If you’re lucky enough to have a fireplace mantel in your home, you know just how much fun it is to style that area, whether you want to decorate it for the holidays, to welcome a new season, or to use it as a spot to showcase your favorite art or collectibles. If you’re looking to switch things up a bit, especially now that you’re spending more time at home, you’ll want to start scrolling through the 20 beautiful spaces below.
No matter your style preferences or color scheme of choice, there’s probably a mantel setup or two that will speak to you. And the good news is you can probably find most of the objects you need to create a striking tableau in your home already.
1. Be Selective
Blogger Bre Bertolini styled a simple boho mantel in her home. She installed the shiplap backing above and below the mantel herself, and by keeping decorative accessories to a minimum, the walls truly shine. All you really need on a minimalist mantel is a few thoughtfully placed trinkets—a small stack of books, a vase, a candle. If items echo the rest of the colors in your room, these pieces can help tie the whole space together while adding a touch of personality.
2. Create a Scandi Vibe
Blogger Jessica Nickerson decorated her mantel with neutral pieces that she hoped would give off a Scandinavian vibe, and this composition certainly delivers. The final display is warm and welcoming without being overpowering. A stack of books always makes for easy, affordable decor—just raid your shelves and pick out a few titles that speak to you. You can also grab branches and greenery from your backyard (if you have one), and create different levels in your design scheme by using books to prop different pieces up at different heights.
3. Add a Letter Board
Blogger Jude Green kept her mantel styling simple and cozy to welcome the new season into her home. However, think this space would look lovely just the way it is throughout the rest of the year, too—all you have to do is style a letter board with a new quote and replace the pinecone garland with something seasonally appropriate. Propping up a letter board with a fun quote is a great way to welcome guests into your home and show off your wit. We also like the addition of a small lamp and mirror, which can help throw light around a space.
4. Glam Up Your Mirror
Blogger Jessica Litman of The Organized Mama styled a modern farmhouse themed living room as part of the One Room Challenge that many bloggers take part in. Hanging a wreath over a mirror atop the mantel adds a cheerful pop of green to the space that will look lovely year-round. Decorating with florals here—either real or faux—is always a good choice. You can go the garland route, or display a bouquet or a single stem in a sculptural vase.
5. Display Artwork Front and Center
While it’s often common practice to hang a TV above a relatively low mantel, that certainly isn’t a requirement! Blogger Courtney Browning opted to make an oversized piece of abstract art the main focus in her space and placed her television off to the side on a chest of drawers instead. The beautiful black, gray, and white swirls mix in perfectly with the neutral shades she’s decked out the rest of the room in.
6. Keep It Utilitarian
In a small space, sometimes less is more. This renter in this Brooklyn studio apartment mounted a TV above her fireplace and then kept the mantel sparse, only placing a lamp and plant on top of it. The whole look is very mid-century modern and streamlined—but not sterile because of the soothing pops of green and blue these couple of pieces add.
7. Add Seasonal Charm
Spring is in the air, and blogger Shannon Fox’s seasonally themed mantel decor is oh-so-sweet! Decorating the mantel in honor of a season or holiday is an especially fun idea if you have little ones at home—they’ll look forward to the tradition each year, and your home will feel extra festive thanks to all of the thoughtful touches scattered around the rooms.
8. Go All Out with Greenery
Decorating a mantel for the winter holidays doesn’t have to be challenging, either! Blogger Rebecca Celhar explains how to create a gorgeous set up in just five steps. A little extra garland can go a long way to make a space look especially merry and bright. And the best part of this setup is that, if you subtract the lights, stockings, birch logs, and bottle brush trees, you have a base of greenery and golden candlestick holders that you can build on for any season really.
9. Introduce Playful Touches
Mantels aren’t just for living rooms—many bedrooms feature them, too! Blogger Melissa of Winter Daisy designed the most darling display in her son’s nursery, complete with an adorable pennant and some space-themed accessories to match the room’s theme. The end result couldn’t look chicer. You could definitely execute this sort of idea in an adult room as well with more sophisticated pieces and equally graphic artwork.
10. Layer Favorite Prints
Hanging or leaning artwork above a mantel is a popular choice, and you really can’t go wrong when it comes to styling out this setup. Blogger Sarah Gibson decided to layer together three different art pieces to create a cohesive, modern display, and we love this idea as an alternative to showcasing just one large piece. For best results, be sure to vary the size of pieces and the finish of your frames, but make sure there’s one common thread between what you display so the look feels cohesive. Here, it’s the use of black that helps all of these pieces hang together.
11. Camouflage Your TV
Brooke Larsen actually purchased her mantel for $250 and then styled it to make it look built-in. She did a wonderful job of incorporating her TV into the design, thanks to the faux window panels that flank it and the greenery that sits below it. Candles are always a great finishing touch for a mantel, whether you light them or not.
12. Style Your Succulents
We love displaying succulents all over the house—they’re affordable, add a little bit of color and life to a spot, and look fantastic when grouped together or on their own. Blogger Jennifer Griffin used a collection of succulents to liven up her outdoor mantel, and the little line of plants, as well as their stunning blue pots, go a long way in sprucing up this space.
13. Or Create a Mini Jungle
The row of plants idea works well indoors, too! A little jungle is on full display in this Brooklyn apartment, which helps to create a calming, natural feel that’s well-removed from the hustle and bustle of city life.
14. Keep It Classic With a Clock
Add a traditional touch to your space by displaying an oversized clock above your mantel as blogger Stephanie Watkins did. Framed family photos, artwork, and some floral touches help this classic tableau feel more personal and pulled together.
15. Let a Mirror Do the Talking
You can’t go wrong placing a mirror above the mantel—it’ll beam natural light across your place and make it feel a little bigger in the process. Robert and Christina Martinez of the New Darlings chose a beautiful brass piece that would complement a number of design styles. Once again, this setup exemplifies how nicely books can double as affordable decor. Add a mini-bust, a few feathers, and a plant, and you’re good to go.
16. Round-Up a Collection
A mantel can be an excellent place to display a collection, as seen in this Chicago home. Whether you’re partial to pottery, sculptures, vases, or you name it, go to town. Your favorite pieces deserve to be arranged in front and center! Just make sure that everything you choose is small enough as to not overwhelm the mantel. This area is only so big, after all.
17. Get Thrifty
Blogger Sara Syrett set up her spring mantel display using a large woven basket that she purchased at a thrift store for just $6. She then added her own accent pieces to finish off the farmhouse-inspired look.
18. Try a Symmetrical Setup
A little symmetry can make a major statement, as evidenced by blogger Michelle James’s space. Whether decorating for the holidays or not, this is a great tactic to swear by if styling has left you feeling a bit stumped.
19. Find Versatile Accessories
Blogger Ashley Stringfellow designed a simple mantel with warm, rustic touches. Classic accessories like the candlesticks, glass cloche, and mercury glass vase will be easy to carry over—and refresh—from one season to another.
20. Be a Maximalist
Prefer a maximalist display? Blogger Katherine Medlin shows us how it’s done with her collection of topiaries, fresh and dried flowers, and bright colored candles. Of course, her gold ornate mirror is the true star of the show. So if you want to create a display like this, make sure you can still see enough of your true focal point piece.