Using mirrors to decorate a fireplace mantle

Written by yvette clark
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A mirror is a classic accent piece for a fireplace mantel, but if you hang the mirror without thinking about the results you want, you'll have a bland display that doesn't use the mirror to its best advantage. Before you even begin looking at mirrors, think about what you want the mirror to do for the room and what overall theme the room has. Armed with that knowledge, you can choose a mirror that reflects your own decorating style.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Center a framed mirror above the fireplace mantel to create focus for decorating. Then, use the decorator's "3 plus 1" rule. Place three small related objects on the mantel to one side of the mirror, such as three candles, figurines or pieces of pottery. On the other side of the mantel, place one larger object that is somehow thematically linked to the other items.

  2. 2

    Hang a large rectangular mirror immediately above a fireplace mantel with clean lines to emphasise a modern, uncluttered look. This can be an especially effective look if the mirror stretches the length of the mantel and extends up to the ceiling. To give some warmth to this modern display, add a few natural objects to the mantel, such as seasonal foliage or sea shells. To keep it clean and modern, add some choice pieces of art glass to the display.

  3. 3

    Create a romantic look to a bedroom's fireplace mantel by hanging a curved mirror above the mantel. Then, drape sheer fabric around the edge of the mirror, tying it with ribbons so it hangs in a decorative swath and barely overlaps the mirror. Add some of the fabric to the curtains to pull the look of the room together.

  4. 4

    Echo the period look of a room by choosing a vintage fireplace mantel mirror. This is an especially good decorating choice if you have a room with either an art deco or a Victorian feel, as the mirrors from these eras are distinctive. If you choose a vintage mirror, use period decorations on the mantel or the mirror can look out of place.

  5. 5

    Hire a craftsman to create a custom mirror to match the fireplace and mantel. If you have a carved wooden fireplace, a custom mirror with a similarly carved frame can create the impression that the mirror is actually part of the mantel rather than an additional piece. This kind of custom mirror can replicate the look of elaborate Victorian fireplaces.

Tips and warnings

  • Notice what the mirror reflects from different points in the room. You may want to alter your other wall decorations to make the reflection more attractive.

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