When it comes to decorating, one of the most important places to keep in mind is your mantel! Mantels can appear to be a “catch-all” if you simply set out some knick-knacks here and there to fill up the space, but a well-thought out design will be sure to receive attention and admiration from family and guests. From family pictures to beautiful art to your favorite “what-not” passed down through the generations, a personalized mantel space will require some thought and planning. So let’s get those creative juices flowing!
DESIGN WITH REFLECTION IN MIND
If you have the space for it, adding a mirror can have dramatic impact. A beautiful mirror with intricate trim or a colorful frame draws attention to the space while also opening up the room and making the entire space look larger from the reflection of the rest of the area. Keep in mind that if you use an oversized mirror for your display, you’ll want to scale other items used for decoration accordingly, so as not to have an overwhelming, heavy look.
Speaking of scale, let’s talk about a few things NOT to do when planning your mantel design. Don’t attempt to fill up every inch of space on your mantel, as it can leave behind a look that is crowded and sloppy. However, you also want to make sure that the space doesn’t feel “empty,” with just a few items that may be spaced too far apart. You’d still draw attention to your space, but not in the way you desire.
Sizing matters, too, and is important whether you are going for a look that is simple, or one that makes more of a statement. We love the impact of this look from The Inspired Room.
SHINING A LIGHT ON THE SITUATION
Once you have your décor selected, you can make the area even more dramatic with the right lighting! Use sconces as a part of the display, or install recessed lighting that focuses on the mantel area. We love using lamplight and focal light like these to create the look of a room that is inviting and cozy for a quiet evening with family.
KEEP UP WITH CURRENT EVENTS
One of our favorite things about mantel décor is that it can be changed out with the seasons or for the holidays so easily. The size of the area makes the task not as overwhelming as redesigning your entire space, while it can still have a huge effect on the rest of your room.
The obvious seasonal decoration when we think of mantels includes garland and stockings in many cases, but we can think of lots of other times throughout the year when you can use your mantel as a celebration display! Fall brings with it deep and impactful oranges and reds that get us ready for Thanksgiving, and adding in some light or bright color for spring can get you out of the winter blues.
You might also consider changing your décor with other events, like the start of a new school year. Update family photos with new pictures of the kiddos, and use this time to freshen up the look of the entire space.
FROM START TO (RE)FINISH
While the décor you choose guides the look and feel of your mantel design, you might be looking at your own mantel now and thinking that the finish or color just doesn’t achieve the impact you had in mind. No problem! It can be a fun project to refinish a mantel, maybe by painting it if it’s made of bare wood, or by covering it up with stone tiles for a completely different look (check out the fabulous tile options at City Home Center). What’s even better is that a project of this size can be completed in just a few hours? Having your space looking new and updated in much less time than a complete room reno!
STARTING FROM SCRATCH?
Now that your mind is full of design and decorating ideas, what do you do if you don’t have a mantel? Make or buy your own, of course! Maybe you have a fireplace or entertaining space that doesn’t have a mantel to show off. There are plenty of DIY options out there to complete your space with a look that suits you. Check out this design idea at the Addicted to Decorating blog.
You can also purchase an electric fireplace or entertainment center to use as a makeshift mantel. We have great ones in stock now, and would love to show you the options at Rubies. The design tips above still apply, and, in this case, it would be easy to move your focal “mantel” space to a different location in the room if you choose to redecorate down the road. Not already having a mantel also means that whether you DIY and build your own or purchase one, you get to choose the design and the material – from stone, to wood, to marble – with no renovation required!
Whether you need to purchase a new piece of furniture to create a mantel display, or you just need to freshen up your current space with some new design elements, Rubies Home Furnishings is ready and waiting to help you create a space you’ll love for years to come.