Ideas for Decorating Your Mantel

tables near the fireplace

Fireplaces are beautiful, warm, and conducive to a cozy, relaxing environment. They’re arguably even more beautiful when framed by a matching fireplace mantel. But without a bit of decoration, your mantel can look naked. At the same time, you may find it hard to come up with ideas for decorating your mantel.

In this article, we’ll introduce some key strategic considerations that can help you decorate your mantel effectively and get your brainstorming started with some ideas for what you can include.

Making Your Mantel Shine

Your fireplace mantel likely serves as a centerpiece in your home. Most fireplaces and mantels are in the living room, where most people gather most of the time, and it might be one of the first things your guests notice when walking in the door.

These are some general tips to make your mantel shine:

  • Keep it symmetrical. No matter how you choose to decorate your mantel, it’s important to keep your décor relatively symmetrical. Unless you’re deliberately going for an awkward, eccentric look, your decorations should be relatively balanced.
  • Don’t overcrowd it. Once you start feeling excited about the fireplace mantel decoration possibilities, you might be tempted to include more and more pieces. But in most cases, it’s better to adopt a minimalistic approach. Don’t overcrowd the area unnecessarily.
  • Match the theme (and colors) of the room. Keep the rest of the room in mind. Ideally, you’ll be able to match the theme and core colors of the room, complementing the existing scenery – and not clashing with it. This is a bit subjective, but do your best to stay in line with the aesthetics you’ve already defined for this space.
  • Show off your personality. There are many generic decor items you can use to adorn your mantel, but it’s usually better to show off your personality. This is an opportunity to show other people what makes you unique – and possibly start conversations with new guests who may be unfamiliar with your tastes and interests. Plus, you’ll feel better knowing your fireplace mantel is an original creation.
  • Mix it up! Keep an open mind and consider rotating in new decorations as time passes. Even the best fireplace mantel decorations are going to eventually grow stale if you stare at them for long enough.

Ideas for Decorating Your Mantel

These are some of the top ideas for decorating your mantel:

  • A TV. A TV isn’t necessarily an aesthetically beautiful piece of décor by itself, but hanging a TV above the fireplace can be an excellent practical choice. This is already a natural visual focal point of the room, and if you watch TV shows and movies regularly, you can enhance the experience with a roaring fire underneath.
  • A piece of art. Perhaps a more tasteful idea is to hang a piece of artwork above the mantel. The beautiful thing about this idea is that it offers unlimited possibilities. No matter what kind of art you like or what your personality is, you can find something that fits.
  • Plant life. Plants can make you happier and healthier – and for many reasons. Staring at green, lively plants can give you a boost of dopamine. There’s some research to suggest that plants can improve indoor air quality. And on top of that, they make your living room feel more organic and welcoming. Consider adding some plants that require little maintenance, such as succulents.
  • Books. Do you have a book collection? Consider displaying them on the fireplace mantel. You can show off some of your favorite titles and have them available for immediate reference whenever you need them.
  • A favorite collection. It’s not limited to just books; almost any collection of objects or keepsakes could fit on top of your fireplace mantel. Color coordinate and arrange carefully to maximize the aesthetic value of this display.
  • Candles. You may already have a fire in the fireplace, but why not complement it with some candles on the mantel? Small, flickering flames are beautiful, and the right candles can fill your living room with fresh scents.
  • A mirror. Did you know that the right mirror placement can make the whole room look bigger? It’s a visual illusion, of course, but it can have a powerful psychological effect on you and your guests. The bigger the mirror, the more powerful the illusion is going to be.

Obviously, these ideas are just the beginning. Practice creative brainstorming and look for inspiration from photos and videos of fireplace mantels on social media to broaden your horizons. Once you find a truly inspiring idea, it’s going to click with you immediately – so take action when you find it and elevate your fireplace mantel to the next level.