8 Items Perfect for Decorating Any Fireplace Mantel

8-items-perfect-for-decorating-any-fireplace-mantelIf 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.

10 Simple Ways to Make Your Home Warm and Inviting


Sometimes the simplest changes to a living space can have an immediately noticeable effect. With the holiday season right around the corner, we thought we would share some simple ways to warm up the rooms in your house. These 10 changes or additions will make your guests feel right at home.

  1. De-clutter the entryway. When you first step into your front door, what do you see? If your front entryway has become the catch-all for mail, bills, all-weather gear, and a pile of shoes, take the time to clear up the clutter. Use hooks, a hall tree, or an armoire if there’s room, to keep things organized.
  2. Make the fireplace a focal point. Whether you light the fire or not, fireplaces can take up a significant amount of wall space, which makes it worth your effort to make it an attractive focal point. Adding a large piece of art or a mirror above the mantle, and seasonal decor on the mantle shelf, will draw the eye. Arrange furniture so it faces the fireplace. If you never light the fire, use art, candles, or other accents where the fire would be so it isn’t such a dark hole.
  3. Mix-it-up. Purchasing a matching furniture set can seem good in theory, but it can often make a room look too formal or cold. Try mixing up your furniture and textiles a bit to make the space more interesting.
  4. Spruce up the paint. Living in our homes day to day can make us oblivious to the small signs of wear and tear. Take a fresh look at your paint and see if touch-ups or a re-do are in order. A fresh coat of paint works wonders.
  5. Freshen up the color. When was the last time your home or room was re-designed? Give it a quick overhaul on your own. Changes can be as simple as purchasing colorful new window panels or accent pillow shams that add a new dimension to your existing design.
  6. Go white. Do you have a room with dark walls? Consider changing them using a high-quality white paint. White reflects colors, so it can pack a powerful punch. Without changing any of your furnishings, you can end up with a more open and welcoming space.
  7. Add throw blankets. This time of year, throw blankets can add a little color and style, plus they provide a warm and cozy cover for guests when you are enjoying one another’s company on cold weekend days, and after your traditional holiday meals.
  8. Be yourself. Let your design and style reflect who you are, not what you admire or what you want your home to be. Make sure that your elegant or modern interior has a bit of personality and is an expression of your taste, and your family’s.
  9. Test the furniture. There is nothing worse than sitting down on hard, uncomfortable dining room chairs, or having to perch awkwardly on a low-backed modern chair. In order to avoid this experience for yourself and guests, thoroughly test furniture before you bring it home. It may be beautiful, or it can seem like a deal that’s too good to pass up, but if it isn’t comfortable once you get it home, you’ll be sorely disappointed.
  10. Just add Mother Nature. Use fresh cut flowers, branches, fruit and other living accents to tables, countertops and book cases. These bursts of seasonal color always add a warm and cheerful ambiance to any living space.