Make a statement in any room by updated a fireplace mantel. From simple fixes to elaborate renovations, here are 12 ways to take your mantel from drab to dreamy.
1. Create a one-picture art gallery: A mantel is the perfect place to display your favorite piece of art. Hang or lean a sizeable painting or photograph on the mantel and install tasteful lighting above it to highlight your treasure. Need somewhere to start? Check out the New York Public Library’s digital collection of public domain images.
2. Mirror mirror: Making a beautifully framed mirror the focal point of your fireplace mantel is both visually pleasing and will make your room appear larger. For a longer mantel, layer several different mirrors in various shapes and sizes, which can be visually appealing.
3. Let there be fire: The ultimate romantic mantel makeover is to create a wood-burning fireplace. This is not a conversion you want to undertake yourself, so research tips and look for trusted professionals in your area.
4. Spark the flame: If a working fireplace isn’t an option, don’t give up on a flame-lit romantic evening. Make a one-of-a-kind candle display, using an elaborate candelabra with tea lights or large column candles of varying heights.
5. TV star: Using your mantel as a place to house a flat-screen television may sound more like a cop-out than a way to create a stand-out mantel, but by recessing the TV into the wall and surrounding it with decorative molding, you can bring both form and function to your fireplace mantel.
6. Reclaimed beauty: Bring warmth and rustic, old-world country charm to your mantel by replacing the existing one with one made of reclaimed wood.
7. The power of paint: Make the objects on your mantel stand out by painting the mantel itself a contrasting color from the fireplace and wall color. If the fireplace and wall are white, try painting the mantel black or dark blue. Also, consider painting your fireplace. Professional Builder details the psychology of paint colors and how they can affect your mood.
8. A few favorites: Display meaningful or sentimental objects on your fireplace mantel to add character to your home. Don’t be afraid to mix and match materials and colors. Pair a piece of pottery and a framed print with a favorite antique trinket from your collection.
9. Take it to the top: If you’re up for a project, ditch the mantel altogether and create a warm and inviting floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace. Add a stone bench below the hearth for extra seating and an ideal place to cozy up by the fire.
10. Uniform beauty: Frame a series of photographs or prints you’d like to display and hang them in a symmetrical pattern above the mantel. The repetition will be eye-catching.
11. Colorful collections: Create a beautiful mantel display by collecting objects of different shapes and sizes that are all the same color (and either the same color or a complementary color to the mantel). If you are up for a project,paint the objects yourself.
12. Mantel in bloom: Make any room perennially fresh by displaying a beautiful bouquet in an elegant vase, or fill a bowl with a colorful fruit (like lemons or oranges) atop the mantel.