If you’re lucky enough to have a fireplace in your home, don’t let it go to waste. Spruce up your living room with some must-have items for your mantel so you can show off your excellent taste to your friends and family. Even if your fireplace isn’t functional, a stately, elegant mantel can still tie a room together. Here are eight items you need for the best decorated fireplace mantel anywhere:
- Overlapping Artwork. Above the mantel is a natural place to hang your favorite paintings or photographs. Sometimes, choosing the one that will dominate the look of the whole room can be a tough call. Instead of only choosing one, why not choose three or four pieces of art for the mantel? Overlap differently sized pieces of art for a complex, layered effect above the fireplace. Be sure to choose relatively simple pieces of art so that the area doesn’t become too jumbled.
- Mirrors. Mirrors expand the room. Place one above your fireplace mantel and transform the wall and the area into a cleaner, more muted vibe. Mirrors have the advantage of being mostly colorless, unless you spring for a showy frame. Mirrors capture the color scheme of the room in their glass, and look great bracketed by a couple of tasteful vases or sconces to really set the room off in a new direction.
- Shelves. A shelf above the mantel is a perfect place to show off your decorative painting skills. Attach a shelf above the mantel and paint it a color that complements the room. From there, the possibilities are endless for things to place on the shelf when it is installed. Tasteful picture frames, marble or ivory bookends, or your favorite knick-knacks are great ways to decorate the fireplace mantel.
- The Candle-Vase Combo. By attaching two decorative candle holders on either side of a photograph, mirror, or painting, you are artistically framing the centerpiece of the mantel. Draw attention to the beautiful mirror you just got for your mantel with decorative candle holders. Add to this symmetrical look with a couple of elegant vases. The combination of the vases and the candle holders accent the shapes of both and add a sense of order and artistry to your mantel.
- Hidden Television. Flat screen TVs are perfect for a home above the mantel. Since much of your attention will be focused on the TV anyway, why not incorporate into your decoration scheme? You can add to the decorative power of a flat screen by hiding it when you’re not using it. Recessing the TV into the wall above the mantel and closing it off with two decorative doors gives you the ability to change your mantel’s look at the snap of a finger.
- The Expanding Mantel. If you have the wall space, consider expanding the mantel by installing cabinets attached to the mantel that extend wide and cover the whole wall. This gives you more storage space and increases your decorative space. Add some personal knick- knacks to increase the flair and personality of your mantel and your whole living room.
- Molding. Paint some molding pieces the same color as the wall behind your mantel and create a large rectangle or two. These large shapes will fill the empty space behind your mantel and draw the eye to your beautiful decoration and style.
- Color Block. Make the space directly above the mantel pop by making a section of it one color. This contrast will be instantly eye-catching and revive the empty area above the mantel stand out and dazzle.