Who doesn’t love a room with a fireplace? No matter what time of year, it adds a certain warmth and charm to the space. It is often the focal point of the room. However, decorating your fireplace mantlepiece to accent it and complement the rest of the room can be a little tricky. This is especially true if you want your mantlepiece decor to reflect the season. To avoid making a decorating faux pas, let’s start with the basics, and then we’ll move on to the holiday decorating.
Mantlepiece Decor 101
There are 3 basic elements of mantlepiece decor – the anchor, the weight, and the filler.
The anchor is the centerpiece. You could use a large mirror, a piece of artwork, or even a flatscreen television. A mirror or piece of artwork could set a more formal or modern tone, whereas the flatscreen will typically set a more casual tone in the room. The anchor should be the tallest element of your mantlepiece decor. While it should fill a large part of the wall above the fireplace, its scale should be appropriate for the space.
The weight is the design elements on either side of the anchor. These elements will add width and visual weight to your mantlepiece design. It’s not necessary that they be identical or even match, as long as their visual weight is similar. It is important however that their height, while proportionate, is shorter than your anchor element.
The filler is the design elements you choose to place below the anchor. Their height should vary to avoid creating a horizontal line that would compete with the horizontal line of the mantlepiece. Although these will be smaller as not to obscure the anchor, their scale should be similar to that of your weight design element. When your anchor rests directly on the mantlepiece or you prefer a clean minimalist look, you may want to skip adding filler design elements.
Keep in mind, your mantlepiece decor can be symmetrical or asymmetrical, depending on your style. Also, don’t forget the rule of three. Design elements arranged in groups of three are more attractive and have more visual impact than an arrangement with an even number of items. Once you’ve mastered the basics, it can be fun to bend the rules a little as well.
Seasonal Mantlepiece Decor
While some people may stick with the same mantlepiece decor all year long, many like to decorate it to reflect the season and the accompanying holidays. Fall is when we often begin to gather around the fireplace and decide it’s time to add some season elements to the mantlepiece.
Traditionally, seasonal and holiday decorations consisted of a specific color palette. Orange, red, and gold for fall and Thanksgiving. Red and green for Christmas. Today, there are so many more options that can blend rather than clash with the color pallet of the room. Real or ceramic, white pumpkins have become a popular fall trend. The white will blend with almost any color pallet and can be accented with either traditional or more subtle shades of fall colors. Natural elements such as delicate branches and pine cones can even be painted. If you want a little sparkle, a light dusting of the appropriate color of glitter can be a great finishing touch.
Want to switch up your mantlepiece decor for the Christmas holidays, but worried the traditional red and green will clash with the rest of the room? You can opt for neutrals by combining white with touches of silver or gold. Rose gold is also making its way into Christmas decorating and the metallics can work well with a variety of interior design styles from a high-end luxury look to a minimalist or industrial vibe.
Jewel tones can work well with retro, mid-century design, or with a more Victorian, antique interior design. Blue and white have also become a popular holiday color pallet they can take you through Christmas, Hanukkah, and right into the New Year. you can choose a vibrant or softer shade of blue or blend multiple shades for a layered look. The items you choose can be anything from Christmas ornaments and other purchased items to natural elements such as garland and berries.
Depending on how much seasonal decorating you like to do, you can completely switch out your fireplace mantlepiece decor or simply integrate some seasonal touches. Adding a basket of birch logs to the fireplace hearth is a great touch that will work with any decor.
No Mantlepiece? No Problem!
If you crave the look and feel of a fireplace but your room doesn’t have one, you always have the option of adding a faux fireplace. Vintage fireplace surrounds can easily be found at flea markets and antique shops, while new surrounds are a relatively inexpensive purchase from your local home improvement center. Give it some fresh paint and anchor it securely to the wall. Next, decide what to do with the firebox space. You can apply wallpaper, brick, or paint to give the space definition and some flair.
Ready to Decorate Your Fireplace Mantlepiece?
These decor basics and seasonal ideas can help you make the most of your fireplace mantlepiece all year long. It may be a small space but it can have a big impact on your room’s design. Need some help with your interior decorating? From color consultations to a complete remodel, At Home Custom Interiors offers a complete suite of professional interior design services. My team and I are passionate about bringing your vision of home to life. No decorating project is too big or too small. Whatever your interior design needs, we can handle them. Ready to get started? Let’s talk.