46 Mantel Decor Ideas That Make Your Fireplace a Focal Point

Combine artwork, mirrors, vases, and other accents to transform a lackluster hearth into the center of attention.

Fireplace with candles and plant
Photo: Stacy Goldberg

A fireplace typically has a central spot within a room, providing the perfect opportunity to showcase holiday decor, a beautiful piece of art, or a personal collection. There’s an art to mantel styling, and we’re sharing tried and true design tips to help you layer decor and assemble unique vignettes like a pro.

Begin by taking cues from the mantel’s surroundings—consider the room’s architectural style, the materials used on the fireplace, and any paint colors or wall coverings around it. Decide on the look you’re going for and whether you want to create a minimalist statement with an oversized mirror for an open and airy feel, or more of a maximalist design style, displaying framed paintings you’ve collected on your travels. Whatever the style and size of your fireplace, use these creative mantel decor ideas for ample inspiration.

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Mantel Accent Wall

Mantel accent wall

Kim Cornelison

Add an extra layer of interest to your mantel with a beautiful accent wall. In this modern living room, a geometric print painted on the brick fireplace creates a pretty backdrop for a white floating shelf, while seamlessly matching the built-ins on either side. The triangular pattern contrasts a round wall mirror in both shape and scale, and minimal mantel decor allows the accent wall to take center stage.

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Layered Mantel Decor

Layered mantel decor

Robin Stubbert

Layer a piece of art, a mirror, and decorative accents on your mantel to give it personality and interest. Mix different shapes when layering items to prevent a boring and cluttered look. Take cues from this traditional space and anchor the display with a large rectangular mirror, lean a small piece of art in front of it, then add organically shaped decorative accents such as these brass candlesticks to break up the linear objects. 

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Statement Mantel Art

Living room with black walls

Annie Schlechter

Make a bold statement and hang one oversized piece of art above the mantel. This modern black and white piece instantly draws the eyes, stands out against the dark wall, and ties in other oversized and contemporary room elements such as a stunning glass bubble chandelier. When using a large art print, keep the rest of the mantel decor minimal with a couple of candle holders and simple vase of fresh greenery.

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Three-Piece Mantel Vignette

Mantel three-piece vignette

Robert Peterson

Think in odd numbers when assembling a vignette to display on your mantel. For an interesting grouping, pick three decorative items and consider their color, shape, and height. Here, a tall vase holds colorful poppies, a second vase provides a sculptural element and rustic texture, and a small bowl completes the trio, adding color and a contrasting shape and size.

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Mantel Typography

Mantel graphic artwork

James Nathan Schroder

Typography is a great way to add a graphic element to a mantel while maintaining a neutral color scheme. This oversized sign pops against a charcoal herringbone accent wall and instantly evokes a cozy feeling that draws you in and sets a relaxed tone for the whole room.

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Simple Mantel Decor

Minimal mantel decor

Lindsay Salazar

Allow a beautiful stone fireplace to stand out by keeping the mantel decor simple. Instead of an overly decorative setup that can appear cluttered, take a clean and streamlined approach that celebrates the room’s architectural features. Take inspiration from this impressive space and decorate the mantel with three elegant elements such as a gold framed mirror, a set of candlesticks, and a vase with live branches.

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Vintage-Inspired Mantel Decor

Vintage-inspired mantel decor

Adam Albright

A grouping of three antique decor pieces adds vintage-inspired flair to this neutral colored mantel. A tall metal urn, a delicately carved vase, and an oval miniature painting introduce different shapes and materials, while contrasting the shimmery modern paneling behind them. Incorporating a couple of antique pieces in your mantel decor is a great way to give the whole space a collected and lived-in feel that adds a personal touch.

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Art Collection on a Mantel

 living room with vintage black mantel with layered artwork, leather poufs, green velvet sofa; two-tone upholstered arm chair and antique schoolhouse coffee table

Dane Tashima

Inject instant character into a space by displaying an art collection on the mantel. Choose pieces that differ in size, shape, and medium for a varied and interesting look, but stick to one unifying factor to tie them all together—whether that’s a color scheme or a subject theme.

