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Ideas on How To Decorate a Fireplace Mantel

Posted by Doug Gardner on

Fireplace mantel photo courtesy of Jocelyn Durston via Flickr Creative Commons. Read more:

The fireplace serves as a natural focal point in most homes. When you first walk into the living room, your eyes will begin to shift towards the fireplace. This can either hurt or help your home’s decor depending on how it’s decorating. Allowing your fireplace mantel to remain plain and without any sense of style or aesthetic direction will take away from your home’s natural beauty. On the other hand, decorating it with the right colors and accessories will bring out your home’s positive features while complimenting the surrounding decor.

Warning: Watch The Humidity!

If you intend to build fires inside your fireplace, you’ll need to carefully choose appropriate accessories to display on the mantel. The heat and humidity generated by a fire can damage or even ruin certain items, including paintings. You don’t have to worry about this if your fireplace is used strictly for decorative purposes, but homeowners who intend to build fires inside their fireplace should avoid displaying paintings or other sensitive decorative accessories on the mantel.

Simple fireplace mantel decor photo by Shawn Rosi via Flickr Creative Commons.


Does your living room feel small and confined. Unless you plan to tear down walls or physically expand it, you’ll have to think of different ways to create a more open and spacious living room.

One effective design trick to make your living room look larger is to display a mirror over the fireplace mantel. Doing so creates an optical illusion of a larger space. Just a single medium-to-large-sized mirror placed on the fireplace mantel can make a world of different in your living room’s decor.


Of course, another decorative accessory that’s perfect for the fireplace mantel are framed photos. There’s no rule stating you must display photos on the walls. Feel free to place them in open area on the fireplace mantel to fill voided gaps. You can even use a variety of different size frames to create a more complex mantel decor.

Photos are an excellent decorative accessory because of their unique, sentimental appearance that draws the attention of guests. Just remember to secure them in frames beforehand to reduce the risk of humidity damage.

Other Decorative Accessories For Fireplace Mantels:

  • Clocks
  • Sculptures
  • Vinyl decals
  • Candles
  • Scented oil diffusers
  • Houseplants
  • Glass jars or vases filled with stones
  • Books
  • Seasonal decorations
  • Potpourri