Layer Mantel Decor for Year-Round Depth
Keep your year-round fireplace mantel decor simple yet stylish by arranging favorite pieces—such as artwork, lanterns, a tapestry, palm fronds in a vase or an antler—in layers. Instead of lining up objects in a single row, stagger items of different heights and widths in front of each other. This overlapping creates depth, which is key to an attractive display.
Anchor the Fireplace Mantel with Large Objects
Though a fireplace mantel is a great place to display small items, it helps to anchor the arrangement with at least one large piece, such as a lantern or framed picture. This dominant element attracts the eye and stretches the scale, providing visual oomph to balance the smaller items. If there’s not room on the mantel for a large item, lean it or hang it on the wall behind.
Change Mantel Colors for Fall
For autumn, keep a few year-round items on the mantel—such as the artwork and lanterns. But play up harvest colors and textures by spray-painting the lanterns, displaying gourds, replacing palm fronds with bittersweet blooms, and adding an ombré spray-painted wood-bead garland. Let the garland drape down in front of the bricks. This creates a soft frame that highlights what’s on the mantel.
Group Similar Mantel Decor
Whatever the season, grouping similar objects simplifies and organizes your mantel display to create big impact. These lanterns—now spray-painted copper for fall and adorned with fairy lights—add a soft, whimsical quality during the fall season. The two are also different heights, which adds interest. If possible, vary the size of similar objects in a group.
Create a Christmas Fireplace Display
During the holidays, your mantel grabs the spotlight. Family and friends gather by the fireplace, and it’s where stockings are hung. So you want your mantel to say Christmas. But you don’t have to switch out everything. Sure, add tabletop Christmas trees, minimal garland, pillar candles and stockings, but also tweak year-round items with a little red and green. For example, fill a vase with white spray-painted branches instead of holiday blooms and hang a few ornaments on them.
Hang Up the Holly
A little touch of red or green may be all it takes to put a year-round mantel object in the Christmas spirit. Here, it’s as simple as making a quick little DIY wreath out of live greenery and berry picks and hanging it on the corner of a large framed print.
Lighten Mantel Decor for Winter
After the holidays, take down the stockings and pare down your fireplace mantel. Quiet the color scheme to wintry whites and rustic wood tones. Remove the ornaments from the branches in the vase, and replace greenery and berries on the wreath with pinecones. To keep the mantel landscape from looking too bleak, add a snowy winter-scene postcard in a frame.
Mix Mantel Patterns and Textures
Though a winter mantel calls for more neutral colors, that doesn’t mean the look has to be dull. Catch the eye by incorporating a variety of patterns and textures in your mantel decor. Each of these tabletop trees, for example, offers a different texture—vine, fur and bark pieces—and helps tie the wintry scene together.