A mantel is a natural focal point in a room, whether a living room, family room, or dining room. When you walk into a room that has a mantel, your eye is nearly always drawn to it before anything else—which means you should make sure your mantel looks its best by carefully styling the decor.
01 of 21
Modern Farmhouse Mantel Decor
Farmhouse-style decor is hotter than ever. This relaxed and comfortable style is all about mixing natural materials with architectural salvage and placing items on a bed of warm neutrals. In this case, rustic accessories, a little greenery, and a vintage-style clock help a stone mantel feature the look in a fresh and accessible way.
02 of 21
Dramatic Mantel With Abstract Art and Fireplace Screen
Mantel decor isn't always about what's on top of the mantel. While the simple hurricane vases and large scale abstract art are a perfect complement to the sophisticated, dark mantel, a striking fireplace screen takes center stage in this room.
03 of 21
Simple Country Mantel
Designer Sarah Richardson is known for her trademark style of livable elegance, and this simple country mantel is a perfect example. The seemingly effortless styling highlights, but doesn't detract from, the rich mahogany mantel. Everything is pretty, but not precious, and all the elements tie together to create a singular focal point.
04 of 21
Traditional Mantel Decor
A painting over a mantel is a traditional, yet still stylish, look—especially when leaning against the wall rather than hung. It's even better when there's three. The great thing about leaning items is that you can move them around and try different arrangements without any commitment.Continue to 5 of 21 below.
05 of 21
Chic Mantel Display
Thom Filicia has a talent for designing chic spaces that are simple but always have a little unexpected flair. This mantel sums it up perfectly. The decor is minimal, yet the form and function are striking. The antlers over the mantel contrast beautifully with all of the straight lines around them, and the large pieces of art on either side widen the focal point, making it seem much wider than it really is.
06 of 21
Sophisticated Mantel Styling
Anyone with a sophisticated decorating palette will appreciate this mantel decor from Robert Brown at the Southeastern Designer Showhouse. Building on a neutral foundation, the display makes use of graphic black and white images and a grey vase with a large-scale (but light) floral display. A black-framed mirror opens up the space, reflecting light and making the space appear larger. The result is pure elegance.
When you have several items on a mantel, it's a good idea to layer items in front of each other. Layering creates depth, and that's important in every kind of vignette or display. Make sure that the items connect to each other in some way—be it through color, material, or theme.
07 of 21
Classic Mantel Styling
A touch of glam is exactly what was needed for this fireplace mantel inset with Carrara marble. An ornate Venetian mirror is the perfect topper to something so elegant and sophisticated. When paired with delicate flowers and a classic bust, it creates a look that is both feminine and classic.
08 of 21
Shiplap Mantel Decor
This mantel shows how sometimes less is more, particularly when you have an architectural element such as shiplap above it. Shiplap is quite trendy, but it has classic roots and gives rooms a relaxed, coastal vibe. The sparse accessories reinforce the classic simplicity.Continue to 9 of 21 below.
09 of 21
Chinoiserie wallpaper makes a bold statement in this mantel vignette by famed Los Angeles designer Mary McDonald. Decorative wall brackets play with the pattern, adding some dimension, and fresh flowers enhance the botanical theme.
10 of 21
Modern and Playful Mantel
Who says you can't have fun with mantel decor? This living room design by interior designer Betsy Burnham features a focal point that looks deceptively simple, but is teeming with color, style, and texture. Each element of this mantel, from the screen to the mantel itself, from the mirror to the sconces, is totally different from the others, but together they work effortlessly.
11 of 21
Symmetrical Mantel Display
The best way to decorate a mantel in a way that's guaranteed to be pleasing to the eye is to use symmetry. Create a display on one side, and then create a mirror image of it on the other. The eye instinctively craves balance, so symmetrical displays always look good.
12 of 21
Country and Western Mantel Decor
Taxidermy or bone isn't for everyone, but for a traditional country-and-western theme, it definitely does the trick (faux taxidermy works just as well!). Traditional western-style—or "cowboy"—accessories dotting the mantel help reinforce the theme.Continue to 13 of 21 below.
13 of 21
Ultra-Modern Fireplace and Mantel
Mantels aren't always traditional, and neither is mantel decor. For an ultra-modern mantel, try something a little different. The unique botanical arrangements pictured here play against the sleek lines of the fireplace to create eye-catching contrast.
14 of 21
Ornate Mantel and Mirror
An ornate mirror is the perfect complement to an ornate mantel. Decorating rules often talk about contrasting the ornate with the simple, but in this case, the opposite has been done. The look works because the curved mantel is all white and has the effect of almost blending into the wall. The eye is drawn upward to the mirror, which is nicely complemented by simple yellow floral arrangements.
15 of 21
Dark and Dramatic Mantel
The combination of dark walls, a bold floral arrangement, and simple taper candles creates a sense of drama in this vignette. To recreate this look, you don't have to go quite so dark with the walls. Find a moody color that evokes a sexy, elegant feeling—something that is matte with a chalky quality. The candles and flowers will do the rest.
16 of 21
Transitional Mantel Styling
Clean and classic decor perfectly accents this transitional mantel from ML Interior Design. Besides being expertly balanced and pleasing to the eye, each of the items has room to breathe. You never want so many items that your display looks crowded or cluttered. When too many items are forced together, they get lost.Continue to 17 of 21 below.
17 of 21
Whimsical Mantel Decor
Whimsical items such as Chinese foo dogs, delicate bird figurines, and classic blue and white pottery combine beautifully to create an enchanting mantel display. The reason a robust display like this works is because the items connect with each other through their light and playful themes—not to mention that the colors complement each other. The large mirror and pair of sconces enhance the look with their gold finishes and light and airy motifs.
A collection of like items is a great way to fill a mantel and create a visually pleasing display. Vases are a perfect example, as they're close in color and size but vary enough in shape to create visual interest.
18 of 21
Bright and Bold Mantel Decor
This mantel full of colorful accessories against a royal blue background dares you to sit up and take notice. When the wall color is so intense, play off of it by accessorizing your mantel with complementary colors and strong shapes. In this case, the red pops right out, while the sunburst mirror is a great statement piece that grabs your attention and holds onto it.
19 of 21
Eclectic Mantel Design
Unique materials and unexpected art make for an eclectic mantel display from designer Jonathan Adler. Mixing eras takes a lot of confidence, but when done right, the result can be spectacular.
20 of 21
No-Frills Mantel Decor
The architectural moldings on the wall say classic, but the no-frills mantel decor says modern. This vignette from Studio McGee is a study in contrasts.Continue to 21 of 21 below.
21 of 21
Timeless Mantel Design
Edgy designers Roman and Williams are known for creating spaces that don't quite fit any era. This mantel is fairly traditional, but the large-scale mirror keeps it from looking fussy. And of course, the bold wall treatment and giant floral arrangement take it to another level—one that is bold, classic, and timeless.