How to Decorate Around a Fireplace

If your living room comes with a fireplace, consider it an interior design asset. Not only does it add major architectural appeal, but a fireplace also provides an instant focal point in your space that looks and feels welcoming.

We’ve touched on the best ways to lay out a living room with a corner fireplace and how to style your fireplace mantel. Now it’s time to tackle a less-discussed topic: How to decorate around your fireplace. Whether it’s arranging seating in front or framing your fireplace with matching furniture on both sides, you want to make sure the area around your hearth isn’t an afterthought.

To help you with that, we’ve rounded up our best ideas for how to decorate around a fireplace! Read on to get our tips on how to make furniture and decor work with any living room fireplace.

If you’re not quite at the decorating stage, start with our guide for how to design a living room with a fireplace!


dark grey fireplace with boho tassel garland across the mantle

1. Layer Eclectic Decor

Start by thinking about your fireplace decor holistically. It’s about the accents that go on top of the fireplace mantel as much as the pieces that go in front and inside of the hearth.

If you have a stone fireplace, try working in a lot of eclectic materials and textures to balance out the smooth look. One of our favorite fireplace ideas is to add layers of greenery, both on the mantel and next to the hearth, then mix in textures with a rug, a woven garland, and hanging textile accents. What you get in the end is a focal point that’s eclectic and unexpected yet hugely cozy and inviting.

For those of you with a non-functioning fireplace, you arrange different height candles inside the hearth instead. It’s another one of our favorite fireplace ideas that plays up a warm ambiance.

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fireplace that is flanked with two oversized floor mirrors

2. Frame With Mirrors

Flanking the hearth with matching floor mirrors is one of the chicest (and easiest!) fireplace decor ideas. They’ll add visual height and help visually frame your fireplace while also opening up the surrounding areas on both sides of the hearth. The result is an instantly more spacious look and feel in your room.

If you have a brick fireplace or a white fireplace, symmetrical mirrors are perfect accents, since their reflective surfaces will offer a dramatic look to match as well as provide visual balance.

If you’re at a loss for fireplace ideas, mirrors are always a safe bet, no matter the style of your room or the size and shape of your fireplace mantel.

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decorate around a fireplace
3. Flank With Built-Ins

If your fireplace mantel has built-ins on both sides, top them with a mix of practical and decorative accents to tie in with the rest of your room. Think books, lamps, candles, vases, woven art, and other accessories that captivate the eye from afar.

For those with a stone fireplace, leaning into bold art and accents is key. They’re foolproof fireplace decor ideas because they add texture, depth, and color all at once without distracting from the mantel and hearth.

If you’re more drawn to fireplace ideas that add impact in small ways, you can’t go wrong with this approach. Just be sure to use a cohesive color palette across all your accents and furniture to tie together the look in your room. If you’re not sure how to set up your living room furniture for that, check out our tips for the best living room layouts.

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decorate around a fireplace

4. Try Asymmetrical Decorating

In terms of fireplace ideas, this is an especially stylish approach for rooms where the spaces on either side of the fireplace are not identical in size. The idea is to balance your fireplace decor with both practical touches and decorative accents.

Try adding a floor mirror alongside a tall plant on one side of your fireplace and contrasting the other side with a TV and media stand. This is a great layout for living rooms with a fireplace and a TV. Or simply float an armchair floating at an angle in front of the fireplace. This creates a more organic layout that feels modern and collected but still cohesive.

If you have a modern fireplace, an asymmetrical arrangement of your furniture and home decor is especially great, since it will give your room a more thoughtful and curated look—versus a more traditional everything-matching look.

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fireplace with roll arm club chairs and a tray table in between them5. Set Up Seating In Front 

Adding seating in front of the fireplace is a timeless and elegant interior design approach. While it counts as one of the more traditional fireplace decor ideas, it’s practical and foolproof.

Start with a pair of matching armchairs and add a side table in between them to create a classic fireside moment for two. This is especially great for homes located in colder-climate places, as it offers a cozy seating area that’s both functional and stylish. Complete the look by topping off your fireplace with equally classic mantelpiece decor ideas.

If you’re looking for fireplace ideas for small spaces, this is also a good one to bookmark. It’s perfect in living spaces where there isn’t much room for extra seating except in front of the fireplace.

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decorate around a fireplace

6. Balance With Bookcases

Frame your fireplace in with open bookcases that add height, depth, and balance on both sides. This is one of our favorite affordable interior design ideas to mimic the look of high-end built-ins.

For this look, we love wooden bookshelves paired alongside a white brick fireplace, which brings a modern streamlined look to a room. Fill the shelves with both decorative and everyday decor pieces, like books, sculptures, baskets, and other small media items. Then balance them out with fireplace decors, such as a modern art piece or a tall plant placed in front of the fireplace.

