Fireplace Mantels and Surrounds

As you may know, nothing quite captures your attention in a room like a roaring fireplace. And while it is hard enough to maintain the upkeep of a fireplace (unless you are lucky enough to have a low-upkeep modern fireplace design), its almost as hard but just as important to decorate the mantel, hearth and chimney wall above it in a way that achieves balance and harmony.

If you’re new to the idea of having a fireplace, below are a few tips for deciding the best way to decorate your mantel. Most fireplaces are the focal point of the room and we must lend care to the way we adorn the area around and above it, for aesthetic and safety reasons…

Fireplace Decorating Tips

1. Some fireplaces have protruding chimney walls, and others don’t. If yours does not, we’d go one of two routes: Create the visual presence of a chimney wall by symmetrically placing a collection of paintings, a large mirror or a sculptural piece on the wall above it to define the space. Or alternatively, you can dress up the entire wall for dramatic effect with an intriguing accent color or by using adventurous wallpaper.

2. If your chimney wall is a beautifully textured material finish, let that be the focus and go minimal up top. Perhaps you can add some tea light candles on the mantel or a single candelabra on the hearth (platform below the fireplace) for added interest.

3. If your room decor is more casual or traditional, it is cool to get creative on your mantel with a sensible collection of items of various sizes or shapes as long as there is a common thread. And have the items layered but collectively placed spaciously to avoid clutter.

4. If you don’t have a mantel and want one really badly, you can place a substantial shelf above the fireplace that is at least as wide as the fireplace. Or you can get shorter shelves and stack them asymmetrically to bring balance, and remember not to overload the surface with “stuff”…less is more! Or, if your space could benefit from more decorative details, consider investing in a handsome fireplace screen that suits your interior style.

5. And last but nevertheless, do not place flammable objects anywhere around or on the hearth and mantel. If you want to place a flat screen or anything electrical above the fireplace make sure the mantel is thick enough for protection against direct heat to your valuables.

There are so many different types and styles of fireplaces that we decided to feature a few of our hottest finds and inject some inspiration into what may seem like an overwhelming task. Here is a collection of beautifully designed living rooms mostly by Solusdecor that showcase the most outstanding fireplaces and their surrounding elements.

Additional Fireplace mantels that we hand-picked from Flickr


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