A fireplace often serves as a strong focal point in a room, encouraging you to cozy up and while away the hours with company or a good book. Like any element in a home, your hearth should blend into your interior design aesthetic, and decorating the fireplace mantel accordingly is a great place to start. If you’re not quite sure how to begin, let these beautiful mantel decorating ideas spark your creativity.
When decorating in a coastal setting, it only makes sense to tap into an ocean aesthetic. Here, Jennifer Ribek Interior Design keeps the fireplace mantel streamlined with two texture-rich shells and large, bright green palm fronds in a transparent vase.
A Black Backdrop
If you prefer darker tones, consider taking your fireplace mantel design inspiration from this modern approach by Stephanie Purzycki, founder of The Finish. It’s the perfect backdrop for some engaging art. “The layered art showcases the talent—the husband is the artist—and the fun and eclectic personality of the homeowners,” says Purzycki.
Minimalist Gray Marble Mantel
Keep your mantel decor to a minimum if it’s already a showstopper in its own right. A slender glass vessel with matches and a small round vase is plenty in this beautiful mantel design. The geometric mirror above adds more texture and helps bounce light around the room.
A perfectly married combination of vintage and retro design elements come together in this fireplace mantel decoration approach by Bria Hammel Interiors. Upcycled wood sits against painted white brick, allowing bold art to shine bright. Books and brass candlesticks lend some neutral warmth.
Black-and-White Fireplace Mantel
This black and white fireplace mantel was dreamed up by Nadia Watts Interior Design, who says her goal was to keep things understated. “I wanted the fireplace and the art to stand out, so I kept the mantel simple and symmetrical,” she says. “Sometimes less is more on the mantel, especially when you have art in the picture.”
For a beachy décor aesthetic, look no further than a non-fussy piece of beautiful driftwood to sit atop your fireplace mantel. It fits right in with this beautiful room by Kristina Phillips Interior Design, which is filled with neutral tones and splashy pops of color. “The shiplap backdrop on the fireplace and watery blue art balances the floating shelves on the adjacent side, all coordinating beautifully with the coastal vibe of this family’s home,” says Phillips.
Live Plants on the Mantel
Keep your fireplace mantel decorations simple by adding just a few live plants on the ledge. Pair it with conversation-starting art that melds into the home’s aesthetic.
Large Vessel with Rambling Greenery
Watts says you can’t go wrong with oversized greenery in a large vessel. “Bringing the outdoors in with plants gives the fireplace area an inviting aura,” she says, adding that there’s a reason why people like to be outside around a campfire. “You are outside in nature, and it’s also cozy and inviting, encouraging conversation—bringing plants into the indoor fire area helps create that same feel of being surrounded by nature.”
A Trio of Plates
Whether you’re decorating a rustic homestead hearth or channeling a modern or traditional aesthetic, don’t write off vintage plates as art. This perfectly placed trio lends a play of pattern and offers a sense of history.
A Gilded Mirror, Art, and Greenery
The arched French mirror reflects light from the globe chandelier and makes the space feel larger in this design by The Finish. “The layered artwork is personal and shows off the personality of the homeowner,” Purzycki says. “The touches of greenery tie in with the green sofa and help create a cohesive soothing palette.”
Faux Fireplace Mantel
If your home doesn’t have a real fireplace, that doesn’t mean you have to forego this charming addition entirely. Source a vintage fireplace mantel, like the shabby chic variation featured in this space designed by DeVOL Kitchens, and secure it to the wall. This fireplace mantel decor features brass candlestick holders, a leaning framed print, and dried plants in a rustic pot.
Vintage Art and Knick Knacks
A curated collection of framed vintage art sits atop this simple fireplace mantel within a rustic dining space designed by deVOL Kitchens. Live plants, green glass bottles, and a bouquet of feathers add to the earthy vintage aesthetic.
Wooden Frame With Greenery and Abstract Art
A natural wood finish feels organic and warm, especially when paired with exposed brick. Sitting atop this fireplace mantel, the abstract drawing, glossy black vase with dried greenery, and vintage mirror add an eclectic mix that is both cohesive and dynamic.
Undecorated Gray Marble Fireplace
The mantel in this living room is clearly the star of the show, so Purzycki gave it the center stage treatment. “The custom marble is the focal point in the room and didn’t need any additional styling because it was a modern sculptural statement on its own,” she says. As they say, sometimes less is more.
