Mantel Decorating Tips and Ideas

If you are lucky enough to have a fireplace in your home it has probably become the focal point of the room, which makes the mantel prime real estate to display your favorite art, objects, and decor.  Getting a display styled just right can be tough, and a mantel is no different.  If you are in the process of collecting objects or trying to place them just right, here are a few tips and ideas on styling a mantel that enhances your fireplace and elevates your space.  

Things To Keep In Mind...

Image via Park and Oak

Image via Park and Oak


If you aren’t sure which direction to go in with your mantel decor a good place to start is to choose which will be the dominant design element; the mantel decor, or the fireplace itself.  If you have an interesting fireplace surround full of architecture details you may choose to more simple mantel decor to keep the focus on the fireplace.  If you fireplace is on the plainer side you may want to amp up the mantel decor to add more substance and character to the fireplace.  

Although, don’t feel like you have to choose one or the other.  A sparse mantel can accentuate the clean lines of a modern fireplace, and an eclectic styling can put even more focus on an attention grabbing fireplace.


Because a mantel is so shallow it can be easy for the styling to fall flat.  Make sure to overlap and layer different elements to draw the eye in and add depth to the styling.

Related Post: Texturize Your Space

Shape + Size

Vary the shape and size of decorative objects to keep the eye moving across the mantel and add variety to the styling.

Image via Dream Green DIY

Image via Dream Green DIY


A good rule of thumb if you are having trouble styling your mantel is to stagger three different heights.  This keeps one side of the mantel from becoming too visually heavy, and helps to create movement that draws your eye through the space.

Decor Ideas...

Image via Apartment Therapy

Large Wall Decor

Try hanging a large canvas, tapestry, weaving, or framed print above your fireplace accented by smaller accessories on the mantel. 

Image via Studio McGee

Image via Studio McGee


A large mirror hung above the fireplace, or leaned on the mantel adds depth to the styling.  Add a few more textural pieces around the mirror to contrast it's sleek reflective surface.

Image via Elements of Style

Layered Framed Art

Layering framed art prints on your mantel is an easy and affordable way to add texture, character, and depth to your fireplace.  Choose a few different shapes and sizes to add variety.

Related Post:  10 Unexpected Ways To Arrange Wall Art

Image via The Design Files


Add a plant to your mantel to liven up your space and add texture, color, and character.

Related Post: Unique DIY Planters


A stack or row of books is an orderly way to add texture to your mantel and create a collected vibe.

Image via The Glitter Guide


Lighting might not be something you think to add to a fireplace but a pair of sconces or a small arching desk lamp adds balance and something unexpected.

Image via SF Girl By Bay

Image via SF Girl By Bay

Decorative Objects

You can never go wrong with fun objects you have collected over the years.  For an eclectic feel mix a variety of decorative objects in different shapes, heights, and finishes.