Fireplace Mantel Decorating Ideas

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Fireplace Mantel Decorating Ideas

Staff Writer · Oct 1, 2009

A fireplace mantel is a strong design feature of any living space. But if left too bare, this central feature can bring down the rest of your apartment. So it’s time to heat up your mantel décor with everything from bold artwork to candles and flowers.  

Start by Decorating Your Mantel with Frames

Place three framed photos or artwork on top of your mantel. Make sure the frames are slightly different sizes so that they are well balanced and offer variety. Overlap each frame a bit to create a sense of depth and dimension.

Be sure and match the frames according to the décor and color scheme of your room. If you select wood, pick the same type for each photo. Keeping the same texture creates a special design element and theme. For instance, consider barn, distressed, cherry or painted wood. However, you can use frames that have different carvings or other decorative nuances.

Then add a few little touches around the frames. You want to avoid overcrowding. This look should be accented, not overshadowed with clutter. A decorative glass item, or a simple vase or statue would neatly add to this look. Additionally, a metal container with a few sprigs of foliage is ideal for placing next to a series of frames.

You can choose your frames in more contemporary styles like black and white or metal. Next, accentuate your modern mantel with a piece of dramatic pottery or an abstract sculpture.

Illuminate Your Mantel with Candles

One of the easiest ways to decorate a mantel is with a few candle sticks. You can find candle sticks in a variety of styles from rustic wood to glass and beaded designs. Fill the length of the mantel with candles that are different heights. To create balance, couple the candle sticks in bunches of two or three.

Another trend in mantelpiece décor is the “less is more approach.” For example, hurricane-style candle lamps simply dress up any size mantel. Place one lamp at each end of the mantel. Then create a focal point by adding a wreath, simple artwork, or decorative planter in between the lamps.

An additional design technique is to place a series of candles inside the fireplace itself. This adds a splash of color and depth to the center of the fireplace.

Seasonal Decorating Ideas

When it comes to seasonal colors, more traditional apartments bode well with dark or muted hues. While contemporary spaces need more graphic elements in bold reds, bright oranges and vivid patterns. Change up the décor of your mantel with each holiday or season. For summertime, display sea shells and beach wood on your mantel. You could also accent the wreath above your fireplace with white starfish or sanddollar shells.

In fall, decorate with natural elements. Place a few gourds on the tiers of a vintage cake dish, along with some fall buds and sprigs of berry branches. Take a similar approach during the winter months and holidays: line your mantel with small pine trees or fill wire baskets with white branches and pine cones.

Remember, changing the look of your fireplace mantel is a great way to spice up your apartment without having to redecorate or paint it.

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