If you have a fireplace in your home, chances are pretty high that you have a mantel above it. The fireplace should be the focal point of the room, right? Well great, what I am supposed to put on the mantel since it is going to be the center of attention!
Don't fret, I am going to show you some really easy options but first, let's see some mantels that fall short.
First: Not too Bare
This is already a low mantle and putting these small accessories makes it look even squattyier (is that a word?). What would look great is a large piece of art or a mirror to fill up that wall and give the room some height.
Again, all of these little items are dwarfed on the mantel. This needs a piece or art or something larger in the middle and then have everything else move to the sides in groups. Don't space everything out so evenly when decorating your mantel. It can look stiff and unnatural.
Get rid of fake stuff on top of that ceiling shelf and put something nice in that niche.
Second: Not too cluttered!
The mantel is not meant to be a dumping ground! Don't just fill it up with stuff that you don't have a place for. If you don't have anywhere for it to go, you probably need to just get rid of it.
Rule 3: Not too matchy (however there are exceptions I will show later)
Pick a couple important family pictures and then mix with other things.
This just breaks all the rules. Those plants have hooks for a reason, they are supposed to be hanging outside!
Rule 4: Correct placement
This art needs to be hung a bit higher and rearranged.
The Picture is too small for this layout. Needs something else hanging and lose the clock.
Love everything about this mantel except for the TV. What were they thinking?! This room is beautiful and elegant and the thin candlesticks look perfect and light sitting atop the intricately carved mantel. And then you see this TV, with a speaker sitting on top of it! And it's hung too hight for viewing.
By now you are probably wanting to see some good examples! This is not just a mantel condemnation but we really want to help you improve your home so here are some tips.
Easy things to put on a mantel:
Mirrors look great over the mantel and there are so many different kinds that they can be incorporated into any style of room.
For a more casual room, simply lean a mirror up against the wall. This is a great idea of taking different vases and candlesticks that are all one color.
Important tip: when mixing things on your mantel, it's important to have things at different heights to create interest. A great way to add some height is by stacking books and placing a vase or candle on top. See above
For a more traditional look, pick a framed mirror that is more elegant and hang on the wall above mantel. Flank both sides of mirror with candle sticks, sconces or lamps like above.
For a more eclectic look try a starburst mirror
Love this mantel! Very typical layout with mirror in center and candlesticks on both sides but then check out those red lips right in the center! Don't be afraid to have some fun with your mantel. It is the focal point of the room and it should reflect your personality.
Second easy thing to put on mantel:
A large clock looks great over a mantel.
Third easy thing to put above mantel
One large piece of art over the mantel with some accessories on the sides
This is absolutely beautiful. So calming and elegant.
A great example of accessorizing.
Simple and perfect.
This art becomes the focal point of the room and the pops of red around the room really compliment the art.
Another great option is an art grouping:
Very pretty and a good example of how evenly spaced items of the same thing look great. The exception to rule 3.
And now a look at some mantels that are more difficult to accomplish without a creative eye. The eclectic and personal style mantels. These will all probably break the rules but for some reason they all work. It has to do with intention and personal style.
A simple, modern fireplace calls for simple accessories.
Breaks the Bare rule but it's fabulous. Just a handful of vases all the same color. Very minimalist. Puts the attention on the fireplace brick work.
This is probably the most creative mantel of the post. I love it! Very artsy and personal.
This breaks a lot of rules. It is soooo cluttered but I love it!
Dining room and kitchen mantels can be very casual or formal depending on the room. You can put some different things on these mantels than your living room mantel.
I love the chalkboard and white plates on the kitchen mantel. Very fresh!
I hope this post gives you some ideas for your own mantel. Just remember that the mantel should reflect your personality and the overall feel that you want the space to have. Good luck!!