How to Decorate a Mantel Step-by-Step

Meadow Lake Road
by Meadow Lake Road
Awhile back a friend asked me to write a post on how to decorate a mantel and since I just changed out the Halloween decorations on our mantel for Thanksgiving decor, I thought now would be a good time to show you how I go about decorating our mantel.
First I start by clearing everything off of the mantel so that I am starting with a clean palette. I always keep the mirror and shutters up as a backdrop though.

As with most decorating projects, the key to success it to use layers of varying height and texture.

Step 1: Center one large piece on the mantel, such as a mirror or piece of art.

Make sure the scale of the object you add is appropriate for the size of your fireplace though. You don’t want it to be bigger than your fireplace or to be so small that it doesn’t look balanced.
Step 2: Layer artwork and/or photos of varying heights in front of your large center piece. When layering accessories in front of your large center piece, keep in mind that your goal is to create a visual triangle with your center piece being the top most point and the sides angling downward.
To further illustrate what I mean by ‘visual triangle,’ I created the image below to show how the large center object is the most high point with the accessories on the sides moving your eye downward in a triangular manner.
Step 3: Add in accessories.

I tend to add a few things in at a time and then stand back and judge whether everything looks balanced and to scale. This step usually takes some tweaking and moving things around a few times to get it looking just right. Don’t be afraid to mess around and try different combinations of items.
Come visit the blog for more in-depth details on how I decorate a mantel!
Meadow Lake Road
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
  3 questions
  • Sheila Sheila on Jan 05, 2019

    I need some help with what to our on my mantel. The walls are a putty colour but look beige/ green depending on the light. I’m open to suggestions

  • Bonnie Bonnie on Oct 29, 2020

    I have light gray walls with a white wooden fireplace. Above the fireplace i have a picture above with about 4-5” on each side. I’m not sure how to decorate the mantel.

  • Jenna Jenna on Nov 26, 2020

    Where did you get the blue and white vase in the mantle and where did you get the pillar candle holders?

Join the conversation
2 of 6 comments