The living space of any home is one of the most important rooms of the house. It’s a space to gather, relax, entertain, engage in hobbies, and so much more! This means the design of the living room needs to cater to a wide variety of activities. Timeless design is a good route to take here so that it provides a universal canvas for all the family to enjoy, no matter what the occasion.

Aside from the main design for the room, pieces of decor and accessories that finish a living room off shouldn’t be overlooked! With many homeowners opting for a fireplace to take center stage, it can be difficult to know how to decorate this, let alone a starting point to begin with.

These are ideal for use on the fireplace mantel! Use two on one side, and the largest one on its own on the other side.

Are you struggling to decorate your fireplace mantel? Perhaps finalizing the decor details isn’t quite working or you need some new fresh ideas. Either way, I’m here to share with you my top tips and ideas for decorating a fireplace mantel!

Let’s take a look!


Main Wall Above


Firstly, it’s important to consider the main wall above the fireplace. Will you hang a piece of art? Mirror? Or something else? This may be where you plan to hang your TV, but always check the height at which it will be hung, as often this placement is too high for a TV.

Mirrors are a great option if your space is on the smaller side as it will help to bounce natural light around. While artwork can instantly inject color, texture, and personality into the room.

There is no right or wrong route to take, however, you should consider the other walls in the room. Have you already hung artwork on a different wall? If you don’t have any artwork in the space, this would be a great route for the fireplace mantel. And a similar logic applies to whether a mirror will work above the fireplace or not. If you have one already in the room, it’s better to opt for something else above the fireplace.


Consider a piece of wall art or a mirror for the main wall above the fireplace. Do you have a small space and need to bounce extra light around? A mirror is ideal for this! While artwork will add color and personality.


Use to lean up against the wall as the first layer to overlapping items on the fireplace mantel!

Creating a Balanced Display


The key to decorating a fireplace mantel is creating a balance between the accessories used. I like to think about this like a sense of hierarchy and having items of multiple sizes and heights. This helps to add variety and visual interest to the fireplace mantel.

It would be best if you tried to mix tall and short objects and fuse them together along the surface.

There are then a few approaches you can take with this balanced idea in mind:




While you may be tempted to make each side of the mantle symmetrical, this can often feel cold and reserved. Instead, try to focus on being spontaneous with your objects and be asymmetrical. This will give a more relaxed and cozy feel to the space.


These are perfect for adding to a fireplace mantel. Use with contrasting frames behind.



Another trick you can use to decorate your fireplace mantel is overlapping. This will give the surface a sense of depth and lots of visual interest to the area, without being overcrowded.

You can easily do this by overlapping frames or a mirror with candlesticks, vases, books, and other smaller objects. 


Try overlapping objects to add a sense of depth to the surface. Do this by leaning picture frames and adding smaller objects in front!


Not only do add a lovely aroma to a room, they also look fantastic when used as part of a styled display!



Creating a contrast between the objects on display is super important. If everything’s the same height, color or shape, it won’t look right! Having contrast between objects helps to create a casual feel.

If you do use the same object (such as picture frames), make sure to have different sizes, orientation, or colors to create a contrast between them.


Accessory Ideas


With the design principles in mind from above, what items should you consider for your fireplace mantel? Great question!

Picture Frames – Use family photos, printed art, or posters, and lean them on the fireplace mantel at the back. This is a great way to inject color and personality to the area.

Candlesticks – Use an odd number of these, in different sizes, to create a balanced and asymmetrical look. 

If you love animals then these are a fun way of injecting personality into the room.

Vases – Look for a textured, colored, or glass vase to add texture to the display, and use either fresh flowers or faux botanicals to finish it off.

Decorative Objects – There are lots of decorative objects available, so it’s really about finding pieces that you absolutely love! This could be a small animal sculpture, a chrome cube, or something completely different!

Candles and Diffusers – With so many pretty candles and fresh-smelling room diffusers, they are fantastic for incorporating into your fireplace mantel. Even if you never plan to light the candle, choose one with a pretty container!


Candlesticks and decorative objects are a must-have for any fireplace mantel!


One Last Thing


Keep it simple.

Avoid overcrowding the surface with stuff by only choosing a few pieces.


If in doubt – join my Interior Design Facebook Group – and ask the members for feedback!


Have you recently updated your fireplace mantel accessories? How did you find the styling process? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments!