15 Ways to Put Your Mantel to Good Use
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15 Ways to Put Your Mantel to Good Use

We’re going to venture a guess that you really only pay attention to your mantel (if you even have one!) during the holidays. The rest of the year—unless it displays your TV—it probably goes unnoticed. But there are so many different ways to decorate that space! We’ve rounded up 15 of our favorite ideas that are easy to adapt to your space and style.

1. Add a Mirror: Definitely the easiest decor choice, a mirror over the fireplace will make your room look larger, and you don’t have to worry about any damage from actually using the fireplace. (via Young House Love)

2. Paint the Accent Wall: Especially if your mantel is bordered by bookcases or windows on either side, paint the wall above your fireplace in an accent color. Layering in a piece of coordinating art ties everything together. (via DIY Network)

3. Go Rustic: Whether real or cardboard, over the mantel is the perfect place to hang an animal bust. It gives any room a country lodge type feel. (via Lonny)

4. Think Small: Just because you have an expanse doesn’t mean you have to fill it completely. A well chosen framed print can complete the space without feeling imposing. (via ShopUrsula on Flickr)

5. Create a Gallery Wall: Above the fireplace is the perfect place for a gallery wall. We’re seriously swooning over this yellow, black, and white palette in a New York stationery studio. (via Brooklyn Bride)

6. Play With Scale: On most mantels you’ll find any plants or flowers dwarfed by the artwork, but it’s okay to switch it up and opt for tall florals or reeds that extend beyond your artwork. (via Design*Sponge)

7. Mix and Match Styles: Just because you have a rustic mantel doesn’t mean you have to mirror that in the artwork above. We love this wooden mantel combined with the almost pop art illustration. (via Lonny)

8. Play Around With It: If your mantle takes up an entire wall of your living room, play around with items that fill the space horizontally. The most important piece of advice here being test things out, see how you like them and don’t be afraid to change them. (via Young House Love)

9. Hang Empty Frames: We love the versatility of empty frames hung above the mantel. You can change it out easily with each season or holiday. (via Everyday Lovely)

10. Make Molding Work for You: Many older fireplaces will have molding on the wall above the mantel. Put that to work providing an extra frame for your artwork. (via Lonny)

11. Keep Time: A deconstructed clock is a great statement piece over a fireplace. Try getting creative and hanging the clock in an artistic formation. (via Dreamy Whites on Houzz)

12. Use Chalkboard Paint: We were blown away by this DIY decor idea. Who would have thought to create faux bricks with chalkboard paint? We’d also like to just use chalkboard paint and let the mantel be a blank canvas. (via Our Fifth House)

13. Display a Collection: Go ahead and show off a collection on your mantel, or buy similar vases for a broken up bunch of flowers. The repeating pattern creates a soothing effect in your space. (via Lonny)

14. Hang a TV: Make your TV feel like part of your decor by building it into a frame above the mantel. It will help camouflage it so it’s less of a distraction when you’re entertaining friends. (via Remodelaholic)

15. Let There Be Light: A TV isn’t the only electronic you can add to your mantel. Brighten up a dark room by adding a small table lamp. Just be sure you have a place to hide the plug. (via Lonny left & right)

Which of these ideas would work in your space? Tell us in the comments!