Your fireplace is more than a spot to stoke a warm flame on a cold night. It's a bonafide display space. It's one of the first things people see when they enter your living room and it sets the tone for the rest of the decor. From twinkle lights to minimalist artwork, the beauty of mantel decor is that just about anything goes. Amp up your mantel decor and turn your fireplace into more than just a perch for family photos.
Mirrors are a great way to create the illusion of more space in your living room. You can either hang them just above or around the mantel, or prop them if you want the freedom to change things up on a whim. If you really want to go wild, choose a mirror or mirrors with interesting shapes — mix and match square designs with circular to make the overall display really pop.
If you collect something — anything, really — chances are, your mantel would be a great place to show it off. From antique teacups to your collection of Marvel bobbleheads, a personal collection on your mantel shows visitors who you are with one appreciative glance. Unless it's your aesthetic, though, be careful not to overcrowd the space. Choose your favorites and then put the rest elsewhere in the room or around the house. You can always change up the display monthly or seasonally.
If you want your mantel to have a more natural look and it's well-lit, consider using it as one more surface for plants — because we can never have too many, right? Be mindful of vining or trailing varieties too near the opening of the fireplace or they could become fire hazards. Peace lilies, snake plants, and bromeliads are all be great options for your mantel decor.
Tiny things are trendy and with good reason: who can resist a minuscule set-up of, well, just about anything. From itty bitty dolls to pint-sized woodland animals, a tiny arrangement is a cute way to decorate your mantel space. This decorative approach also becomes almost interactive in that it engages people to get up close to see all the details.
This is a trend that just keeps rolling over year after year, but that's because it works so well. Propping a large painting or art piece up on the fireplace mantel attracts attention to the area. If you prop it instead of hang it, it not only adds dimension to this largely two-dimensional space, but also gives you the freedom to change out the arrangement or display whenever you wish.
Candles are an ideal way to keep the fire theme going in this cozy section of your home. If you are going for elegance, long tapers add a touch of romance. If you want whimsy, arrange a display of various colors and sizes to give your living room a carefree vibe. Including one or two with wonderful aromas can really help set the mood on multiple levels. Just make sure the scents go together if you're lighting more than one!
If you are one of those people that loves to celebrate every holiday no matter what it is, then your mantel is the perfect place to express that. Go with glittering twinkle lights and ornaments in a glass jar for the winter holidays, lots of hearts and red decor for Valentine's Day, and eggs and bunnies for Easter! The best part about this approach is that you can be totally shameless with your mantel decor choices and because it's festive and short-lived! You might decide to dial it back on those interim months, choosing one of the other suggestions on this list.
Maybe your child is far from becoming the next De Vinci or Picasso, but wouldn't it give them such a swell of pride to find a place on your fireplace mantel? If your living room already has a comfortable, homey feel, then use your fireplace mantel to showcase your kids' art of the week. Even if you keep that space pretty pristine, it's amazing what a high-fashion frame can do for even the simplest crayon doodle.
Unless you have a very modern design, there's a good chance your functional fireplace already has a rustic vibe, thanks to its materials. If that style suits your aesthetic, why not kick it up a notch rather than trying to transform the whole feel of the space. Opt for natural wood branches or carvings, evergreen boughs, and mirrors or artwork in simple, raw wood.
If your fireplace is in a space that gets a lot of foot traffic, why not hang messages of encouragement — or even friendly reminders — right there on the mantel? Message boards come in every conceivable style these days, so you are sure to find one that matches your aesthetic while still offering an opportunity to spread good cheer in this warm area of your home.