6 Rules For Decorating Your Mantel

6 Rules For Decorating Your Mantel

Copper Dwelling & Design's Tips for A Well Thought Out Mantel

October 10, 2017

Welcome Fall! Ahhh.. nothing speaks to me in fall like a chai latte, pumpkin pie and a warm, inviting mantle. It's taken me a bit to get in the fall mood this year with 90 degree weather, here at home, in SC. This week though, we got our first dreary day in 3 weeks. Out popped my mood to decorate for fall. It never fails that every time I start decorating a mantle, I hear a nagging voice ( no not nagging ) just a matter of fact voice screaming at me " taller to the left"! You see, I grew up with a grandmother and mom who owned a gift store and home goods business for over 30 years. Their store was Crate & Barrel, Anthropology & Pottery Barn, before their time. Each room was decorated like a room in your home and everything was for sale. From furniture to coffee, table settings and soap, it was a one stop shop for any and all things home. I was born in that ol' store and spent just about every day there. I was never too young for inventory or decorating in the back rooms. They "let" me do what I wanted. It never failed that they would stroll through, while I was in decorative mode and say "taller to the left". Trust me, as a decorator now, I struggle with this sometimes, mostly when it comes to bookshelves, this saying does not ring true, but I have found, with about 90% of mantles, it's definitely true. 


Now that we have the #1 rule stuck in your head, it's time to gather your things. My favorite part of a house is the fireplace. It's your chance to express who you are. The fireplace should always be your focal point in a room. If you are lucky enough to have a fireplace, show her some love!

Rule #2- Odds are more visually appealing than evens. The only exception I have to this rule is 2 bookends or 2 large candlesticks on either side, or 2 vases. Depending on the size of items you've picked and how many items there are, you can lay them out on the floor. If you have 3 larger items Ex: 3 different size pictures; you'll want to place the largest of the three in the center and the next to largest on the left and shortest to the right. 

My #3 rule to a perfect mantle is nature! Every mantle could use a touch of the outdoors. This can be a floral wreath, a vase with a few sprigs of something green or colorful, a potted plant etc. It's soothing to the soul to have something green in your home and especially around your fireplace. One is usually enough, unless you are balancing out your mantle with 2 of the same containers or vases. Gadgets. Trinkets. Littles. Oh My!

#5 and one of my most fun parts of decorating a mantle, is finding those tiny items that you just love. Whether you found them at an antique store or they were passed down to you or your kiddo made them in art, this is your chance to showcase them. Pull them out from the cabinet and let it be your conversation piece. Don't overdo this step. I have seen some try to put up a full on collection of figurines. Don't do it! The only time that looks good is if it's a bunch of glass bottles. Three items should be enough. Remember your Odds vs even rules will apply here.

#6 Rule to a perfect mantle is levels. Use books laying down or a neat decorative box to elevate a trinket or 2. I usually will put one item on the book and one on the mantle to give it variation like the picture below. Notice the odd numbers, different heights and green items with a focal point in the center. 

 No matter your style, you are sure to have a few amazing pieces laying around your home, that are screaming at you to showcase them. Now is your chance. So grab a few hours and enjoy putting your mantle together! Happy Fall Ya'll