Decorating a Mantel


I can’t count the number of times I’ve been asked to give advice to family and friends on how to attractively assemble their fireplace mantels. As with all my organizing projects I firmly suggest you begin with a clean palette. Place all pieces you currently have on the mantel to one side and place all pieces you would like to showcase on the other side.

To achieve a balanced and appealing arrangement, first and foremost keep in mind that you will be creating a “triangle” arrangement. So let’s get started.

You will need:

IMG_0006(1) One large item, something you are in love with. It could be a vase, painting, mirror, large sculpture – it must be the largest item on the mantel as this becomes your focal point, the tallest tip of the triangle;

(2) One or two medium to large items to place in front or near your focal point, the slopes of the triangle; and
(3) Several medium to smaller items of varying heights that you will layer and place on the outside of your triangle – again these items could be books, boxes, vases, candles, candelabra’s, paintings, artwork, mirrors, urns. These items should be coordinated with the decor of the room and should be attractive and interesting.

(a) Start by centering the large item;

(b) Then place your medium to large items in front of the centered item, staggered to either sides of the center;

(c) Finally the medium to smaller items should then be layered and staggered in front of each other to create a unified arrangement.

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