A fireplace mantel in any living room design is an instant focal point. Although more often than not, it’s the last place you probably pay attention to when decorating your home. It’s understandable since furniture, rugs, art, and other wall decor always seem to take priority. Nonetheless, taking the time to curate a few artful objects and mantelpiece decor items can make such a big difference to the focus and vibe in your living room.

However, for starters, there are some important questions to consider. First, what if your fireplace doesn’t have a mantel? Can you hang up wall accents instead? How about if your fireplace is super shallow or curved? And what if the space above your mantel is the only place for your TV? Will you switch up your decor seasonally for summer and the holidays? Once you’ve figured out those foundational elements, you can move on to the fun part and start exploring mantel decorating ideas that match your style.

To provide you with some inspiration and guidance, we’ve rounded up some of our most stylish fireplace design ideas and broken down some key mantel decorating tips to help you style yours in a way that works for you. Find out more below!

mantelpiece decorFor An Eclectic Mantelpiece

For a fireplace mantel display that’s captivating and eclectic, decorate it with small objects in various shapes and sizes. Case in point: The rounded fireplace in this desert minimal space.

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Function and beauty. A few pint-sized home decor finds that are pretty and practical will set your fireplace surround apart. Think sculptural ceramics, woven accents, and hanging textiles.

Get eclectic with greenery. Mix white vases in different shapes on your mantel. Then fill them with a range of greenery that lend height, texture, and color. They’ll become instant focal points.

Fill the hearth. If you have a non-functioning fireplace (or one you don’t use), all the better since it opens up the possibilities! Use it to store old and new books to bring in an eclectic vibe.

mantelpiece decorFor Minimal Mantelpiece

Curation is key when it comes to the less-is-more minimalist aesthetic. For a small surface like the fireplace mantel, go with a few items that make a big statement in style and size.

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Visually minimal. You want to play up an airy and edited vibe. Bring in objects with strong lines and shapes for the mantel that tie back to the minimalist modern designs of the rest of the room.

Relocate the big things. Instead of a mirror or a piece of artwork, stick to a few vases and bowls that command attention in a quieter way on your mantel, which will add subtle intrigue.

Keep it neutral. Use a minimalist palette of black, grey, and white tones that you carry through to the mantel decor, be it stone vases or white ceramics. Everything will feel more cohesive.

mantelpiece decorFor a Fireplace With A TV

When the living and family rooms are one and the same, that often means optimizing a modern space for function, TV viewing, and lounging around a fireplace. Here, it’s all about practicality and comfort.

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Clear the view. Mounting a TV over the fireplace mantel can be stylish and it doesn’t have to be a huge hassle. Just keep decorative accents to a minimum so you don’t block the screen.

Stick to small and simple. You can add accents and objects, but just make sure they’re small and don’t distract from the TV. Tealights, tiny votives, and low vases for cacti are perfect.

Aim for big furnishings. With the TV as the main focal point, you’ll want to balance it out with equally substantial furniture. You can’t go wrong with a modern chandelier and clean-lined sofa.

mantelpiece decorFor An Asymmetrical Fireplace Mantel

Sometimes a built-in fireplace mantel that is at the mercy of a room’s interior architecture will make it appear awkwardly retrofitted into the space. Use that to your advantage for bold objects.

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The boldest accents. When decorating tricky areas, offset any awkward spacing with extra bold designs. Go for the large art and don’t worry about having too many sea glass vessels.

Mirror it. There’s no better place for an oversized mirror than above an asymmetrical mantel. Not only will it reflect light and center the room, it will also make for an unforgettable focal point.

Opt for potent hues. Find accents that reflect the brightest colors in the rest of the room, like the blue, green, and taupe combo here. They’ll make for finishing touches that pack a punch.

mantelpiece decorFor a Narrow Fireplace Mantel

In a living room with high ceilings and a fireplace mantel that doesn’t have a deep ledge, think vertical. The perfect accents will fill out the fireplace height and result in a cozier look and feel.

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Fill up wall space. The higher the ceilings, the more room for a large-scale mirror, an oversize or an abstract painting above the mantel, which will instantly warm up the room.

Layer tall objects. Be it carved wooden candlesticks or obelisks or a tall plant, use tall accents to close the height gap between the ceiling and the mantel. It’s the key to visual balance here.

Contrast shapes. If you’re struggling to narrow down accent decor ideas, start with pieces that have curvy shapes and soften the lines of a room. It’ll feel a bit whimsical and add intrigue.

mantelpiece decorFor A Sculptural Curved FIreplace

With a fireplace that’s an architectural statement in and of itself, like this rounded adobe-style hearth, you want to amplify the construction instead of overrun it with decor. Embrace simplicity!