Rustic Lodge Fireplace Mantel
Tap into a rustic feel by incorporating a recycled wood mantel on your fireplace. In the space above, a handsome moose with impressive antlers serves as the star of this fireplace mantel design by Bria Hammel Interiors. You could also consider faux taxidermy or a dramatic wreath crafted from local flora.
Wallpaper is a simple way to add instant texture and dimension to your fireplace. In this design by DeVOL Kitchens, the above-mantel area has a shallow indentation, making it the perfect canvas for the floral pattern accentuated with birds. The mantel itself leans into the earthy theme via wood candlestick holders and sculptural acorns.
Big and Bold
If you’re seeking fireplace mantel decorating ideas that exude pure elegance, take your cue from this massive marble hearth. The mantel serves as the star, while simple decorative details—including a large landscape painting and cream-colored pottery—add subtle flare.
Tall Candlesticks and Gilded Mirror
In this sleek contemporary home with a hint of academia, slender and tall brass candlesticks sit atop the fireplace mantel, flanking a gilded round mirror. A singular piece of framed art creates intrigue via texture and asymmetry.
Handsome Vintage Mantel Frame with Fresh Flowers and Art
A fusion of luxurious textures brings this fireplace mantel to life. Elegant marble with subtle veining frames the fireplace, which is then surrounded by opalescent herringbone tiles that catch the light. The vintage mantel frame, which features a deep wood stain and beautiful carving, encases it all. The ledge is kept simple with fresh flowers in a clear vase and two pieces of framed art.
A Magnificent Bust
Busts have never gone out of style; the key is to style them with care. A singular bust sits on the side of this fireplace mantel without anything else. Select a bust that makes sense with the color scheme. Here, the glossy black form lends itself to the moody aesthetic.
Mixed Textures and Materials
While choosing like-items and textures often makes sense, doing the opposite is another effective approach to take. A combination of soft cotton bolls, ceramic, paper, and glass come together brilliantly in this fireplace design by Elizabeth Bolognino Interiors.
Muted Tones and Abstract Art
A trio of mustard-toned, organic vases sit on one side of this gray fireplace mantel, while the other features a clear vase with tall green stems. They perfectly frame an abstract art piece that lends to the Southwestern color scheme.
Two oversized chinoiserie pots perfectly flank a large painting in this mantel design by Watts. “Simple symmetry often just makes sense, like when you want to focus on the art,” says Watts. “It keeps the presentation elegant and classic, yet bold. People often want to over-adorn their mantels with lots of accessories and different objects, whereas I like to simplify the items on the surface and focus on the art.”
Stacked Black-and-White Photography
If you’ve got vertical space to work with above your fireplace mantel, consider installing a well-framed triptych of prints. Black-and-white photography is the art of choice in this design by Watts, while the minimalist mantel features a few sculptural pieces.
Greenery Atop a Wooden Mantel
This ultra-cozy fireplace allows the large, beautifully stained wooden frame to serve as the star. A symmetrical approach was taken in this design, with two large ferns situated on either side paired with small white vases.
Elegant Marble with Oversize Decor
This grand, white marble fireplace speaks for itself. Watts leaned into the elegance with a beautiful oversized vessel filled with greenery and married it with a colorful floral oil painting in an ornate gilded frame.
Brass Candlesticks and a Large Map
This teal and brick fireplace is beautiful in its own right, making the mantel a perfect backdrop for creative decor. “Offsetting the map was a strategic choice because the homeowner needed to get to the access panel,” Purzycki says. No sweat, though. “We balanced the art with the beautiful brass candlesticks.”
Wainscotting and Bright Art
Add a little texture to your hearth by installing some monochromatic wainscotting above the mantel. For a pop of color, add a beautiful oil painting or abstract art and keep the ledge decor to a minimum.
“Set against putty-hued grasscloth, the oil painting by artist Susan Jacoby takes center stage in this stately living room,” Phillips says. “The dentil detail beneath the mantel (and repeated along the crown) punctuates the space with formality. Adding to the grandeur are the double Corinthian columns flanking the fireplace opening, with a single Roman vessel motif on the front.”
Simple Art and Sconces
“Let the art shine with simple lighting flanking each side; it’s such a classic elegant way to show off your art and bring warmth with light to your space,” Watts says. “Layers of light bring coziness and cohesiveness to your space; adding light to your mantel is a beautiful way to bring in layers of light without taking up floorspace.”
Monochromatic Mantel with Floral Pop
A monochromatic selection of neutral tones creates a bright, airy, and simple effect in this living room design. A black vase with twisted metallic flowers adds the perfect amount of pizzazz.