Any room that has a fireplace in it will instantly be warmer, cozier, and more beautiful. That fireplace can and should become a focal point of that space, whether it is a living room, bedroom, kitchen, or entrance. It’s easy to allow things to get boring there, however. By following these tips, you can ensure that your mantel is never dull, but the bright focal point it should be. Try these easy ways to refresh your fireplace mantel today.
Little Doses Of Design
It’s easy to keep things fresh when it comes to your mantel by using little doses of design. On a quarterly, monthly, or even weekly basis a small addition, adjustment, or complete refresh of your mantel can completely change the look of your room.
1. Tell Your Story The first thing you can do with a mantel that is an easy way to refresh your fireplace mantel is to tell your story. What is your family all about? Hobbies, work, adventures, whatever makes your home tick is a great thing to display on a mantel. It doesn’t have to be family portraits. It can be artwork that reflects your values or souvenirs from your travels, it can even be a nod to your particular fandom.
2. Use Symmetry Symmetry is balance and equilibrium. When you place an object on one end of the mantel, you need to place a similar object on the opposite side of the mantel. This creates balance and symmetry. It’s one of the easiest ways to decorate.
This is an excellent use of symmetry. The curation of similar objects to either side of the fireplace to frame it in.
3. Layering When decorating a mantel not everything needs to go directly beside the next object. Things may be placed in front of or behind other pieces. This layering effect creates depth and allows each item placed onto the mantel its own prominence. Placing larger objects behind smaller ones ensures everything is seen. This doesn’t have to be different objects. You can layer larger and smaller pieces of artwork, mirrors, and objet d’art.
Note how the photos are layered. One is hung, another in front, and one leaning against the wall.
4. Fresh Foliage The fastest way to easily refresh your fireplace mantel is to use fresh flowers, foliage, and nature. Anything living should be swapped out on a weekly to bi-weekly basis to ensure freshness.
In this rustic setting, pine boughs bring nature in and are reflected throughout the space.
5. Shapes Shapes play a huge role in Contemporary Design and placing graphic shapes above or around the fireplace mantel is ideal when decorating in this fashion. Instead of more lines and boxes – especially above clean faced and linear fireplaces – try ovals, curves, and circles.
6. Clusters – Asymmetry Rule of Thirds Clustering objects, three candlesticks of differing height but similar shape, vases, objects of the same material. Odd numbers are brilliant when using this technique. Threes are ideal. You can also place items, artwork, and other things to one side or the other of the mantel to place weight off-center. Using the rule of thirds places the items on your mantel in a pleasing composition and uses negative space to create the balance.
The rule of thirds divides a composition into nine equal parts. Placing the focal parts of your design on the points in this imaginary grid creates visual appeal.
7. Lighting Use lighting to your advantage. Placing groupings of lights on a mantel is one way to create interest, but you can also place a spotlight on the fireplace. Instead of a single spotlight, why not highlight the beautiful items on display on the mantel too? Lighting has many applications that can update a mantel quickly and easily.
By placing sconces to either side of the mantel, accent lighting will highlight the fireplace itself.
8. China/Antiques The set of china that hides away until a special occasion can be an interesting addition to the mantel. That one fancy platter with the pattern you love can be used as a backdrop for a couple of smaller and interesting pieces like a Wedgewood cake server or a small trinket box with a similar color or pattern.
9. Location Specific Décor Imagine a mantel located in a rustic cabin in the mountains. Imagine a contemporary mantel in a condo in the big city. Neither of these would have the same sort of décor style. The mountain cabin is more likely to have pine boughs and a set of copper milk ladles, while the contemporary mantel will feature a graphic shaped mirror and a couple small and minimally decorated vases or candlesticks to one side. Using items and objects that suit the decorative situation in that particular location is an easy way to update a mantel without too much worry.
In this rustic setting, it would be hard to imagine anything other than antiques and other austere objects on the mantle.
Updating the mantel can be a fun way to ensure that your décor remains fresh and fun throughout the year. How do you keep things fresh on your mantel? Share your mantel décor photos, stories, and memorable moments in front of the fireplace on our social pages like Facebook and Instagram, using the hashtags #FireplaceMantel and #NapoleonFireplaces.