Winter has officially arrived; all the telltale signs are here. The neighborhood trees are bare, the sky is a dark shade of grey and the brutal December wind has made its return, leaving us longing for summer. With the months of colder weather ahead, our attention turns to our home. We’re all prioritizing the creation of an environment that will allow us to escape the frigid temperatures outside. It is likely that we will spend most of our time in any room that has a fireplace, and that many of our holiday gatherings may involve a roaring blaze. Now might be the perfect time to re-evaluate your mantlepiece décor, and we hope this blog will provide some useful design tips on decorating your fireplace mantel and will help you create some mantlepiece magic!
When considering how to decorate your mantlepiece, the most important consideration will be fire safety. While decorative items are placed on the mantle, it’s important to avoid having anything hanging down towards the fireplace opening. This includes any unsteady items that may easily fall off the mantlepiece or items that could be damaged by heat. A general safety rule would be to have a 3-foot distance between the fire and any possible combustible material. If you love to hang your Christmas stockings from your mantle, remember to remove them when lighting the fire. The second worst thing after waking up to coal under the tree is waking up to a torched stocking!
Consistency is key
The first step when accessorizing your mantel is to consider the design style in your home to ensure that the look of the mantelpiece when decorated is continuous with the style of the rest of your home. If your home is very modern or minimalist, the fireplace should echo this, and a cluttered mantelpiece is unlikely to compliment the rest of the room. While the fireplace should be a focal point in the room, it shouldn’t stick out like a sore thumb or seem separate from the rest of the space.
Don’t shy away from simplicity
For a simpler design, you may choose to place only a few items on the mantelpiece. Additionally, highlight the fireplace with a bold piece of art or a beautifully framed mirror. Another possibility would be to have two or three pieces of art of varying sizes, that are unique from one another and yet complimentary. Instead of hanging your artwork, consider placing it on the mantel. If you do so, place the larger pieces to the back, slightly off-center. It’s important to ensure that the frames will not slip, meaning that the use of sticky tack can be helpful!
Just a few suggestions…
There’s room for a large variety of accessories on the mantel. Some of the popular choices include candlesticks, picture frames, vases, and collectibles. When using candlesticks, select a variety in height and shape to create balance and interest. Vases look beautiful in groups of 3, again varying the height and focusing on one consistent design element, such as a unity in color or style. The mantelpiece can be a great spot to display a favorite collection such as colored glass bottles or antique books. While the fireplace can be a beautiful place for a plant (orchids often being a popular choice due to their long blooming period) remember that they may dry out faster or be intolerant of the heat generated by a fire. Finally, consider a single vase with an arrangement of boughs such as pussy willow or eucalyptus branches for a more dramatic display.
Avoid a clutter-catastrophe
Firstly, if you cannot choose what to display, remember that this is a spot that can be seasonally redecorated. This means that you can change up the “look” and give all your favorite items their time in the spotlight. Our final tip would be to avoid clutter. If this is difficult for you, perform a final edit, removing anything that does not look right before considering the decorating project as complete. Hopefully these tips on decorating your fireplace mantel help you create a beautiful focal point that can be enjoyed all year round.
As always, thank you for reading!
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