made of stainless steel or glass
Add a rustic twist
People who like the rustic farmhouse vibe or want to know how to decorate a mantel in a log home are increasingly drawn to the rustic style.
It makes use of clean lines, warm and inviting hues, texture, and exposed natural components. Rustic mantelpieces are the ideal blend of lovely country and eye-catching colors. Some classic characteristics of rustic mantel decor include:
- Genuine wood exposed, usually weathered pine
- Genuine brick and stone elements
- Items produced by hand (Clay vases, wicker baskets, etc.)
- Whitewashed hues
- Decor for the Fall and items with a farmhouse feel
Stick with tradition
The traditional style emphasizes symmetry and harmony in the décor. It blends modern and minimalist elements to create a room that is serene, elegant, and classic. It is not the polar opposite of clutter, as minimalism is.
Nonetheless, everything is arranged in a particular way to maintain the area feeling pleasant and orderly. Here are some key characteristics of traditional fireplace mantel decor:
- Everything should be consistent.
- A comfortable and familiar atmosphere
- The decor is always in the center and is frequently arranged in pairs.
- The decor is often modern and light in color.
Make use of any brickwork
If you're lucky enough to have a stone fireplace in your home, you should know that it is a work of art in its own right. The stone, regardless of size, stone kind, or color, emits a natural and reassuring beauty in the home.
Typically, a light or dark piece of wood is affixed to the stone system. Given the natural beauty of the stone, you don't want to go overboard with the décor.
When there are too many needless objects in the area, it detracts from the stone itself. Keeping this in mind, a more simple and tidy approach would be the ideal way to obtain a balanced visual look in your fireplace area.
Combining the stone with rustic décor is a popular choice, particularly among log cabin owners. However, as long as the decorations complement the room's design and aren't overly ostentatious, any style choice will look great.
The minimalist decorating style emphasizes making the most of every available space in the room. Colors, lighting, décor, and space all play an equal role in the overall design. To obtain a basic look, simply place a few décor items on the mantelpiece with care.
A stack of miniature books, a picture frame, a candle, and a potted plant are frequently used as accent elements surrounding a centerpiece, such as artwork or a mirror. If you match the pieces to the color scheme of the room, the hearth will definitely stand out as the center point.
Consider a new mantel
If none of these options appeal to you, you could always consider buying a premade mantel and install it yourself. However, if you plan on doing this, there are a few things you’ll need to consider. Installing these yourself entails a number of safety precautions.
Installing certified fasteners for security to reduce fire dangers is one of them, as is raising the mantle above the hearth hole. Also, this isn't the same as hanging a floating shelf on your wall. To hang it properly, you'll need specific tools. If you’re inexperienced with this sort of thing, we recommend contacting a professional.