Residential Color and Style from a Certified True Color Expert.

My Top Ten Tips for Styling a Fireplace Mantel

Tip #1: Use real art, not a mirror, over the fireplace. This will provide depth and character.

Tip #2: If you have a collection, pair it with complementary real art for a statement that is yours alone:

Tip # 3 Bigger is better, but don’t exceed the width of the mantel.

Source: eleanorcummings.com via Emily Cayne on Pinterest


Tip #4 Select art with a color palette that looks good with the rest of the room. This is a good place for a pop of color (that you should repeat three more times in the room.)

Source: tumblr.com via Lauren on Pinterest

Tip #5 No dinky accessories. (These are nicely proportioned.)

Source: houzz.com via Natalie on Pinterest

Tip #6  Handcrafted vases, antique vases, bronzes, antique tapestry hangings, are all good possibilities. Take a look around your house for others. Look for pieces with presence to accessorize.

Source: vacationist.com via Cathy on Pinterest

Tip #7 This is your main focal point in the room. Make it count.

Source: saffroniabaldwin.com via Ann on Pinterest

Tip #7 Use sconces.

Source: Uploaded by user via Sandy on Pinterest

Tip #8 No framed family photographs.  Find other accessories for a more current overall look.

Tip #9 Remember that you must balance the large dark hole of the firebox. Think deep and rich, not dainty, for the over mantel décor.

(#9 Balance the dark hole of the firebox)

Tip #10 Use a portrait light (not shown).

For easy reference, here are my top ten tips for styling a beautiful fireplace and mantel area:
(1) Use real art, not a mirror.
(2) Bigger is better, but don’t exceed the width of the mantel.
(3) This is your main focal point in the room. Make it count.
(4) No dinky accessories.
(5) No framed family photographs.
(6) Handcrafted vases, antique vases, bronzes, antique tapestry hangings, are all good possibilities. Take a look around your house for others. Look for pieces with presence to accessorize. If you have a collection, this may be a good place to incorporate it with a complementary piece of art overhead.
(7) Remember that you must balance the large dark hole of the firebox. Think deep and rich, not dainty, for the over mantel décor.
(8) Select art with a color palette that looks good with the rest of the room.
(9) Use a portrait light over an oil painting.
(10) Add a pair of sconces.

4 responses

  1. great rules every one!!! thanks

    June 23, 2012 at 1:57 pm

  2. Some wonderful tips, Ellen. I’m not a big fan of mantle clutter and often advise clients to remove everything from the mantle entirely, so the eye goes to the art. I also prefer an oversized piece of art propped for a more casual feel. Thanks for a great post!

    June 24, 2012 at 5:23 pm

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