Mantle Decor Inspiration & Styling Tips To Create a Fabulous Fireplace

Mantle decor fireplace styling ideas and inspirationEvery room needs a focal point that draws your eye as soon as you walk in. If you’re lucky enough to live in a home with fireplaces, it’s often these that steal the show. Giving some thought to mantle decor and styling is key to creating a fireplace feast for the eyes.

Not long ago, most of us would have lived with our mantle pieces looking the same year in year out. The extent of our mantle restyling would have been to add the occasional vase of flowers or squeeze on some birthday and Christmas cards. Nowadays, thanks to the likes of Pinterest and Instagram, many of us have evolved into interior obsessives. We’ve realised that it’s perfectly okay to restyle and revamp on a regular basis.

Fireplaces are an ideal focus for fulfilling our urge/need for constant interior faffing.

The following styling pointers are designed to act as a guide to achieving eye-catching fireplace and mantle pieces that stand out from the crowd. There's also some fireplace styling inspiration from interiors bloggers/Instagram queens who I admire. They’ve nailed it when it comes to mantle decor and fireplace styling in their homes.

Mantle Decor - Choose Your Style

First off, think about your style. These days there are so many decor styles to choose from. With so much daily (often hourly!) inspiration at our fingertips, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Do you want your room to feel formal or informal? Do you prefer contemporary or vintage? Boho or Scandi chic? How about eclectic or glam? Are you a ‘more is more’ or ‘less is more’ person? Or, somewhere in between? Whatever your style, your mantle decor should be an extension of the overall style of your home. It should represent you and reflect your personality.

mantle decor styling Nichol Naranjo's bedroom Nichol Naranjo's dreamy bedroom fireplace and mantle

Nichol Naranjo is an interior styling beachy/boho queen of Instagram who recently started an interiors and lifestyle blog. Design Sponge and Glitter Guide have featured her stunning home. She lives in the desert, so, in addition to her amazing eye for styling, sunlight fills her home and gives everything a dream-like quality.

Mantle decor fireplace styling Nichol Naranjo's bedroom Nichol Naranjo's beachy boho fireplace in her bedroom

The fireplace in Nichol's bedroom demonstrates her beachy, boho style and this dreamy vibe perfectly. The decorative fireplace has been wallpapered with tropical leafy print. We had non-working fireplaces in our flat in London and unimaginatively boarded up the holes with plywood, which we then painted. Why oh why didn’t I think of adding wallpaper? In my defence, it was many years ago, in the days before interiors blogs and social media, but still!

Mantle Decor - Find Your Focal Point

Decide on a focal point for your fireplace. This could be a statement mirror or artwork. It could be a macramé wall hanging or other eye-catching decorative object. Sometimes a grouping of artwork or items can create a focal point.

Mantle decor Lisa Dawson uses a group of plates Lisa Dawson used an assortment of vintage plates to create a focal point for her fireplace

Interiors blogger and social media influencer Lisa Dawson (recently included in Marie Claire magazine’s Top 30 Power List of social media influencers) is another styling goddess with a love of boho and vintage. She used a collection of assorted plates above her dining room fireplace as a focal point.

Lisa lives in Yorkshire, so only has about one week of sunshine each year, but she still manages to make her home look completely dreamy and, thanks to her love of plants, a tad tropical.

Look how different the same fireplace looks in Lisa’s home after she’s worked her restyling magic. Two pieces of artwork provide a focal point, instead of the grouping of plates, and she’s added layers, which we'll come on to in a minute.

Mantle decor Lisa Dawson dining room Lisa Dawson's dining room fireplace after a revamp

Interiors blogger Melanie Lissack specializes in creating a luxurious look for less. Melanie won Best DIY & Crafts category at the Amara Blog Awards 2016. She's styled her Victorian fireplace using a large typographical poster to provide an edge of cool. She’s gone for some symmetry with the lights on either side of the fireplace, but placed the pair of wooden birds and candles off centre to ensure things don’t feel too formal.  There's a splash of colour from flowers and some height from the tall glass vase.

Mantle styling Melanie Lissack's kitchen Melanie Lissack's kitchen fireplace has a cool edge

In another room, Melanie again uses striking artwork to provide a focal point. She keeps the mantle simple and instead makes the wallpapered shelving alongside the fireplace part of the overall picture.

Mantle decor styling by Melanie Lissack Interiors Melanie Lissack uses striking artwork to give a focal point

Mantle Decor - Add Layers

For the next stage you need to think about adding other accessories and decorative items to your fireplace and mantle. You’re creating a vignette.

Your mantle is a place to display treasures and trinkets you’ve collected over the years. You need to think about colour, texture and, of upmost importance, individuality - all of which we've already seen above.

You’re aiming to achieve a pleasing balance and there’s an element of trial and error involved. You may want to go for symmetry. Or, you may prefer a more asymmetrical, random look. Grouping decorative objects in threes is supposed to look better than twos. This is often true, but not always. If two items are different heights for example, this can work too.

Take Nichol Naranjo’s flamingo ornaments on her beauty of a dark grey fireplace. Because the ornaments are different heights and tie in with the flamingo print, the grouping of two works. She’s also stuck to a palette of grey and pink with a hint of green, which looks stunning.

Mantle decor styling by Nichol Naranjo Nichol Naranjo has used a palette of grey and pink to create a beauty of a fireplace

Mantle decor Nichol Naranjo's home Nichol Naranjo's fireplace in the desert looks so cosy

Plants and flowers are also a fabulous way of adding layers. They will (quite literally!) enliven your mantle and bring your fireplace decor to life.

Mantle decor Lisa Dawson fireplaceFinally don’t forget about the area around your fireplace. The hearth needs to be part of the overall vignette. Think beyond log baskets and add large plants in interesting containers or funky seagrass baskets. Chairs and floor cushions work well too, as seen in Lisa's Dawson's dining room above after another successful rejig. It’s often the quirky home accessories that add the final flourishes and give your fireplace an eclectic edge. It’s best to just spend some time faffing around - you’ll know when it looks right. Then you can decide when it's time for a revamp and start the whole process all over again!