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Asymmetrical Mantel Decor

Asymmetrical mantel decor

Kim Cornelison

Instead of a symmetrical mantel display, create a more informal look and arrange artwork and accessories off-center. Start with an oversized base such as a mirror hanging on the wall to anchor the rest of the mantel decor. Layer different sized pieces of art on one side and build up the vignette with taller items such as a vase with a fun palm leaf and a pair of candle holders.

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Seasonal Mantel Decor

Autumn mantel decor

Kelsey Hansen 

Instead of a traditional symmetrical display, go off-center and create a seasonal vignette on one side of the mantel. This autumnal mantel features a tall vase with dried berry branches to add height and a sculptural element, stacked pumpkins that introduce a quintessential pop of orange, and dried moss for an organic material that ties the grouping together.

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Neutral Mantel Decor\

Neutral mantel decor

Brie Williams

For mantel decor that can stay up year round with just a few small tweaks for various holidays, opt for neutral colors and decorative elements. A large piece of art featuring neutral colors is an excellent base to start with, as it’s easy to build upon whether you add potted greenery in the summer or dried florals and earth-toned accessories in the fall.

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Eclectic Mantel Display

Eclectic mantel decor

David Land

Mix old and new decor to create an eclectic mantel display. An antique mirror is a timeless option that highlights the mantel as the room’s focal point and visually opens up the space. Incorporate a stack of vintage books, pieces of pottery, and an interesting cloche for a collected appearance, then add in some fresh greenery to liven it up.

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Wallpaper Mantel Backdrop

Blue and yellow dining room

 Annie Schlechter

You can create just as much drama and visual interest with your mantel backdrop as with the decor itself. Install a colorful wallpaper to set the scene, keeping the decor simple and streamlined if you opt for a busy wallpaper pattern. Color is a great tool for creating visual harmony, so pull colors from the wallpaper when choosing a mirror, artwork, and accessories to hang and display.

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Mirror Collection Above a Mantel

Mantel mirror

Laurie Black 

A collection of round mirrors keeps this modern mantel light and fresh. It adds height and dimension without looking cluttered, and the mirrored surfaces help bounce light around to emphasize the room’s open and airy aesthetic.

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Display Keepsakes

Mantel with personal decor

 Lisa Romerein

Personalize your mantel with family photos and sentimental keepsakes that take a room from merely being well designed to feeling like your home. The spaces we live in should tell our stories and displaying personal items is the best way to achieve that. An oversized mantel such as this one provides ample room for a statement piece of art, framed pictures, and unique decorative accents to create a stylish yet cozy focal point.

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Color-Drenched Mantel

Charcoal painted mantel

John Merkl

Color drenching a room makes it extra cozy and even more so if it houses a wood burning fireplace. A deep charcoal paint color and decorative mantel molding give this space a historic quality that creates a dramatic backdrop for a beautifully framed oil painting, an oversized bunch of flowers in a vintage-style crock, and a couple of smaller accessories. 

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Modern Mantel Garland

Green mantel with garland

Adam Albright

You don’t have to wait until the holidays to hang a decorative garland on your mantel. A wooden bead garland is neutral enough to keep up year round, and its natural and organic quality pairs beautifully with the deep green paint color on the fireplace surround. Incorporate other textural elements such as a brass frame mirror, black iron candle holders, a stoneware pitcher for flowers, and a wicker basket for a layered aesthetic.

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Oversized Mantel Mirror

Blue and white living room

 John Stoffer

For an open and airy feel, take inspiration from this casual coastal-style living room and hang an oversized mirror above the mantel. It will help visually open up the space and bounce around all the natural light that comes in. Pay attention to what the large mirror reflects and use it to your advantage, hanging a beautiful piece of art opposite the mirror or styling shelves with interesting books for double the wow factor.

