I think I speak for all of us when I say that there’s one thing that our dream homes have in common: a fireplace. A cozy evening with a book and a glass of wine just hits different when you’re sitting next to a roaring fire.
It may seem like a pipe dream, but even if your fireplace is faux, a mantel presents endless opportunities for everyday decorating (not to mention the holiday possibilities!). It’s unique to most other surfaces we’ll find ourselves styling: more narrow than a coffee table, longer than most shelves, and much taller than a nightstand. It can, indeed, be a bit of a head-scratcher to strike the right arrangement. Ahead, we’re sharing 6 foolproof styling combos to make your fireplace mantel a bonafide statement feature.
1. Mix statement art with sculptural elements
Plants always do the trick when a surface needs both texture and height, but the star of the show here is really the centered statement art. Large-scale art can cost a pretty penny, so try hitting the thrift stores first if you’re on a tight budget. A table-top sculpture and ginger jar adds balance on the opposite side.
2. Combine a pair of abstract art prints
Sometimes simple is best, and this mantel from Leanne Ford Interiors featured on Style By Emily Henderson is proof. Just lean two abstract art prints in a uniform size and frame next to each other to draw the eye up. This styling trick works particularly well when juxtaposing a vintage fireplace with historic architectural details—the dream!
3. Opt for a round mirror
I’m all about using what you have where you can, which makes this styling combo a dream for minimalists. Pluck a few extra green branches from outside and you’re in business with an organic, earthy arrangement, set with a round mirror and an oversized piece of driftwood for added texture.
4. Style in groups of three
Styling arrangements in odd numbers is a trick you can take with you to just about any area of your home, and I find that three is a magic number for the size and shape of a fireplace mantel. Group candlesticks in varying heights on one side, with flowers, art, and a mini vase on the other for a look that feels effortlessly collected, but still balanced.
5. Keep it simple
This styling combo works particularly well if you’re on a budget, since you probably have most of these items within easy access. Forgo artwork and mirrors for an offset arrangement of tall greenery and a stack of books, finished off with a wooden bowl to add a sculptural element. Simple, effective, and budget-friendly.
6. Layer your artwork
Amber Interiors is the queen of juxtaposition and eclectic decor, so it comes as no surprise that this look is my favorite of all. Layered artwork naturally lends that coveted “messy professor” style that I so adore, while adding gold sconces to flank the paintings elevates the overall vibe. A tiny, lone sculpture keeps the arrangement feeling quirky and playful.