Another reason we’re fans of bookcases alongside a fireplace is because it’s very family-friendly. If you’ve been looking for fireplace ideas that can work in a home with energetic little ones, this is definitely our pick for a kid-friendly approach. You can also find more inspo in our gallery for living room design ideas.

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decorate around a fireplace

7. Create An Art Focal Point

When it comes to fireplace ideas, this is tried-and-true. Sometimes all you need for your fireplace decor is an evocative art piece that turns your fireplace mantel into the focal point in your living room.

The trick with hanging large artworks above your fireplace is to pair it with good wall lighting, be it sconces or track lights. You want to elevate the focus to the artwork and the space above the fireplace mantel. Also, be sure to balance out the artwork with more neutral furnishings and accents so as not to distract or layer in too many small pieces that compete for attention.

Playing up one large artwork as the focus also works great in minimalist interiors, where a single oversized piece can make for a dramatic visual element.

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decorate around a fireplace

8. Pull Up Some Stools or Benches

Probably one of the most practical, stylish, and versatile fireplace decor ideas is to place matching benches, poufs, or stools in front of the hearth. Just like armchairs, benches will bring a polished and sophisticated look that perfectly frames the fireplace.

Additionally, this is especially great if you’re working with a white fireplace since the benches will pop against the crisp mantel backdrop. Make sure the benches or stools don’t completely block the fireplace and are positioned in proportion to the length of the hearth—to ensure a balanced and cohesive look.

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Get Your Living Room Ready for Fall With These Mantel Decor Ideas

fireplace mantel ideasIf you don’t like the idea of doing a total decor overhaul for each season and holiday remember this: there are small ways to make seasonal changes that can make a big impact. One of our favorite areas to focus on for seasonal changes is your mantel decor.

A fireplace is a focal point in a living room — so what happens on your mantel impacts the vibe of your whole space. This small area is the perfect place to show off your personality and set the tone for the space all season long. Keep reading for some easy tips and fall mantel decor ideas that work for any style!

fall mantel decor ideas

1. Crown Your Mantel

As the focal point of your room, reserve the space above your mantel for something special. Think a piece you love and want to highlight. (AKA: if your home were the Louvre, this is where you’d hang the Mona Lisa.)

All that to say, choosing the right piece to crown your mantel is important. A statement mirror, painting or art print, or a TV are classic options for mantel decor. But you can also think outside the box and hang a sculpture, a grouping of smaller paintings, or even leave it bare for a dramatic effect. The only rule? Pick something you love as this will be the piece that sets the tone for the rest of the room.

2. Pick a Color Palette

To make this area feel more curated, stick to a cohesive color palette. With this traditional look, we opted for a bouquet of earthy, fall colors like reds, yellows, and oranges, with a white base to keep it from feeling too loud.

3. Embrace Symmetry

One of the keys to a traditional mantel decor scheme is symmetry. Here, we hung a mirror above the center of the mantel, and bookended it with taller decor. But that doesn’t mean you have to get too matchy-matchy. Instead of identical objects on either side, we played with symmetry in terms of height and size, which gives the look a more inviting feel.

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fall mantel decor ideas

4. Layer On the Decor

Add visual intrigue to your mantel by layering your decorative touches. This creates a more dynamic, curated look and will add depth to your mantel style. We used natural materials for this eclectic mantel, mixing and matching woven baskets, a wooden bowl, and a stoneware vase. The layers and texture of this look are especially nice for fall when you want to embrace those cozy vibes!

5. Prop Your Art

Rather than hanging a statement art piece above the mantel, consider leaving it unhung and leaning it against the wall instead. This gives your mantel a more casual feel, which is perfect for eclectic rooms or adding a note of whimsy (whereas hung art can feel more formal).

6. Group in Threes

When decorating a mantel (or any surface, really), stick to the “rule of thirds.” This design principle boils down to the idea that objects grouped in trios are more pleasing to the human eye. Use this trick to make your fall mantel look expertly curated no matter the season or style.

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fall mantel decor ideas

7. Incorporate Texture

The secret ingredient to any space is to incorporate texture. For a rustic look, we love natural options like live edge wood, plants, and carved designs. The mix of textures adds dynamism to this cozy, layered look, which is the perfect mantel idea for fall.

8. Vary Your Heights

To add to the dynamic look, mix tall and short objects on your mantel. This keeps your eye from focusing on any one item, making the mantel feel thoughtfully designed but not overly done.

9. Add Plants

Greenery brings any look to life and adds some beautiful natural texture (see tip #7). We love the idea of incorporating greenery that’s in season for the fall — like the eucalyptus in this rustic mantel idea. Then, as winter approaches, you can switch in a boxwood or pine garland and something with florals for spring. Simply changing the greenery and a few objects will make your mantel feel fresh each season.

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