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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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12 Chic Ways To Style Your Mantel

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, decorating around a fireplace and 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, there are some important questions to consider before you begin designing your fireplace mantel. First, what if your fireplace doesn’t have a mantel? 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? Also: will you switch up your decor seasonally and invest in spring, summer, and fall mantel decor, plus holiday mantel decor? 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 layouts for living rooms with a fireplace. We’re breaking down some key fireplace design ideas and 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 fireplace mantel decor 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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3 Tips To Get The Look:

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 lends height, texture, and color to the arrangement. 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, which will add subtle intrigue to your mantel.

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. This will help everything feel more cohesive.

mantelpiece decorFor a Fireplace With A TV

When 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 or an oversized painting above the mantel. This kind of tall piece 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 when it comes to corner fireplace living room layouts!

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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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3 Tips To Get The Look:

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

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 foolproof fireplace mantel ideas, simply layer large artwork on your mantel. 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 pieces 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 ideas involving art—try a maximalist approach and simply hang one statement piece. This is the easiest way to decorate a fireplace with guaranteed visual impact.

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3 Tips To Get The Look:

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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3 Tips To Get The Look:

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 fireplace mantel ideas that are 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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3 Tips To Get The Look:

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 a 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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Deck The Halls With These 5 Holiday Mantel Decor Ideas

holiday mantel decor ideasNow that Thanksgiving is over, we’re officially setting aside fall decor and jumping right into holiday decorating! From Christmas trees and twinkle lights to wreaths and mistletoe, we’re ready to deck the halls for all kinds of celebrations and styles.

One area in your home that’s always ready to be spruced up for the holidays? Your mantel. It’s the classic place to hang stockings—but there are also so many other ways you can add to the festive look of it.

Keep reading for five holiday mantel decor ideas for different styles, including our favorite tips on how to achieve these looks!

minimal mantel decorThe Look: Minimal Modern

A minimal modern mantel is all about restrained design and curated objects. With this look, take a minimal approach to styling, only displaying pieces you really love.

The Key Elements

When choosing decorative objects for your holiday mantel, keep them simple and in muted colors. Why? Because a minimal modern look relies on a curated color palette — in this case, neutrals with pops of green. But where the colors are more neutral, you’ll want to rely heavily on textures. Both the knit stockings and the wreath offer plenty of texture to keep this mantel festive.

It’s Perfect If You…

Have a home that leans modern and you want touches of holiday cheer without going overboard.

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glam holiday mantel decorThe Look: Glam Chic

Love a look with glitz and glam? Then this holiday mantel decor idea is for you. This is not your typical holiday setup—it’s here to create some major visual impact. The stockings, garland, and sculptural trees keep it grounded in a holiday look, but it certainly is unexpected.

The Key Elements

When picking decor for your glam mantel, opt for pieces that sparkle and shine. We went with a gold and pink color palette here, but choose whatever colors speak to you! We also recommend pairing your mantel with modern, sleek decor. (If you celebrate Christmas, this is the perfect style to try a white or tinsel tree to really nail the look!)

It’s Perfect If You…

Love a little drama. There are so many ways to approach glam holiday decor. So, however you bring this look to life, be bold and embrace your inner drama queen!

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traditional holiday mantel decorThe Look: Traditional

Pine. Plaid. Reds and greens. Who doesn’t love that traditional holiday look? It brings to mind all those cozy, nostalgic feelings and feels like it’s right off the set of our favorite holiday movies.

The Key Elements

A traditional holiday mantel decor look relies on a red and green color palette and lots of greenery. We tripled up on greenery for this mantel, combining a wreath, garland, and vase of branches. You can never have too much pine at this time of year!

Plaid is also emblematic of the season and can’t be skipped. Because really, is there anything as classic as red plaid stockings? To drive home that traditional vibe, embrace symmetry with your decor pieces, balancing out a vase of greenery with taller candlesticks on the other side of the mantel.

It’s Perfect If You…

Can’t get enough of that classic Christmas spirit. Time to turn on the holiday tunes, make some hot cocoa, and get decorating!

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eclectic holiday decorThe Look: Whimsical Eclectic

Do you love a holiday look that’s a bit quirky and whimsical? Then this eclectic mantel is all you. It’s full of playful and unexpected elements; we can’t help but smile when we look at this set-up.

The Key Elements

An eclectic-style mantel takes a non-traditional approach to color—mixing pinks, light greens, and even yellows together. Skip the symmetry and mix together a few unexpected elements, like those stocking holders and that woven vase. With this look, you’ll also want to gravitate toward playful patterns and pops of texture for a mantel that’s cheerful and sweet!

It’s Perfect If You…

Love the joyful, whimsical side of the holidays.

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The Look: Refined Rustic

Rustic style feels especially appropriate around the holidays. It’s cozy and homey—and a giant Christmas tree full of twinkling lights and ornaments fits in perfectly with the neutral color palette and natural materials found in most rustic spaces! When decorating your mantel with a rustic style, you’ll want to lean into those cozy, homey vibes.

The Key Elements

Rustic decor relies on natural textures and natural, weathered wood—and a rustic mantel is no different! Knit stockings give a good dose of cozy texture. You can also layer on natural elements like a snow-dusted pine garland wooden trees, and a photo of an oxen in the snow to bring this look to life.

It’s Perfect If You…

Love the coziness of a log cabin with a dash of refinement!

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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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