Why focus on decorating fireplace mantel? The mantel shelf – the horizontal portion of a decorative mantel – brings a wealth of options for display.
- Since the hearth of a fireplace is the soul of a room and a visual center in the same time, the mantel is the natural collection place.
- People gazes at fires, attracted by the flames, so whatever you show on the mantel will be looked at for sure.
- Back in time, it was a tradition for families to display their hunting trophies, rare manuscripts or crests.
Decorating Fireplace Mantel – Ideas and Tips
- When decorating fireplace mantel don’t forget proportions, color and shape. These three elements are “a must” for any decorating statement.
- Harmony – plan the mantel so it contributes to the overall furnishings and style of the room. Is your couch or side table contemporary? Match their mood with similarly artwork and accessories. In the photo above right you can see how simple decor on the mantel match the feel of the room.
- A mirror, either alone or flanked by decorative objects, is the perfect object to hang or sit on a mantel. Don’t forget it will reflect not just what’s in front of it, but everything 180 degrees wide. So make sure what the mirror is reflecting, is enticing – photo above right.
- A pair of potted plants flanking a painting in brown tones lends symmetry to this focal point room wall. In the photo above left, instead of introducing a new color on the mantel, harmony was created by echoing one or more of the colors of the room, in this case brown.
- Tip: One of the easiest way to see if your arrangement looks balanced, is to imagine placing the display items onto each side of a balancing scale. If the scale balances in your mind, most likely it will balance in reality. If it doesn’t, move an item to one side or the other to reach a balance.
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- The general rule is for larger and/or taller objects to go behind smaller or wider items, so each one can be seen and admired – see above left photo.
- The natural stone used at the hearth of a fireplace and the wood mantel shelf, along with the decorative object placed on it, balance the rustic setting in this family room – above left photo.
- A mantel can be left bare or display one single significant element you treasure most: a rare painting, along with some rather small items that don’t draw attention to the art – see above right photo.
- In the above right photo, because of the great architectural features of the room, such as the wide tall windows and beautiful moldings, a minimal mantel display will make the room not feel busy. The painting height draws attention to the high ceiling.
- Tip: rule of display – when you want to show more than one item, they must connect to each other in some way. Whatever is the rule of grouping, find the element that unify them: either a color, or style.
- Tip: if you don’t feel confident, look through magazines and take note how objects are arranged when decorating fireplace mantel: large with small, lots with few.
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