One of the best ways to refresh an entire room is by rearranging your décor! Fireplace mantels or mantel shelves are an ideal space to add decorative items like picture frames to display family photos, vases filled with faux or real flowers, candles, antiques, or pieces of art to your walls.
Your mantel space can be easily rearranged with the seasons and provides a fun focal point for living rooms, fireplaces, and more. Whether you are decorating your fireplace mantel in your living room or a floating shelf in your bedroom, there are a few key rules to follow when considering how to decorate a mantel shelf. Read on for our six best tips for decorating your mantel shelf.
Step 1: Selecting Décor for Your Mantel
The first step when it comes to decorating your wood mantel is to pick which décor items you want to feature. There are a lot of options to consider - from large décor pieces like a mirror, painting, wreath, or frame; to smaller decorative items such as flowers, vases, candles, and antiques. Whatever your style, you can find materials to fill your shelves or mantels.
When picking décor, keep in mind the surrounding wall of your mantel. Is it paint or another material like brick or stone? How will the decorative items you select pair with the style of the living room space? Seek out inspiration from shops, magazines, or Pinterest to find décor items that you love for your home.
Step 2: Consider the Height of Objects
When decorating your fireplace mantel shelf, you’ll want to first think about the height of your objects. One option is to create a balanced look with objects of a similar height on either side of the mantel. Taller objects like vases or candles work well for this purpose. A second option is to place a taller object in the middle of the mantel space, which will attract the eye and become a focal point. A large piece like a decorative wreath, a mirror, or a large piece of artwork would work well in this style of design.
Keep in mind that the materials you display on your mantel should be of different heights. If you'd like to make your ceiling look taller, choose tall objects that draw the eye upward.
Step 3: Seasonal Decorating
The changing of the seasons is the perfect time to redecorate your mantel. To decorate a spring mantel, you might add plants, flowers, and greenery to usher in the growing season. The wood mantel pictured below leverages light vases to create an airy spring style.
To decorate a Christmas hearth, you might use seasonal candlesticks, holiday signage, a wreath, and holly on the mantel. For summer fireplace mantel ideas, colorful vases and plants - real or faux - are a fun addition to your shelves!
Whatever the season you can create a unique look for your mantel or shelf by drawing inspiration from the natural world. Many items on your mantel can remain the same, such as a vase, while you swap out the flowers or faux plants contained in the vase depending on the season.
Step 4: Mantel Shelf Layering
Another important component to think about when designing your fireplace mantel is layering. Make sure some objects are at the front of your mantel while other things are toward the back. This gives a nice depth of field and provides more visual interest to what otherwise would be a very simple mantel display.
Below is an example of a floating mantel that leverages layering to create a rustic look with mirrors, candlesticks, and wood elements. Not only does this display stand out on the wall, but it also matches the room's theme of simple rustic décor. This is such a classic look that completes this living room!
Step 5: Grouping Décor
The next step to consider when arranging your mantel décor is how to group your items. A good rule of thumb is to group things in odd numbers. Instead of two candles or vases, opt for three. If you are featuring an oversized piece on your mantel, it can be placed by itself as a single piece with smaller objects grouped around it.
Step 6: How to Space Objects on Fireplace Mantels
The last thing to think about is how to space décor on your wood mantel. The key is finding a balance between too many, and too few, décor items. You don’t want things so close to each other that they look crowded. To space properly, place décor one at a time on your mantel and then take a step back. Does it look overcrowded? Does one area need a little more attention than another or look unbalanced?
Keep adding décor items one at a time, starting with the larger decorative pieces like mirrors or wreaths. Then add smaller items (flowers, a frame, a painting, a vase, etc). Step back to admire your work and see if there are any places on your fireplace mantel or shelf that need more attention.
Shop Fireplace Mantel for your Home!
We hope you find these tips helpful and that you got the inspiration to make your home feel extra cozy. Decorating doesn't have to be over-complicated, scary, or difficult. With these 6 helpful tips, you will be transforming your shelves, mantel, or living space into a happy one. Just do your best to balance things and remember to take a few steps back and admire what you have created. And most of all, have fun!
Feeling inspired to refresh the walls in your home with a new mantel shelf? Rustic Red Door has a beautiful selection of rustic floating mantels and fireplace mantel shelves. We can also customize a mantel or shelf to suit your specific style and needs. Contact us to get started with a custom project!