Fireplace mantels can be the perfect spot to add beautiful styling to your home. Unlike bookshelves and coffee tables, the mantel is usually undisturbed by pets, kids, and clutter! It may be the one surface in your house that can always look straight out of your favorite design magazine. So make the most of it!
But maybe you've tried and it doesn't turn out quite like you'd hoped? It's not always as easy as pictures may make it seem. Here are some design principles and styling tips that can help you along the way. Whether you prefer traditional, modern, bohemian, or contemporary decor these rules can apply to you. Your style will be determined more by the objects that you use rather than they way you place them.
Emphasis - Use something large or eye-catching to create a focal point on your mantel. Often times this piece is a large mirror or framed art, but it doesn't have to be. Having a focal point grounds your mantel and gives your eye something to rest on.
Dimension - Add some depth to your mantel through layering and stacking. This can be done with books, pictures, or decorative boxes to name a few. Stack 3-4 books on top of one another and add a decorative object on top. Layer a small frame in front of a large one for some visual interest!
Repetition - This can be achieved in multiple ways and will help your entire vignette feel harmonious. Find a way to repeat something on your mantel whether it be color, texture, line or even a specific object. But don't overdo it, we don't want to be too matchy! Repetition always works best with a little variation.
Balance - Take a step back and look at your mantel. Does it seemed balanced as a whole? Does one side seem heavier than the other? Your mantel definitely does not need to by symmetrical to be balanced but it should have the same visual weight on both sides. If it seems off, try rearranging your objects. Put your small dark object on one side and your large transparent object on the other! Objects of opposite color, size, or shape can help balance each other out on opposite sides of your mantel.