How to Decorate a Mantelpiece

Updated July 20, 2017

Mantelpieces offer a wonderful opportunity to decorate and enhance the decor of your room. Since fireplaces are often the focal point of a space, mantel accessory design is very important to the overall feeling of your room. There are many ways to arrange items on a mantel, ranging from symmetrical to asymmetrical designs, but all types of decorating combine the elements of colour, theme and style.

Remove everything from your mantel. Clean the entire surface with a dust cloth and dust cleaner. It is important to start your decorating with a clean surface.

Incorporate the style of your room. When choosing an arrangement for your mantelpiece, evaluate the style and colour palette of your room. The mantel is a reflection of this style and also is usually the main focal point of your space, so understanding the decorating style of this space is critical in achieving a pleasing mantel arrangement.

Arrange your mantelpiece decor around a focal point piece. Choose a large piece, such as a mirror or picture hung above the mantel, as your focal point. All other display objects will flow around this large piece and it serves as an anchor for your mantel arrangement.

Choose a symmetrical design. Symmetrical mantelpiece decor designs are visually identical on the left and the right. This type of arrangement is viewed as formal and is created with items such as candlesticks or topiaries flanking a main anchor piece.

Select asymmetrical mantelpiece decor. Asymmetrical mantelpiece design is created by the left and right side of the mantel being visually different and is used in more casual rooms.

Arrange items in odd numbers. Grouping accessories in odd numbers is a way to create an arrangement that looks pleasing, so when selecting items for your display, choose elements in groupings of three or five.


Limit mantelpiece items to only three or five for an arrangement that is not cluttered-looking.

Things You'll Need

  • Dust cloth
  • Dust cleaner
  • Large mirror or picture
  • Faux topiaries
  • Candlesticks
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About the Author

Based in upstate New York, Amy Mosher has been writing interior design and lifestyle articles since 2005. She is a prolific professional blogger, designer, artist and writer for various websites. She holds a bachelor's degree from Mansfield University and is a graduate of the Sheffield School of Interior Design.