3 Fireplace Mantel Shelf Decorating Ideas 3 Fireplace Mantel Shelf Decorating Ideas

Decorating a mantel shelf can seem daunting to many. After all, mantels and fireplaces are often the focal point of the room and you want to get it right. The following suggestions are easy, quick, and appealing.

Use Your Collections

Have a collection of unique silver picture frames? Group some together on one side of your mantel and balance the other with various-sized candleholders with candles. Novice decorators will discover that they usually have more items that can be grouped together than they originally thought. Interestingly shaped bowls or vases with texture or that pick up an accent color spaced across a mantel affords a clean modern look–no need for plants or flowers.  Pick up those colors or textures in any art that might hang above the mantel. The trick is not to over-do it. Having too many items looks cluttered.

Also, think of proportion and balance. A collection of miniatures will get lost on a large mantel in a large room. Guests entering the room should be able to see and have a general idea of what is on the mantel shelf. And balance, for example, can be achieved by placing a large vase on one end of the shelf that's proportionate in height to a collection of pictures or candles on the other end.  

“Green” Your Mantel 

A mantel shelf filled with live plants can be a dramatic, yet inexpensive way to decorate. First, check your lighting. Are there spotlights or a nearby window? Next, a little on-line research is necessary. If there’s not much light, consider succulents and plants like bromeliads for height and interest. Ornamental grasses provide a full, new and natural touch on a “shady” mantel. Balance taller plants with perhaps a vase filled with dried wheat, dried berries, or reeds. One trick to remember upon visiting a reputable nursery is to look at the plants you’re considering from the side at eye level. A plant may look great as you gaze down at it in a gardening plat, but from the side it may appear thin with unattractive undergrowth. Look for attractive stems and leaves as that’s what will be seen as you gaze at your newly-decorated mantel shelf.

Create a “Mono” Mantel

That is use a monochrome color scheme of various objects.  All-cream vases, bowls, and flowers will “pop” against a wall painted a darker color, such as red. Or pick up the accent color in your room and use items of varying textures for interest.

A variation on this theme is to use clear crystal items on the mantel shelf, and requires directed light on the mantel to be dramatic and effective.  Adding some mirrors on the wall behind the shelf adds to the drama.

Creating a beautiful mantel shelf is easy so long as you strive for proportion, balance and remember to create an uncluttered showcase.

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