Mantel Decor Ideas to Help Make Your Fireplace a Focal Point - LovingLocal
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Mantel Decor Ideas to Help Make Your Fireplace a Focal Point

When someone mentions “decorating a mantel,” many people quickly think up images of the holidays—hanging stockings, draping it in garland, and other such activities. And while this area of the house undoubtedly attracts a lot of attention during the winter, the mantel is a tonne of fun to decorate all year round. The possibilities are truly unlimited regarding decor, which is fantastic. Nothing is better than designing an eye-catching display to make the most of mantels, typically the main point of any room in which they’re present.

What Do You Put on a Mantel?

Whether enthusiastic about travel, plants, books, or something different, you can easily dress your mantel top to express your preferences while showing some of your favourite artwork and keepsakes. Mantel clocks, stacks of books, statues, vases, decorative boxes and plates on stands, framed prints, and mirrors are all excellent items for mantel decor. Here are some of our favourites to help you tap your inner creativity.

Make It Unique with a Clock


The mantel clock is a type of clock that has been around for centuries. These clocks, specially made to be placed on a table or mantel, are frequently on show as a focal point in space. Mantel clocks, created for the first time in France in the 1750s, enjoyed tremendous popularity in the 18th and 19th centuries. These earlier designs were mechanical, while several battery-operated clocks are now readily available.

An equally charming and functional quartz mantel clock is a great way to enhance your fireplace. When you observe the leisurely movement of the gears, you’ll learn to appreciate the craftsmanship and precise intricacies that go into each clock’s construction. When looking for a unique quartz mantel clock to decorate your mantel, you’ll come across a few distinctive styles:

  • Tambour-style mantel clocks are the most common and recognisable design enclosed in a drum-shaped case with an extended base, adding elegance to any space.
  • Bracket-style clocks feature a roughly square case with a top handle, historically used in households with limited clocks for easy mobility.
  • Initially used for travel, carriage-style clocks have a narrow, sturdy rectangular case with a metal handle to withstand rough journeys.
  • Steeple-style mantel clocks, resembling church steeples, evoke a Gothic atmosphere with a triangular peaked top and columns originating from 19th-century America.
  • The Art Deco style reflects the 1930s art and design movement, featuring a sleek geometric look and influencing clock design until the 1960s.
  • Skeleton-style clocks forgo a case, exposing the clock’s inner workings dramatically, and often have a glass case to protect against dust.
  • When choosing the right mesmerising piece for your space, embrace your unique style by adding a mantel clock serving as an impressive art piece and a functional timekeeper to personalise your space with flair.

Add Texture Using Books

Your mantel is the ideal area to display your favourite book series. There is no reason why you can’t customise your mantel’s top the way you would have a built-in shelf. You only need to add a few favourite finds, a few colourful trinket dishes, and a stack or two of books, and you’re ready to go.

If you want some subtle textural accents, turn books facing the opposite direction. Small art prints, a flower pot, and some greenery are all items you likely already have around the house, making it quite simple to reproduce the look.

While strolling along the shore, you can find one of the most excellent accent pieces. We adore incorporating a genuine shell for a marine touch. For a subdued reference to the coast, place it on top of a stack of old blue books or ornamental boxes.

I assure you that a globe perched atop a pile of books goes beyond the classroom. Such an arrangement can give your living space an old-world feel and look extremely beautiful on a mantel. To make your setup appear intentional rather than random, stick with names that use the same colour.

Include a Mirror for Variety

You don’t have to choose between hanging a mirror on the mantel or a piece of art; you can have the best of both worlds by hanging both. Create an intriguing coastal-inspired arrangement by layering a mirror in front of a large piece of art.

Behind a mantel, board and batten walls are very charming with the addition of a curved mirror. To make the right move in the room, keep the accessories simple.

Being a touch quirky with your mantel decor is very acceptable! Make an eclectic mix using a candle, mirrors, a cactus, a star sculpture, and even a tiny zebra. This mantel has a lot of personality that much is certain.

Fireplace Mantel Decorating Tips


Follow these mantel decorating tips to create a thoughtful and appealing display:

  • Variation. Use items of different shapes and sizes, starting with taller ones at the back and gradually using smaller ones forward.
  • Layering. Don’t hesitate to layer items for depth, allowing foreground items to overlap those in the back.
  • Symmetry. For a classic look, place one considerable item in the centre and mirror it with matching items on each side.
  • Odd numbers. Opt for odd numbers of items in groups for a more interesting arrangement.
  • Elegance. Achieve a formal look by anchoring the mantel with matching items.
  • Connection. Select items that complement each other in colour, style, or theme to create a cohesive display.
  • Proportion. You can achieve balance with different-sized items, featuring one visually heavy piece on one side to counterbalance lighter items on the other.
  • Accent piece. Create a focal point by placing one enormous item in the centre.
  • Avoid overcrowding. Give items breathing room to avoid a cluttered look.

Remember, your mantel display can be adjusted and experimented with until it pleases your eye, and there are no permanent rules to follow.

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