Mastering Elegance: A Comprehensive Guide on How to Style Your Mantelpiece
The mantelpiece, often considered the focal point of a room, provides a perfect canvas for showcasing your style and personality. It’s probably looking a little bare after Christmas and a great time to restyle. Whether your home leans towards modern chic, classic elegance, or eclectic charm, styling your mantelpiece can elevate the entire aesthetic of the space.
1. Start with a Clean Slate
Before diving into styling, clear your mantelpiece entirely, a little polish too gets rid of old energy. (Smudge if it’s something you do). A clean slate allows you to visualise the space and prevents the overall look from feeling overwhelming. Remove any items that don’t contribute to the desired style or theme.
2. Establish a Focal Point
Every well-styled mantelpiece benefits from a focal point that draws the eye. This could be a large piece of art, a mirror, or even a unique sculpture. The focal point anchors the design and sets the tone for the rest of the arrangement. I prefer symmetry so have a habit of purchasing two of everything (maybe a little Gemini coming out here)
3. Create Symmetry or Embrace Asymmetry- (no thanks lol)
Symmetry provides a sense of balance and order, while asymmetry adds a touch of casual, eclectic charm. Choose a style that aligns with your overall aesthetic. For symmetry, pair identical items on either side of the focal point, such as matching vases or candle holders. For asymmetry, mix and match different items with varying heights and textures and in groups of 3 or 5. A bit like arranging flowers – odd number is best.
4. Layer Art and Mirrors
Consider hanging artwork or placing a mirror above the mantelpiece. Art adds personality, while a mirror can create the illusion of more space and reflect light into the room. Ensure the size is proportionate to the mantelpiece and the surrounding wall. I like a mirror or painting that sits on the mantlepiece but still attached to the wall.
5. Incorporate Greenery and Florals
Bring life to your mantelpiece by incorporating greenery or fresh flowers. Consider placing potted plants, succulents, or a vase of seasonal flowers to add a natural element. Faux options work well too, providing low-maintenance greenery that lasts all year although I am not a fan of faux, real plants give energy and faux don’t.
6. Display Collectibles and Curiosities
Showcase your personality by displaying collectibles or curiosities that hold sentimental value. Unique sculptures, or travel souvenirs can add a personal touch to your mantelpiece, telling a story about who you are. I love glass domes filled with things like little books, feathers or shells.
7. Consider Seasonal Decor Changes
Keep your mantelpiece fresh and inviting by changing the decor seasonally. For example, incorporate autumn leaves and pumpkins in the autumn, or seashells and beach-themed decor in the summer. This not only keeps your space dynamic but also allows you to experiment with different styles throughout the year.
9. Pay Attention to Scale
Ensure that the items you choose for your mantelpiece are proportionate to the size of the space. Avoid overcrowding or leaving the mantelpiece looking bare. Play around with scale by mixing tall at the rear and short items at the front.
10. Step Back and Edit
Once you’ve styled your mantelpiece, take a step back to evaluate the overall look. Edit and remove any items that may be unnecessary or disrupt the flow. A well-edited mantelpiece is often more impactful than one filled with too many elements.
Read Lynn McMurray’s contributing blog – The Art of Seasonal Decor for other seasonal tips.