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Surrounding Mantel Decor

Mantel decor

David A Land

Think outside the box—or the mantel—and hang a piece of art or a pretty vintage bell in an unexpected spot near the fireplace. This way, you are extending the mantel’s decorative impact past its shelf for a non-traditional and unique display. A plant with trailing vines adds to the organic decor on and around this mantel and a warm and bright color palette prevents a cluttered feel.

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Midcentury Modern Mantel Decor

fireplace in master bedroom with reading chair in corner

Hector Sanchez

Take cues from the room’s design style when decorating the mantel. In this midcentury modern bedroom, a charcoal paint color on the fireplace surround draws the eyes to an abstract piece of art and highlights decorative millwork. A collection of green milk glass adds a refreshing pop of color and wooden decor ties in a hanging shelf and two wood stools at the foot of the bed.

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Painted Mantel Ideas

Fireplace with candles and plant
Stacy Goldberg

Accentuate your fireplace's features by painting the brick surround, mantel, wall, and trim the same color. An all-over paint job will help emphasize the molding and other details while creating a cohesive backdrop for mantel decor. The gray paint color used here stands out crisply against warm white walls, while showcasing a display of candlesticks, greenery, and artwork.

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Simple Mantel Decorating Ideas

Living room with wooden coffee table and white furniture
David Land

If you're lucky to have a mantel with character, let the mantel be the star by minimizing your accessories. Fill the wall space with a simple mirror and just a few well-placed objects. Decorative accents like glass vases and hurricane candle holders will fade into the background, keeping the emphasis on the mantel itself.

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Overlapping Mantel Decor

built-in shelving with decor and black fireplace
Helen Norman

Overlap artwork to make your mantel stand out. The key is to make sure the pieces vary in height and width. Here, a colorful map becomes a unifying backdrop while a framed print and painting overlap one another. The hues in the mantel decor are repeated on books carefully arranged by color on the built-in shelves.

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Contrasting Mantel Colors

dark painted wall above fireplace with red and blue décor
David A. Land

To turn an ordinary fireplace into a focal point, paint the wall above the mantel a hue that contrasts with the room's main wall color. Base the color on another element within the room for a cohesive look. Here, the mantel area's blue was matched to the stone on the fireplace surround.

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Quick Mantel Makeover

artwork on fireplace mantel
Werner Straube

For a fast fireplace mantel refresh, gather items you already own to quickly swap out your mantel decor. Items like potted houseplants, colorful vases, and vintage collectibles can easily turn a plain mantel into something special. Be sure to vary the size and scale of the objects to create a balanced display. Bonus: Create easy DIY artwork out of scrap plywood and spray paint.

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Mantel Decor for Visual Contrast

blue living room payphone art on fireplace mantel
Annie Schlechter

Emphasize a room's height by displaying a tall frame, mirror, or art piece on your mantel. Choose an object that contrasts with the mantel for even more impact. Here, a framed painting with a black background stands out against deep blue walls. The piece's large, narrow frame draws the eye up toward the blue-painted ceiling.

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DIY Fireplace Mantel

large open great room brick fireplace
Paul Dyer

Have a fireplace but no mantel? Create a fireplace mantel made with a few supplies from the home improvement store. Start with a wood beam that matches the width of your fireplace surround. For a rustic look, stain the wood to create a distressed finish. Mount the mantel above the fireplace using a masonry drill bit and lag bolts.

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Easy Mantel Decorating

fireplace mantle world portraits
Michael Partenio

In lieu of an oversized piece of art, choose three coordinating frames for a more budget-friendly mantel decorating idea. This set of prints displays a world map in three parts, forming an eye-catching display that stretches across most of the mantel. A few glass vases and votive candle holders punctuate the arrangement.

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Maximalist Mantel Decor

mantel decor framed art blue fireplace
David A Land

Fireplace mantel decorating ideas that eschew minimalism and pull out all the stops are fun but require a bit of strategy and know-how. Scale is key: Pick items that fill the space and are relative to one another. Here, a large piece of art dramatically emphasizes the height of the room, while two medium artworks properly fill out the arrangement. Multiple large pieces might have competed with each other, and smaller pieces would have created an imbalance. Establishing a theme, such as a common thread of color, unites the different elements.

