Decorating fireplace mantels for the holidays and other seasons and in between times.
Decorating fireplace mantels is the most creative and satisfying part of having one!
Since fireplaces are often the focal point of the room, make the most of a fireplace and mantel with these simple yet beautiful decorating ideas.
Use caution when choosing materials, however. Do not place flammable materials anywhere near an open flame.
Whether Christmas decorating or anytime, decoration of fireplace mantles draws artistic and aesthetic skills to the forefront. We provide ideas for decorating regardless of the type of mantel or the type of fire.
For Christmas decorating fireplace mantels are always a major focal point of the entire room. A custom hewn log fireplace mantle shelf from North Shore allows plenty of room and a naturally grand location for seasonal decoration. Here are some general tips to consider when planning for the decoration of your fireplace mantle.
Off Holiday Seasons - Fill the fireplace with an interesting display during the summer months when it's not in use. Place decorative urns inside the fireplace, and fill with pillar candles. Half slices of oranges make great votives to place around the urns and candles.
You can get ornamental birch and other species of decorative fireplace logs here.
Professional designers often start decorating projects by jotting down ideas for the mood they’d like to create, and then collect an assortment of items to emphasize that style. They might not use everything they’ve found, but having things on hand means they can play with different combinations until hitting on the best design.
Spend some time considering how you’d like the type of event you’ll be hosting. Are you having a flashy black tie cocktail party, or a relaxing springtime brunch?
Maybe you’d just like to find new ways to freshen up the everyday look of a room? Either way, remember that different combinations of colors as well as the style (Victorian, modern, retro, country) of items you use will affect the overall mood of your room.
General Mantel Decoration:
Keep It Simple:
- A painting can be hung lower, rather than centered, to be pleasing at eye level.
- Grouping can be arranged in the always-pleasing multiple of three.
- A mantel is a great place to show off your best vase and a trio of art-glass candlesticks. Nothing more or less is needed.
- If you want to use a larger painting, lean it, rather than hang it, for a casual effect.
- Utilize adjoining space by hanging pottery plates in graduated sizes on the side to share the focal point.
- Display family photos on your mantel.
- When you want to arrange a mix of art and collectibles on your mantel and above, find a strong focal point.
- Balance with a neat, symmetrical arrangement.
- Vary the sizes and elevations of elements for interest.
- Two pairs of identically framed small prints flank the center art; leather-bound books are used for elevation, and the sword is hung below.
- Be creative with lighting. Add candlestick-style lamps for mantel-top illumination.
- Use tailored black shades for rich accents.
- Display family photographs in handsome frames.
- Have copies made of old photographs and mix in with memorabilia, such as trophies.
- Vary the sizes and shapes of frames for interest.
- Don't have large, focal-point art? Stack two or more pieces and enlarge the arrangement with decorative plates.
- Avoid a bare spot by centering a decorative box or bowl below a small painting; flank with one or more pairs of your favorite candlesticks.
- Place oversize hurricane lanterns over your candlesticks for romantic candlelight.
- Take advantage of the safe location to display your most treasured collections, such as mercury glass and blue-and-white porcelains.
- When you have special pieces, such as the tiny vases, group them together for the decorating impact of a collection.
- In warm weather or in a climate with little winter, fill the firebox. When available, use branches from pines or magnolia trees because they stay green for weeks.
- A mirror placed on a mantel instantly gives a room depth and light. A mirror also reflects whatever decorative item is placed in front of it, such as candles and wreaths.
- Don't ignore all the open space below the mantel.