Mantelpiece decor is one of the easiest ways to create a focal point in any room. It’s an opportunity to display your sense of style and inject personal touches. Sometimes it’s a chance to show off an original feature of the property whether you have a minimalistic mantel in a new build or a Victorian tiled fireplace in a mid 19th-century house. And the best thing about mantel decor is that you can change it up regularly to keep things fresh without having to go to too much trouble!
If you really want to ‘fire’ up your fireplace decorations, read on to discover a number of ways to improve any lacklustre mantelpiece. From going as far as painting the entire mantel and wall to perfecting the art of layering, you’ll be cosying up to your new, stylised mantelpiece in no time!
Overlap and layer mantelpiece decor
Image source: Homebeautiful.com.au via Pinterest
Did you know that when designing your mantelpiece decor that it is all about the layering? And it’s not as easy as it looks. Choosing too many objects will feel cluttered whilst too few will look bare and ineffective. To perfect the art of overlapping and layering mantel decor, you must choose:
- Framed artwork in different widths and heights
- Similarly toned mantel decor to avoid distasteful clashing
- Space out objects for an effortless look - avoid symmetry at all costs
An effective way to really enhance the layered look is by choosing several empty frames instead of prints. The skeletons of the frames showing behind one another will only enhance the layered look as well as provide a rustic, relaxed appearance.
Use what you’ve already got
Metal print in photo: Dancing Jellyfish
It’s true. Use mantelpiece decor that you already have scattered around the home. Search around for a select-few, well-loved items that would look great arranged together on your mantel. There’s no need to splash the cash if you don’t want to.
A mix of old and new items in different sizes and shades will all make a striking focal point. Don’t forget to add something personal in there as well. A photograph of your wedding day, a stylish metal print that reminds you of your scuba diving days, or an ornament you bought at a craft market on holiday.
Paint everything in the same tone
Image source: Sarah-montgomery.com via Pinterest
Paint the entire fireplace, wall, trim and even the brick in the same shade. This will create a solid base that will really make your masterpiece decor stand out. Not only this, but by having the same shade everywhere, you will emphasise the ceiling moulding as well as any intricate carving on your wooden fireplace surround.
And when we say paint, we don’t just mean white paint. Be adventurous if you really want to make your fireplace decoration stand out. A navy-blue, nutty-grey or mossy green will all bring your home’s decor to life.
Contrast those mantel colours
Image source: Thriftydecorchick.com via Pinterest
Does painting the entire wall, fireplace and trim the same colour makes you feel a bit uncomfortable? Then create a distinct statement by only painting the chimney breast with a contrasting colour. Just remember to follow these tips:
- Keep the rest of the walls neutral with an off-white or pale grey tone
- Be bold and choose a statement colour, such as navy, on the chimney breast. Both a coloured wallpaper mural or paint will look great.
- Be inspired by the room’s current decor when choosing a statement colour. E.g. go for the same colour as the fireplace tiles or the shade of green from your favourite vase
- Keep the actual fireplace white or stick to the original wood to make the wall colour pop!
Make your own mantel
Mural in photo: Uploaded by customer
For those of you who would love a mantelpiece but the house didn’t come with one, it’s time to test out your DIY skills! Basically, if you don’t have a mantel, make your own. Just like customer Joanne Marie buy a wood beam. Whether it's a new or reclaimed wood one, have it cut to the width of your chimney breast or shorter for more of a traditional look. Mount it above your fireplace using a masonry drill bit and lag bolts. Or, if you are going for a cleaner, modern touch, choose a smooth piece of wood beam and paint it white for a sleek look. As well as a cute fireplace, you will have essentially create a shelfie as well - great for taking selfies in front of!
Go big or go home with a maximalist fireplace
Image source: Thepinkclutchblog via Pinterest
Basically, if you want maximalist mantelpiece decor, go wild. Overlap artwork and ornaments in different heights, colours and patterns and arrange these artistically on your mantel. But a bit of know-how and strategy is needed. Make sure the items are cohesive and make sense together. To do this, make sure you:
- Choose items that share a similar tone. Most of the objects in the room above all have a touch of orange in them
- Make sure there is a selection of different heights from tall flowers, shorter candles, wide artwork or a decoratively framed mirror
- Layer with objects whether with prints, ornaments and more
- Don’t be scared of creating imbalance. Why not have more objects on one side than another?
Create balance with feng shui tips
Image source: Homebunch.com via Pinterest
If you love simplicity and relaxing interior design, then keep things balanced and symmetrical with feng shui tips - and definitely avoid maximalism! To do this, simply make sure your mantel decor is balanced and in harmony – so no overlapping or layering.
Have the same objects on each end so that if you cut the mantel in half, it would look exactly the same on both sides. Soft, rounded vases or hurricane glass holders would add a gentle, clean touch. Choose a round or square mirror and remember: be coordinated. This is more of a traditional fireplace look and it is about keeping things simple and easy.
Use mantelpiece decor to reflect the time of year!
Mural in photo: From our Extended Range
If you love to embrace all the special holidays and seasons of the year, then make sure your fireplace decor ideas get to join in too! Want to know how to create a Christmas mantelpiece? Then use all the tips above. Remember to think about different sizes, layering up and choosing items in similar shades! In the room above, the height of the empty frame revealing the winter wallpaper behind it as well as the smaller deer and tree marry up well together.
If autumn is your favourite time of year, then embrace fall mantel decor by collecting fallen orange, red and yellow leaves as well as conkers and place them decoratively on your mantel. Otherwise, why not purchase a garland of felt autumnal leaves to dress the top of your mantel?
Or when the spooky season comes round again, spook up your family and friends by choosing Halloween mantel decor such as dripping candles holders, jack-o-lanterns and faux cobwebs to make their skin crawl!
Let us know how you get on with your own mantelpiece decor! Just leave a comment below!
Using belongings that we already have to decorate a mantelpiece for a fireplace really feels like a great way to decorate it with a personalized touch. Trophies, memoirs, and hand-made paintings all feel a lot more personal than anything we can buy in a store. I'll use these for sure when we decorate any home heating fireplace stove we get from a local home store.
Rachael @ Wallsauce17/08/2022
Hello Afton, we totally agree! Personalized items are a perfect way to decorate your mantelpiece, especially if you are uninspired by store-bought items.
Nice posting.Thank you for sharing this post such a useful information.