Designing a fireplace and decorating a mantel can be tricky, but we’re here to provide plenty of design inspiration to make the task easier. Read more to find inspiring, year-round fireplace design ideas that will make a major impact in your home.
Give It a Vibrant Touch
Turn your fireplace into a work of art with geometric tiles. Whether you tile the whole wall behind the fireplace or just the surround, this look is sure to make a statement as soon as you enter the room.
Display Your Books
Book lovers rejoice. Here’s another excellent spot to display your treasured reading material. For major impact, stack them vertically by bookend color. For a more casual look, place a handful of antique books in the foreground of a rustic mantel to create additional visual interest.
Use a Natural Accent
Long branches in pretty vases or jars bring scale to a fireplace. Plus, they’ll last much longer than fresh-cut flowers.
Show Off a Collection
Display a collection of items in this highly visible spot—they’re sure to become a conversation starter. Remember to use items of different sizes and shapes and then layer them in an arrangement to keep the mantel balanced. A color scheme helps unify various objects so they don’t appear disconnected.
Brighten Up Your Room
Place a mirror above the fireplace for a tried-and-true trick that bounces light around to make a room appear brighter and more spacious. Try a decorative mirror—like a baroque or sunburst design—if you want to pack a bigger punch.
Try a Cabin Staple
If you’re tired of the “large piece of artwork above your fireplace” approach, try a faux trophy head instead. While the look is traditionally more rustic, there are playful options—like these chic wooden antlers or these cardboard mounts—that act more like sculptures to complement a range of different interior design styles from coastal to contemporary.
Update It With Marble
A carrara marble surround elegantly complements brightly-colored bits and baubles. The neutral stone works well in a room with an already-established color scheme.
Create a Effortless Look
Artwork that rests on a mantel, instead of hung up above, is an easy way to create a casual, laid-back atmosphere. Plus, you can easily swap things in and out for different seasons or rearrange the frames on a whim.
Add a Romantic Vibe
Simple, yet chic: Spray painting inexpensive candlesticks in staggering heights can instantly dress up a mantle.
Paint It Over
If a red brick fireplace doesn’t fit your living room style, you’re not stuck with it. A fresh coat of white paint can give it a modern, breezy touch that serves as a clean backdrop to display colorful décor and furniture.
Give it a Pop of Color
A white fireplace looks sleek, but a brightly painted one adds a jolt of energy to any living room.
Keep Things Simple
Remember: A limited color palette of accessories creates a unified look.
Display Your Greenery
The mantel is the perfect spot to show off your succulent collection, which breathes life into your living room and introduces color. We love the streamlined look of using various sized terracotta planters.
Add Functional Decor
Give architectural interest to a modern gas fireplace by surrounding it with floating shelves to display your finest objects d’art.
Take a Risk
Whimsical wallpaper kicks a stylish fireplace up a notch. The vibrant look creates the ultimate focal point so very little—if any—mantel accessorizing is needed.
Cast a Glowy Ambiance
This traditional fireplace decoration has been around for decades and for good reason: A pair of sconces add symmetry and structure to a mantel while also keeping a centered piece of wall art balanced. Brass or gold will bring a touch of glamor to a simple design.
Add More Seating
When winter’s over, add cushions and pillows to your hearth to turn it into a cozy seating area—perfect for hosting a large group of guests.
Find Something Salvaged
A unique flea market find adds a dose of unexpected to the blank space above a fireplace. Look for items that fit the scale of the space. An industrial wheel or salvaged window frame are good candidates if you have high ceilings. Other interesting objects, such as an antique sled or boat paddles, can capture a certain theme.
If you’re tired of trying to figure how to mix and match different accent pieces, here’s an easier approach: Use only a single color for your arrangement. A collection of classy white porcelain objects looks ultra-sophisticated and clean.
Paint it Black
A matte black fireplace adds striking drama to a living space—especially when contrasted with white walls. Natural wood accessories and leafy greens soften the bold color choice.
Keep it Minimal
Small, well-edited vignettes give the fireplace an intimate touch. Metallic vases and candlesticks add texture to elevate the understated look.
Reach New Heights
Fixer Upper fans, here’s an easy, inexpensive way to bring shiplap into your home. The farmhouse design element helps draw the eye to give the appearance of more space.
Store Your Logs the Stylish Way
Firewood becomes part of the decorating scheme when stacked and stored in an exposed built-in storage spot.
Add Ambiance in a Small Space
If you’re short on square footage, a compact built-in fireplace will not only save space, it will also give a small room loads of presence. Clean lines and only a few extras on display help make the room feel larger.
Make it Personal
Large artwork can be quite costly, which is why a fun alternative is to create a grid wall display of square photos, such as Instagram snapshots, postcards, or polaroids above the mantel.
Warm Things Up
When the days of cozying up to a glowing fire are over, clean out your open fireplace and store pretty baskets filled with throw blankets to keep the warm feelings going.
Skip the Mantel Altogether
While the look is minimalistic, this super-modern fireplace commands attention.
Make it More Livable
The look may not be for everyone, but a recessed TV above a fireplace creates a single focal point in a casual living room. Built-in bookshelves on the flanking walls create a balanced design.