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Off-Balance Mantel Decorating Ideas

mantel decor asymmetrical design
Anthony Masterson

An asymmetrical mantel arrangement feels cheeky and breezy, but it can also be a subtle and smart design strategy. By arranging the mantel's artwork on the left, the eye is naturally drawn to the peppy sofa pillows on the left side of the fireplace. Simple accessories on the other side keep the focus on the mantel's star artwork.

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Coordinated Mantel Accessories

mantel decor statement mirror
Stacey Brandford

In a neutral living room, use accessories that pull from colors found elsewhere. Here, blue and yellow vases pick up hues used on the sofa while the brown wood mirror frame repeats the finish of the floor, furniture, and shelves. The result is a mantel arrangement that feels right at home and doesn't overshadow the charming dentil molding on the mantel.

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Elegant Fireplace Mantel Ideas

mantel decor art deco-influenced wallpaper
Sarah Dorio

Elegant mantel decorating ideas rely on constraint and thoughtful consideration of every detail. In this classic living room, a striking flourish of Art Deco-influenced wallpaper is the wow element. Everything else hangs back but holds its own. Delftware-like vases bookend the mantel for a pop of color.

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Mix-and-Matched Mantel Decor

mantel decor eclectic design
Adam Albright

For an eclectic, personalized look, mix and match fireplace mantel decorating ideas across styles. Here, a bold contemporary painting adds color and balances the traditional styling of the white fireplace. Simple accessories keep the focus on the striking artwork.

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Coordinated Mantel Art

Armchair by fireplace
John Bessler 

Consider how art above the mantel relates to the mantel and fireplace, both in terms of style and size. For a cohesive style, pair like with like. The size of your art should proportionately fill the space. If a piece is too small, arrange it with a few other hanging pieces. Here, a traditional mantelpiece plays against an abstract splatter-painted piece, which features a neutral backdrop that ties in with the stone fireplace surround. The canvas stretches close to the ceiling and doesn't read as too small.

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Layered Mantel Decor

brick mantel with picture frames decor flowers
Laura Moss

Skip the fancy artwork and let fun frames shine with this mantel decorating idea for every day. Simply layer several empty frames of various sizes and finishes on your mantel shelf. Complete the look with a few accessories—even a vintage croquet mallet will do—and finish with a flourish of flowers or greenery.

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Soothing Fireplace Mantel Decor

mantel decor large floral arrangement
Greg Scheidemann

The right mix of accessories can enhance a simple mantel. For an easy fireplace mantel decorating idea, hang a mirror in the middle and a sconce on either side. Anchor the mantel with a larger vase in front of the mirror and fill in with smaller accessories, such as vases, candlesticks, and decorative objects. Pick up on colors and materials found elsewhere in the room. Here, a mix of white, blue, and gold pieces reflect the room's soothing palette. Vary the height and visual weight of items to easily fashion a well-dressed mantel.

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Traditional Mantel Decor

mantel decor symmetrical arrangement
Michael Partenio

Symmetrical arrangements project a classic order. Use the approach as an elegant mantel decorating idea for instant visual appeal. Start with a pair of wall sconces, one mounted on each side of the fireplace, and place a round mirror in the middle. Use similarly shaped objects on the mantel to maintain the orderly look. Here, tapered, footed vases mimic the shape of the candle sconces on the wall.

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Fireplace Mantel Lighting Ideas

mantel decor mirror with sconces
Kim Cornelison

Industrial-style sconces give this mantel definition and a stylish source of light. A round mirror provides contrast to the abundance of straight lines throughout the room. The rustic reclaimed-wood mantel is perfect for displaying a few selective accessories. When there isn't much space between the mantel and ceiling, focus on accessorizing with just a few smaller pieces, rather than overwhelming the space with mantel decor.