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Think above and beyond. When you can’t hang art or mirrors on to a fireplace, decorate around it instead. Hang matching artwork alongside the fireplace to play it up as a focal point.

Play with accents. With architectural fireplaces, go easy on accents. Layer in a few whimsical objects, like figurines, and a large candelabra in the hearth, which you can swap out as needed.

Paint it! While this might sound daunting, painting an architecturally interesting fireplace is a surefire way to make it stand out. Choose a neutral that works with any style or color furniture.

mantelpiece decorFor A FIreplace With No Mantel

Unlike fireplaces with mantels, ones that are flush with no ledge for accents are natural focal points in any room. It’s a perfect backdrop for hanging objects that add style and personality.

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Make it sculptural. With no fireplace mantel, a flush hearth can look like it lacks depth from afar. Install something sculptural or 3D or even a pair of sconces  to create extra visual interest.

Add bold texture. One of our favorite accents for fireplaces that are flush are woven baskets. They’re a lightweight and bring the perfect contrast of color and texture to the flush backdrop.

Go high contrast. With flush fireplaces, the more color and texture you layer on top the more elevated your space will feel. Try a black-and-white palette that plays up a modern eclectic vibe.

mantelpiece decorFor A Layered Fireplace Mantel

For a foolproof way to dress up a fireplace mantel, layer large artworks on top. There’s no hard and fast rule except that you should showcase pieces that are framed and meaningful to you.

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Lean your art. Instead of hanging your artwork, lean them against the wall on your mantel to emphasize the layered look. This also makes it easy to swap in new pieces whenever you want.

Mix it up. This is one approach where you want to combine all kinds of artworks for the most dynamic look. Think black-and-white photos, drawings, abstract paintings, etc. It’s all in the mix!

Layer in colorful accents. Add decorative touches like candles, vases or bowls next to the art for pops of color and texture. Be sure to fill the whole mantel with art and objects for big impact.

mantelpiece decorFor A Focal Point Mantel

Speaking of ideas for fireplace decor involving art, try a maximalist approach, and hang one statement piece. This is the easiest way to decorate a fireplace with a guaranteed visual impact.

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Consider proportions. Keep the size of any artwork in proportion to your fireplace mantel. That means making sure there’s still a good several inches all around once it’s centered on the wall.

Big and bold only. Large abstract paintings, bright florals, and any elaborately colorful art that with bright patterns is the way to go. You want it to draw the eye from anywhere in the room.

Don’t rule out alternatives to art. No need to limit yourself to paintings and photographs. It can be a tapestry, a sculpture, or even a framed textile fragment. Get creative with your ideas!

mantelpiece decorFor A Mixed Material Fireplace Mantel

Nothing looks more sophisticated than a fireplace mantle that features both stone and wood. The combination of materials lends a sense of elegance and formal flair to elevates any room.

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Bring out the materials. You want the focus to be the fireplace surround here. Keep to simple and subtle art, like a carved wash-wood panel or a soft-hued painting that’s a neutral focal point.

Flank the mantel. Add sculptural decor but group them on the sides for visual balance. Ceramic vases in varying heights or a low-profile teak bowl will add to the layered material look.

Show your best. A chic stone fireplace provides the perfect spot for displaying favorite objects and collections from travels. Try pairing and combining things to find the best grouping of items.

mantelpiece decorFor A Modern Fireplace Mantel

When it comes to modern-rustic fireplaces like this one, you want the brick surround to be the focus, so don’t cover it up. Use it as a textural backdrop for complementary graphic accents.

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A simple palette. Take a cue from the brick and ground your accents in the same high-contrast color scheme. Black and white ceramics and art are great starting off points.

Play up visual textures. Streamlined patterns and subtle textures, like stripes, geometrics, and hand-thrown pottery, add an element of depth to the fireplace mantel that’s much needed here.

Try the one to three combo. For every piece of art, mix in three ceramic pieces alongside it for visual balance. This creates multiple focal points while keeping the fireplace appearing airy still.

mantelpiece decorFor A Traditional Fireplace Mantel

For those who prefer a fireplace mantel look that’s elegant and effortless, this styling approach is tried-and-true. While the mantel isn’t deep, the architectural details more than make up for it.

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Let architecture shine. The tapered wall above the mantel is part of the fireplace surround and in these instances, you want to honor rather than hide this fact. Flank it with accents to draw attention to how it beautifully blends into the wall behind.

Choose tall accents. Add thin but tall decor near the ends of the mantel, like candlesticks that pop against the white backdrop and lush greenery and dried flowers that offer a vibrant sight.

Beyond the mantel. To strike visual balance, add art to side walls near the fireplace and put small decorative furniture and topiary plants in front of it as a way to bring out the molding details within the fireplace mantel.

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