BHG Centsational Style

styling a mantel

I was swapping out a few accessories on the mantel over the weekend, and got to thinking about all the different ways there are to style a mantel in the summer when the fireplace is not in use.

When we’re not using it in summertime for its warming purpose, it’s still fun to accessorize the fireplace mantel to fit the style of your home. Here are a few ideas from the galleries sure to inspire your summer decorating!

Mirror Mirror on the Wall.  Mirrors continue to be one of the most popular choices for above the mantel, they play along well with the focal point philosophy and bounce light around the room. Partner them with candlesticks, and vases or urns filled with summer blooms.


summer blooms on mantel bhg


mirror and urn bhg


simple mantel and mirror bhg


trumeau on mantel bhg


Be Artistic.  A large scale piece of art, be it an abstract or landscape, sets the tone for a space. Play off the color cues with accessories layered around the room (think vases, throw blankets, or shapely ceramics.)

abstract art on mantel bhg

 art above mantel bhg


art over mantel bhg


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The mantel is the architectural focal point in any room and how it’s styled has a lot of impact on the look of a space.  The mantel is an opportunity to accessorize with heirlooms, art, or other meaningful mementos.  Here are seven ways to style your own mantel at home! 

Big & Bold.   Adding a statement piece of art above the mantel is a no fail solution and the bigger the better, just be sure your chosen work is proportional to the space where it hangs, allowing for the appropriate wall space around the frame. 


large scale art over mantel


Placing your art off center and counterbalancing with accessories adds asymmetrical interest.


offset art on mantel bhg



Mirror Mirror on the Wall.   An alternative to artwork is a statement mirror placed over the mantel.  Couple it with decorative urns and fill them with cut branches or seasonal flowers for a fresh and natural look that changes every few weeks. 


mirror and branches on mantel


Because all mantels are square in shape, also consider round, oblong, or geometric edge mirrors to add a different shape to the room.


round mirror over mantel bhg


Think Oddly. The placement of decorative objects in odd numbers creates asymmetrical balance. Two objects to the left and three objects to the right (with art or a mirror in the middle) will guarantee an interesting yet uncluttered mantel.

how to style a mantel 1


Layer It Up.  Meaningful photographs on display instantly personalize a home, and layering them in matching frames in different sizes adds greater interest than frames that are all the same size. 


layered pictures on mantel


Double Duty.  In many American family rooms, the complication arises of where to place the flat screen TV.  Placing it above the mantel solves the dilemma and creates one center of attention instead of two, simplifying the furniture placement in the space. 


tv over fireplace


Seasonal Sprucing.   This foundation of this mantel is the large scale mirror in the center and glass candlesticks placed to the sides.  A fresh boxwood wreath, grass in pots, and spring accessories welcome Easter.  At Christmas, the same idea applies – substitute nutcrackers and bright colored ornaments for eggs to create a festive holiday mantel.   


easter mantel


Be Playful.  This mantel is styled with two prints centered in the middle and natural objects placed in symmetry below.  When styling your mantel, use art, a large photograph, or a mirror in the middle, then play around with different sizes and shapes to achieve an eclectic look on the ledge below.  The items need not be exact replicas, but related to each other in color or texture.


natural textures mantel styling


The same principles are applied in this mantel below, with the black and white photographs grounding the display and the silver urns and candlesticks thoughtfully placed to the sides.


balanced photographs and objects on mantel


Following any of these simple principles will give you a mantel display that sure to appeal and reflect your personal style.  What on display on your mantel?

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