By Rachel Besser

Published on October 31, 2018

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courtesy of CB2

Certain areas in your home inherently demand careful attention to decor, like coffee tables and fireplace mantels. A bare coffee table, or a bare fireplace mantel can look nice, but when styled with care they have the power to transform your space. Most of us have owned a coffee table since we started the #adulting journey, so we can aptly decorate them in our sleep.

Decorating fireplace mantels, on the other hand, can feel daunting, kind of like graduate school, because let’s face it, starter apartments don’t usually come equipped with luxurious fireplaces. But have no fear! We’re here to help. Whether you’re a mantel-styling newbie, a bonafide pro, or somewhere in between, we’ve gathered the items that will make your fireplace mantel look next level, no matter what. Take a look at the lust-worthy picks ahead that are sure to help you create the mantel of your dreams.

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courtesy of Saskia Pomeroy

Zig Zag Vase, Saskia Pomeroy, $57.00

A quasi-obvious item to have on your mantel is a vase. The not so obvious tip is to go for a bright, interesting vase that can add depth and dimension to your mantel and your living room as a whole. This intriguing vase lends itself to all different kinds of flowers and frondescence, whether your style is minimal, maximal, or somewhere in between.

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courtesy of Leif Shop

Greenery Ceramic Vase, Leif Shop, $12.00 – $18.00

If you’d rather have a few small vases live on your mantel in a group, then these adorable green ceramic vases may be more your speed. The best part is that they look just as good as standalone pieces as they do in a group. Not to mention they are equipped with protective foam feet at the bottom, so you don’t have to worry about scuffing your mantel.

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courtesy of Fixed Air

Fixed Air Brass Burner, $120.00

Burning incense can be extremely calming and help you unwind after a long day. This chic brass incense burner also acts as a decor element that will look the part on your mantel whether or not incense is actually burning. Pick a scent that resonates with you to help you feel calm, cool and collected. Plus, you won’t have to worry about the incense being a hazard up on your mantel, so you can really unwind and feel relaxed.

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courtesy of Jonathan Adler

Small Acrylic Pill, Jonathan Adler, $98.00

If you are into surrealism and a pop of color, then this type of decor element may be right for your mantel. These pills come in small, medium, and large and in a plethora of colors. Mantels don’t have to be so serious, in fact, they can feel whimsical just by adding one fun element.

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courtesy of Designfirman

Outline Bookend, Designfirman, $38.00

One great way to decorate your mantel is with books you’re proud to show off. Bright book spines are a great way to easily bring more color into a room. To keep your precious books in place, try fun bookends that are design-forward and will look just as good on your mantel as the books themselves.

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courtesy of Klong

Gloria Candleholder, Klong, $143.00

It’s easy to find any old candle to put on your mantel. Even the grocery store carries candles these days. Sure, almost any candle can help liven up your mantel, but a more intentional choice is a candle holder that’s a blatant statement piece, like this gorgeous silver option. People will definitely ask you where you found this piece.

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courtesy of MoMA Design Store

Rainbow Catch, HAY, $17.00 – $21.00

A catchall is one of the easiest decor items to incorporate onto your mantel (or anywhere in your home for that matter). You can use it as a dish to keep mantel-relevant odds and ends like matches, or your remote in one neat place.

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courtesy of Jeremy and Farrah’s Shop

Jeremy and Farrah Basketballs, Spider Plants, and the Cinder Blocks, $20.00

We love a good gallery wall, but sometimes your mantel can be an even better place to house several pieces of art at once. Start by adding larger artworks to your mantel, then overlay smaller artworks on top. Get creative and don’t be scared to mix colors and frames. Sometimes, clashing artwork looks the best.

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courtesy of Urban Outfitters

Rainbow Iridescent Headboard, $399.00

Get creative with your mantel. Sometimes repurposing pieces that are meant for other areas of the home can have a huge payoff. For example, this super cool iridescent, three-paneled piece is meant to be a headboard for behind your bed. Depending on measurements, it could look even better above your mantel as a super cool jump off point to decide which color decor items to employ on your mantel.

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courtesy of Matches Fashion

Embroidered Clock, Maison Margiela, $173.00

A clock is a classic staple for any mantel. Maison Margiela is the epitome of cool when it comes to fashion, and this designer clock is no different. This hand-embroidered clock is a fun and chic example of the house’s minimalist approach.

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courtesy of Coming Soon

Third Eye Table Lamp, Chen and Kai, $590.00

Thinking about adding a lamp to your mantel? Both your mantel’s depth and proximity to an outlet become deciding factors. This table lamp gives off light and looks like a decor piece, so it’s a great choice for a fireplace mantel. Plus, the black cord is a part of this lamp’s design, so having the cord visible is not an eyesore like it may be for other lighting options.

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courtesy of MoMA Design Store

Kusama Pumpkins, MoMA Design Store, $280.00

While these pumpkins may feel festive, they’re actually a great item to keep on your mantel year-round. Artist Yayoi Kusama’s pumpkins are perhaps the most prolific motif in her body of work and make for an awesome decor piece.

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courtesy of CB2

Pop Art White Wall Mirror, CB2, $299.00

If you live in a small space, a mirror can help make your home feel larger. Try a fun, statement mirror over your mantel to add a fun accent that will also add perceived square footage.

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courtesy of West Elm

Rove Votive Candles, West Elm, $19.00

Mixing and matching these pretty votive candles will add a gorgeous and clean touch to your mantle. Buy one, two, three or more and mix and match colors to make your mantle really look special.