In colonial America, fireplaces were utilitarian with no mantels or just a trace of one. The heart of the family home, fireplaces provided heat and included multiple fire sources for cooking and baking. By the second quarter of the 18th century, fireplaces became the centerpiece of the main family room. As such, book matched decorative panels and Georgian accents were added to each side of many fireplaces. In 1795, physicist and inventor Sir Benjamin Thompson, Count Rumford revolutionized fireplace design, creating the prototype for modern-day models. It was taller than wider and smaller and shallower than previous styles. By the early 1900s, fireplaces in parlors and living rooms of the wealthy featured ornately milled and detailed wood mantels.
Creative Ways to Decorate Your Mantle
Think of a living room fireplace mantel as a blank canvas to create a statement based on your own unique aesthetic. Many people prefer limiting the mantel space to one centerpiece like a gorgeous vase filled with freshly cut flowers. Others use every inch of the space to display their favorite home decor. It’s not only about the mantel surface, but also the wall space above. If you’re not certain where to begin, here are a few ideas to help you get started.
- Overlap framed artwork or family photos of varying heights to create a layered look
- Throw minimalism to the wind with a potpourri of eclectic pieces that vary in size like colorful vases, figurines, and picture frames
- Embrace the beauty of asymmetry with carefully arranged pieces framing an off-center star like a large piece of artwork
- Hang eye-catching artwork above the fireplace as the showpiece with two or three small home decor pieces on the mantel
- Display pieces that play off colors in furniture, throw pillows, rugs, or even a wood floor
- Create perfect symmetry with a large wall-mounted mirror as the centerpiece, decorative wall sconces on each side, and unique mantel decor in the center framed by a pair of identical vases on each side
- If the mantel is ornate, let it shine, selecting just a few understated pieces to display
- Transform a bland mantel into a striking monochromatic tableaux with one large artwork surrounded by baskets, vases, and found objects that embody the same color palette
Distinctively Beautiful Fireplace Mantel Decor
Display favorite family photos in our gorgeous enamel frames, transforming your mantel into a lovely gallery while preserving precious memories
From classic to ultramodern, our impressive collection of distinctive vases will draw everyone’s eye center stage to the mantel the moment they walk into the room. Select from the finest makers like Baccarat, Hermes, Lalique, William Yeoward, Moser, Meissen, and others in exquisitely crafted crystal, porcelain, ceramic, and glass.
Bring grace to the space with sublime bud vases from Herend, available in several lovely styles so you can mix and match to your heart’s content!
Create a layered yet refined look by displaying our sophisticated English sterling silver and enamel frames in different sizes.
With lively cottontails and bluebirds adorning branches of pears and flowering vines, this Gothic style ornate gold mirror will make a stunning showstopper above your mantel. Pair it with nature-themed decor on the mantel to create a truly awe-inspiring statement!
A classic choice for mantels, these diamond-patterned candleholders will look divine displayed in different sizes on your mantel.
It’s a breeze to breathe new life into your fireplace with creative decorating ideas and marvelous mantel decor from Scully & Scully!