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Statement Mantel Art

mantel decor large sheep painting
Robert Brinson

A large, striking painting transforms this timeworn mantel for a look that embodies both country and modern fireplace mantel ideas. Neutral-toned items, including a brown jug, a small basket, and found objects, let the painting be the center of attention while still making the mantel feel complete. The mix of textures within the ensemble adds dimension to the monochromatic color palette.

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Fireplace Mantel Solutions for TVs

mantel decor flat panel tv
Michael Partenio

Flat-panel TVs often naturally find a home above a fireplace, but the look can disrupt the fireplace's decorative facade. Reclaim your mantel's appearance by recessing the unit into the wall behind the fireplace and enclosing it with bifold doors. Here, the doors are clad in beaded board to match the coffered ceiling.

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Fireplace Molding Details

mantel decor white china
Werner Straube

Add character to your fireplace wall with molding. Paint molding pieces the same color as the wall and install them in rectangular shapes that fill the space around your fireplace. In this living room, one large rectangle frames the space above the mantel, while a narrow rectangle on either side of the fireplace fills the space and draws the eye upward.

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Fireplace Mantel Accent Wall

mantel decor gold sun mirror
Robert Brinson

Dress up a cookie-cutter fireplace by painting the surrounding wall a strong and striking color. In this living room, a steely midnight blue wall elevates an average white fireplace. When mixed with a gold sunburst mirror, the mantel becomes the center of attention. By adding simple accessories, like candlesticks and matching deer figurines, the mantel feels personalized.

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Symmetrical Mantel Decor

mantel decor wildlife art
Michael Partenio

Use the concept of symmetry to guide your fireplace mantel decorating ideas. Start with a large object in the center (here, a sculptural piece of driftwood), then place pairs of objects on either side. They don't have to be identical, just related. For example, two different terra-cotta pots still look like they belong together. Remember that symmetry doesn't have to mean stiff; the organic shapes of branches and seedpods keep this arrangement casual.

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Decorating a Fireplace with Built-Ins

mantel decor large abstract canvas painting
Sarah Dorio

Consider your entire fireplace wall when designing your mantel. If your fireplace is flanked by built-ins, consider how the look of the built-ins relates to the mantel. In this living room, the objects on display in the built-ins coordinate with the colors of the abstract painting above the fireplace.

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Mantel Styling Tips

mantel decor tilted mirror
Ray Kachatorian

Play with objects of different heights when decorating your mantel. Here, tall, wispy branches draw the eye upward while books set vertically and horizontally emphasize the simple, sleek molding. A large, horizontal mirror with a gilded frame adds character to the mantel space.

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Affordable Fireplace Mantel Update

mantel decor wall clock decal
Michael Partenio

For an affordable mantel artwork update, try a decal to add visual interest without the cost of a gallery piece. When picking out a decal, consider the size of the wall above your mantel and the width of the fireplace so you choose a design that isn't too small or too large. Here, a black clock detail on a white wall maintains an air of cool sophistication, which is maintained in the mantel's display of black candlesticks and white candles. A few well-placed books add subtle dimension, while a vase of yellow flowers provides restrained pop.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How to decorate a mantle?

    Style a mantel by arranging your favorite artwork, decor, and accessories. Opt for one large statement piece, or arrange smaller items in odd numbers. 

  • How much does it cost to renovate a fireplace mantel?

    The scope and cost of a fireplace renovation can vary great depending on many factors, including the original state of your fireplace and your intended plans. In general, you can expect to spend anywhere between $1,000 and $5,000 to renovate your fireplace mantel.

  • How do I mount my tv above my fireplace mantel?

    To mount your fireplace above your mantel, you'll want to rely on sturdy metal mounting hardware to securely attach the device to the studs in your wall. A television should always be hung directly into the studs, and should be situated at least 12 inches above the mantel to keep it safe from the heat of the fireplace.

  • What is the most expensive style of fireplace mantel?

    The most expensive styles of fireplace mantels are typically made from marble or wood, and often feature ornate carvings that require a skilled professional to install and achieve.

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