One of the many requests I receive is tips on how to style a fireplace mantle. Mantles come in so many styles. Some are installed on tall walls, some are deep, others and wide. It's hard to know what to place on it. It's all about how to strategically accessorize with visual balance as well as with your choice of selections. I'll show you how to successfully arrange your mantle for a fresh new look, just in time for the New Year!
Space and Opportunity
When it comes to styling a mantle, you've got plenty of space and opportunity to work with. Whether your mantle is mounted on an 8 ft wall or a 20 ft wall, artwork is where it's at. It's one of the first pieces I start with because this sets the tone for the rest of the styling. Add a piece of art that aligns with your style of design. Art sets as your back drop that draws the eye in. It's a great way to subtly bring in your favorite colors to coordinate with accessories.
Now drop it low by adding elements you can stack. Books of course are my favorite ways of accomplishing this. I like to contrast light with dark elements for a bit of yin and yang. It adds pops of individuality wile paring unity with the rest of the decor. For an added layer of texture and to complement the contrasting pieces, mix materials. The brass art frame behind a wood orb creates balance.
As a final touch, harmonize the high hung art work with vases at various heights. Plants with tall leaves and buds are great ways to contribute to height as well. What I love about the vases selected for this mantle is the etching. You have the smooth texture of the frame and books. When you combine it with the etching of the stone vase, it serves as visual interest and variation.
As an interior designer, I love for my surroundings to change. It's one of the things I love about design! Sometimes, my mood craves minimalism. I gravitate towards nature elements and neutral colors, because it makes my space (and me) feel calm and serene. You can take this same approach when accessorizing your mantle.
Mirrors are a great focal point for a space. Whether it's over your mantle, in your foyer, or in the bedroom. If your fireplace is in a small room, you can add visual space with a mirror. They create illusions of portals, or windows if you will, and help a small space feel larger. An added benefit is that mirrors also reflect light allowing your space to have that brighter, airy feel. Minimize clutter by adding pieces that visually take up little space. Thin, cylindrical shapes help achieve this. Since cylinders are typically vertical elements, they help to add visual height.
For balance, bring in height by mirroring a sculptural piece on the opposite side of your focal point (in this case, the mirror). The optical illusion of the triangle shape helps your eye to come full circle (see what I did there). To add a personal touch, include a small family portrait or a small vase. For a final step, bring in a nature element. A linear wood vessel potted plant will solidify the decor with an impressive statement.
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Veronica Sanders, an award-winning interior designer creating spaces that's authentically you.
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