Mantels, to me, take the center stage in almost every room where they are present. There is something so inviting about a mantel or fireplace that welcomes families and guests to gather. These beautiful architectural features should be more than just a wooden ledge collecting dust or picture frames; they should be the headliner, the core, and the heart of a room. There are several ways that we can shine the spotlight to create a space that is worthy of being a focal point.
The use of books on a mantel is one of my favorite design techniques. Depending on the color scheme of the room, you can find book covers with coordinating tones to bring out the colors that you want to accentuate. If you’d rather have a more neutral or vintage look, find white or black book covers or turn the books backwards so that the pages are what are being displayed.
I love to use books to add height and create dimension with other objects being displayed. Stack, pile, lie down, or turn upright to create the look you’re aiming for.
When greenery is placed tastefully in a space, it creates a fresh, invigorating feeling. Bringing touches of the outside in can help bring any room to life, and it adds a hint of color in a completely organic way. The best part is that adding greenery to a mantel (or anywhere for that matter) can be completely free is you take a trip to your back yard and grab a few clippings off of your favorite bush. I like to mix artificial and real greenery to make maintenance manageable.
TIP: If you put artificial greenery in a vase with water, it creates the allusion that it is real (without having the upkeep of real greenery)!
I love using real greenery around Christmas time. It adds a simple, classic element to a room, and it smells wonderful, too!
Candles and their scents have the power to take us to a time in our lives that we cherish the most, like cozy fall nights, the Christmas season, and crisp spring mornings. Admittedly, candles are my weakness, so it comes as no surprise that I like using them in many different ways around my home, including the mantels.
I love finding varying heights of candlesticks to group together for a traditional, classic vibe. If I find that I don’t have different sizes, I revert back to the height trick with books. Just layer one or two books underneath a candlestick to give it that dimension. Additionally, I love mix-matching the direction of the books (ex. Some standing up straight next to some laying flat), then placing my favorite candle on the flat books. See below for examples.
I hope these ideas give you inspiration, from my home to yours.