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Blog posts tagged with 'mantel'

A Simple Guide To Styling Your Mantel

Your mantel has enormous potential to act as a centerpiece in your home.

Often, though, our mantels are incredibly underutilized.

Sometimes they turn into a place to stick the mail or throw our car keys when we get home.

The accumulate all our little knick-knacks until it just looks like a random pile of junk.

The fireplace itself is a symbol of warmth and home, which makes it a unique architectural feature on its own.

Since the fireplace already gets a lot of attention all by itself, the mantel can be used to highlight your personality and design style in a place it's sure to be seen.

Even without a fireplace, a mantel by itself still creates an opportunity to showcase pieces and designs that reflect who you are and what you love.

In the simple guide below, we will talk about the elements of a properly decorated mantel, as well as some tips to get yours up to speed.

As you read the guide, keep in mind the details of your mantel.

Things like how big it is and what it's made of.

These factors will play a large role in what you should ultimately use to decorate your mantel.

And don't feel obligated to do everything we talk about in the guide.

Use it as a reference to refer to when you start working to create the mantel that best suits you.

Table Of Contents

  • Have A Piece That Anchors Everything

  • Create Movement

  • Add Height

  • Add Layers

  • Organic Shapes

  • Asymmetry

  • Your Simple Guide To Styling Your Mantel


Have A Piece That Anchors Everything

Your anchor piece will typically be a large piece of artwork, a mirror, or a wreath that functions as the focal point.

It's best to start with your anchor piece and then build on the look from there.

If you want to create a dramatic piece, go all out.

Make your anchor 2/3 the size of the entire mantel.

Anything smaller could feel lost.

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Create Movement

As you're designing, pay attention to the visual movement created by the objects on the fireplace.

If everything's the same height or size, it can get stale and boring.

You want the eyes of your guests to move around the fireplace naturally.

A branch or plant serves this purpose very well.

Its organic shape will encourage the visual movement.

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Fireplace design ideas

Add Height

At the risk of sounding redundant, you need to add height.

Design details that have varying heights, like candlesticks and a stack of books, will create visual interest in your mantel.

You can use the candlesticks as a bookend for your design, while the books can add height and bridge the distance between the other design pieces on your mantel.

Antique books add an aged aesthetic to the overall look, but if you prefer a modern look, go with crisp, clean, brand new paperbacks.

The books you choose can also serve as an excellent ice breaker.

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Add Layers

Layers will add visual weight to go along with the visual movement we talked about earlier.

You can create weight by layering objects in front of each other. Small objects propped in front of your larger pieces will create a cohesive composition.

If you are worried your anchor piece is dominating the mantel, adding the visual weight to the mantel will help combat that feeling.

Put some family photos, small artwork or kids drawings in front or around the anchor piece, and you'll get the weight you're looking for.

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Organic Shapes

Plants will always be a great addition to any mantel.

Flowers, plants, or faux greenery will add life and movement to your mantel.

You can get a two for one deal if you pick a plant that looks great on your mantel, and cleanses your air at the same time.

And, with plants, come vases.

Picking the vases for your plants lets you be even more creative, and gives you the chance to really let your style shine through. 

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If you have more of a laid back, eclectic style, you can use asymmetry to your advantage.

Display assorted items in odd numbers and various sizes.

Antique picture frames in a wide range of shapes really do the trick here.

And things like we've already talked about, such as candlesticks, books, and plants, are great choices to create asymmetry.

If you prefer a polished look, incorporate similar items in even numbers, such as identical houseplants on each side of your anchor piece.

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Your Simple Guide To Styling Your Mantel

After reading the guide above, hopefully, you have a good idea of what to do with your mantel.

Your mantel and your fireplace deserve more than being a place for car keys, mail, and random knick-knacks.

Styling your mantel is as simple as finding an anchor piece you love, and working from there.

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