How to Decorate a Fireplace Mantel

Fireplaces are often a focal point in the home and the way its mantle is decorated can have a dramatic impact on a room.  Yet, decorating this focal point can be quite the dilemma for many homeowners. How much stuff is too much? Is art a must? Does it have to be symmetrical? As always, how you decorate your mantle should be a reflection of your home’s overall style. Here are some tips we learned from decorating my fireplace mantel over the years with thrifted things from our Aurora store! I’ve always gone for a very eclectic fireplace mantle but that’s just my style!

When starting to decorate your mantle, it’s best to remove everything and begin with a blank slate. It’ll give you a clear idea of the space you have to work with! Fireplace mantels vary in size, substance and style so if your mantel is sleek and modern try finding decor to complement that style, whereas if your mantel is intricately carved and detailed it would be lovely to complement that with similar decor pieces. 

Step 1: 

Center one big piece. This will be the focal point of your display so pick something you love! Your favourite mirror or piece of artwork is always a safe bet. Unusual consignment store finds and do-it-yourself decor add interest and character to a fireplace mantel. Instead of a large framed photo or artwork, try using an old window frame as a central focal point.

Step 2: 

Movement. Add decor pieces that will “move” the eye. Whether it’s a candle’s flickering flame or items that vary in heights. A good idea is to bring the outdoors in. Try adding a fresh floral arrangement or a vase filled with cherry blossom branches, flowers and greenery always make a vignette come alive.

Step 3: 

Balance. A more traditional symmetrical mantle would call for the exact same things on the left and right side of the centre focal point. In this design the visual weight of the decor pieces would be the exact same. This being said there are other ways to achieve visual balance without creating a symmetrical mantel grouping.The key for creating a balanced yet asymmetrical mantle is to have an approximately equal visual weight (size, colour, style) on either end of the mantel. We have obviously gone for an asymmetrical mantel grouping which is much less formal and more artsy!

Step 4: 

Layering. Now it’s time for the fun part! Round up your favourite collection of art, photos, and accessories and start layering and staggering different sized items in front of each other. When in doubt, arrange in threes. An odd grouping of items tends to be more visually appealing. Whether you read them or not, vintage books always add interest to any display, we use vintage books all throughout our stores when we are staging! Try making a little vignette on one side of your mantle by stacking them horizontally and vertically.

Step 5: 

Vary Heights. After layering what does your mantle need? Height! That’s right! Adding accessories of varying heights is more visually engaging.Think of creating a wave effect with your mantle. It starts out low, then goes up, comes back down, then up again, and finishes low! 

The Millionaire’s Daughter mantel mantra: Make your mantel as unique as you are! Have fun with it and use eclectic art and vintage finds. If your mantelscape has been the same for the last 6 months, maybe it’s time for a change. Go see what you can do!

Thanks for reading everyone! 


The Millionaire’s Daughter

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *