How to decorate mantels & fireplaces

Written by charlotte hills
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How to decorate mantels & fireplaces
Use a nail to hang art or items you've collected on the side of a large fireplace. (Ryan McVay/Lifesize/Getty Images)

The fireplace mantel is often the focal point of a room, so most homeowners give a lot of thought to fireplace decor. Use the mantel to display your favourite family photos, ornaments or pieces of art, and don't forget to decorate inside the fireplace. Don't leave the wall above the fireplace or chimney breast blank, because this is often one of the first areas people notice. Choose decorations that either complement or contrast with the room's theme and colours so the fireplace doesn't look out of place.

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Things you need

  • Andirons
  • Vase
  • Flowers
  • Votives or candlesticks
  • Ornaments and art
  • Photos

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  1. 1

    Place two andirons inside the fireplace on either side of it. Andirons are metal supports that hold the fire's logs, and they come in different decorative designs. They're traditional and practical accessories that provide a safe way to decorate the fireplace when it's in use.

  2. 2

    Fill a large vase with flowers that complement the colours of your room. Place the vase inside the fireplace if it's not in use, or on the floor next to it. Use fresh flowers or faux flowers that look realistic.

  3. 3

    Cluster together votives and display them on either side of the mantel. Increase visual interest by using different coloured votives that range in height and size. Place two candlesticks at either end of the mantel for a more traditional look, or group different candlesticks together to draw more attention to the display.

  4. 4

    Display a large ornament or piece of art that complements the colours and theme of the room in the middle of the mantel. Choose something that's striking and makes an impression. You can also lean a large photo against the wall or chimney breast, or group a cluster of smaller photographs on the mantel. Another alternative is to stack four or five vintage books on the mantel, or display an old vinyl record.

  5. 5

    Stand a photo inside or in front of an unused fireplace. You can also use a small sculpture or ornament if you want to make the fireplace look more contemporary.

  6. 6

    Hang a piece of art or a mirror above the fireplace. This makes a striking feature and will be the first thing people notice when they look at the fireplace. If space is limited, you can display your TV above the fireplace and disguise it with a decorative frame.

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