7 Fab Fireplace Mantel or Surround Variations

Updated on April 17, 2019
CassandreSalomon profile image

An interior designer and freelance writer of all things design and lifestyle.

Create a Wow-Worthy Mantel With These Designer Tips

Want to know what's in style right now for decorating your fireplace mantel?

These designer tips will have your fireplace mantel looking professionally styled in no time. We promise!


1. Overlap Layers of Artwork

  • Hang artwork of different sizes and different frames, while staying within the colour palette of your room.
  • Add chunky candle holders on each end of the mantel, or use bookends to complete the look.
  • Playing with the element of scale is key. Balance items that are relative to one another throughout your space.
  • Use one large piece of artwork, one medium, and layer with smaller artwork pieces. The overlapping of artwork will create a layered balance.


2. Play With Asymmetry and Put Viewers Off-Balance

Arrangements should always be unexpected. If you arrange your accessories or vases to the right, the eye will be drawn to the right side of the fireplace. Remember, this will force the eye to focus on that side of the mantle.


3. Mix the Eclectic Way

This tip is, by far, my personal favourite. Add a bold painting! Yes, it sounds simple but most people overlook this simple technique.

Leave the painting alone! If you really feel the need to offset the bold colours of your painting, add lots of white simple accessories to keep the focus on the artwork.

You simply can't go wrong!


4. Stick to the Classics

You cannot go wrong with this strategy, it's a classic!

Hang a painting or mirror in the centre, scones on both sides, then use large vases in the middle or on each side. Lastly, finish up with smaller accessories. If you'd like to add candlesticks or decorative objects, that's your choice.

Always take cues from colours and materials found elsewhere in the room and vary the height and visual weight of the items.


5. Use Moulding Elegance

The added touch of moulding adds so much character, in my opinion.

Using moulding on your fireplace wall does just that: It adds automatic elegance!

You can also install narrow rectangular mouldings on either side of your mantel. It will draw the eye upward and give the impression of a higher ceiling.


6. Personalize Your Mantel

Make your fireplace stand out by painting it white, then use a bold, striking colour surrounding the wall of the fireplace.

Use very simple accessories to make the white fireplace stand out even more.

By far, this is the best way to elevate a simple or average fireplace.


7. Tall Frame, Tall Room

Placing an object that has contrast against the mantel will deliver an even stronger impact.

The same effect can be created with anything with height over the mantle. This trick will emphasize the height of your room ceilings.


The simple formula is to play with scale, colour and rhythm.

Follow these tips and let us know in the comments your favourite one to use for your home!

© 2018 Cassandre Salomon


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