How to Decorate Fireplace Mantels

decorating a fireplace mantel

Fireplace mantels not only create a dramatic backdrop for your fireplace but add balance and stability to the entire room. When it comes to how to decorate wood fireplace mantels and fireplace surrounds, mantels are a decorator's delight.

There are many different ways to accessorize and dress up wood fireplace mantels and the options range from rustic and traditional to contemporary and elegant. Some people use wood fireplace mantels and fireplace surrounds to represent roots, tradition, and heritage with portraits and other fine family heirlooms.  Others choose to decorate their fireplace mantels with artfully and integrating pieces that simply offer dramatic flair and make the fireplace the focal point of the room.



The decoration possibilities for wood fireplace mantels and fireplace surrounds are endless. To help you get started, we've listed some of the most popular accessory options to help make sure that the fireplace mantel you've created attracts the lingering looks it deserves.


Most popular items used to decorate fireplace mantels

decorating a fireplace mantel

Candelabra or Candles - Candelabras and candles create an inviting atmosphere to hearth areas and add charm and romantic ambiance to wood fireplace mantels and fireplace surrounds. Throughout the summer season when you are not using your fireplace, the glow of candelabra will bring your fireplace to life long after the burning season has passed. The beauty of candelabra is suited for day and evening and there are colors, shapes, and sizes to fit all styles of wood fireplace mantels.

Clocks - Clocks are a very popular accessory used to decorate wood fireplace mantels and fireplace surrounds. Whether your fireplace evokes a rustic, authentic masonry look and feel or a more modern and elegant style, mantel clocks are timeless accessories that draw attention to wood fireplace mantels and fireplace surrounds.

how to decorate a fireplace mantelMirrors - Mirrors are often used above fireplace mantels to add texture to the room. Some people choose to center a large mirror over the wood fireplace mantel while others choose a collaboration of smaller geometrical shaped, unframed mirrors. Mirrors add depth to fireplace mantels and fireplace surrounds and also reflect light into the room and make the room seem bigger.

Pictures - Decorating wood fireplace mantels with family portraits will give the room elegance worthy of family heirlooms. Fireplaces are popular gathering places during the holidays and what better way to reminisce about the good old days than relive the memories captured in family pictures from past and present. Scenic pictures that are relevant to the style of the room are also great accessories to accent wood fireplace mantels and fireplace surrounds.

fireplace mantel decorationsVases - Wood fireplace mantels can easily be dressed up with vases or decorative urns. Fireplace mantels are naturally beautiful and don't need a whole lot of accessories to dress them up so a simple vase or urn placed on each end of the mantel will add a world of difference. You can leave them empty or fill them with your favorite floral arrangement. Vases and urns are not only lovely when placed on the fireplace mantel shelf; they are equally beautiful when placed at the base of fireplace mantels on the hearth.

Knick-knacks - Wood fireplace mantels are a great place to display family heirlooms that have been inherited or passed on throughout the family over the years. Other unique trinkets like colorful rocks, shells, or other interesting pieces that you've collected throughout your travels and hold value to you can make excellent decorations for fireplace mantels and also
add texture to the decor in the room.

Tips for decorating fireplace surrounds

  • When decorating fireplace surrounds always keep in mind that odd numbers always look better and more interesting than even numbers. For instance, a group of three or five vases will look more appealing to the eye than a group of two or four.

  • You should use varying shapes and sizes of displays on fireplace surrounds. By positioning decorations in such a way that each piece has its own breathing space, you can prevent your mantel decorations from appearing overcrowded.

  • Decorations used on fireplace surrounds should be similar in color or complimentary to the existing decor or color motif in the room. Different shades of one color or one whole theme of colors like earth tones is okay. If you're going for a more contemporary or modern look, display accessories in uniform color.

  • Fireplace surrounds are the perfect decorating palette to express season changes and holiday spirit.  Decorations on fireplace surrounds that change with the season's holiday themes always make beautiful displays on mantel surrounds.

Fireplace mantels are a focal point of any room so when decorating them it's important to remember they should be eye catching but not cluttered with so many items that the decorations overpower the natural beauty of the mantel. Fireplace mantels that are too cluttered with photos and accessories can make a room feel busy and dated while fireplace surrounds that are left bare can make the room feel cold and unwelcoming. The key to decorating a stunning fireplace mantel is to find that perfect balance between the two.

See our selection of luxurious wood fireplace mantels.