Fireplace Mantel Decor Ideas 

12 Minute Read

We last spoke about fireplaces in our post about fireplace mantels, and since then we’ve been thinking – mantels and fireplaces are such a focal point in the room, that choosing decorations and accessories is an essential part of completing the look.

We did a quick round up of ways to decorate your fireplace in the previous post too, but there is so much more to decorating fireplaces. And given the proximity to Christmas (we’re writing this post just a month away from Christmas day!), we’re thinking about preparing our homes for Christmas, so we thought we’d take a look at some of the ways to decorate fireplaces for the festive season too.

Getting Your Home Prepped For Autumn 2021

Fireplace Wall Décor Ideas

The wall behind your fireplace – sometimes known as the chimney breast – is another area to consider when you’re decorating the room, especially if the fireplace is to be highlighted. As with the rest of the room, you can paint, or use a feature wall paper in order to make the fireplace stand out even further, or to coordinate with the space.

Once you’ve got the wall décor sorted, you’ll need to decide if you’re going to add accessories to fill the empty space – and there is no end to the ideas that can look great on a chimney breast.

A few ideas we love include: 

  • Mounting a TV that becomes artwork when not in use (vintage frame optional!)
  • Fixing the TV to the wall behind shutters, so it can be hidden away when not in use 
  • Hanging actual artwork or rustic prints – whether you choose a traditional portrait, or abstract modern art 
  • Turning the chimney breast into a gallery wall of family photos 
  • Propping a large mirror on the mantel for additional light
  • Add wall lights to add to the ambience of the room
  • Place a large clock on the wall – a decal works well as a budget option
  • Add rustic shelves to display collections of curios 

Of course, if you favour a minimalist style, or your fireplace is particularly decorative, then feel free to leave your wall free of accessories, and let the fireplace, the mantel, and the décor speak for itself. 

Autumn 2021 home ideas
Autumn Home 2021

Fireplace Surround Ideas

Depending on the age of your home and whether the house has been renovated, the immediate area around the fireplace can be made from a range of different materials – which means that redecorating or refurbishing your fireplace surround may involve different products. For example, a solid wooden surround or mantel will need a wood finish, while a brick or metal surrounds may require specialist paint. You can use tiles, add a mantelpiece – with, or without columns to frame the fire – but there are plenty of other options too.

When you’re choosing the colour for your fireplace surround, white looks clean and fresh (although best used for non-working fireplaces!), natural wood effects look wonderful for mantels, while both glossy, and matte black finishes look fantastic too – or you can paint the whole thing in keeping with, or in contrast to the rest of the décor in the room. 

How Can I Make A Non-Working Fireplace Look Good?

There are loads of reasons that you might not be able to use your fireplace – but even if you’re unable to make use of your fireplace currently, there are some fabulous ideas to make your unused fireplace look that bit warmer. If you love the look of a working fireplace, then here are a few ideas to try and increase the hygge feel of your fireplace: 

  • Prepare the hearth with logs so that it looks ready to light (even if you never actually light it)
  • Arrange the fireplace with a basket of firewood next to it, and antique fire tools 
  • Find an ornamental fire guard – spray paint it a different colour if you like
  • Place candles grouped in the hearth – they can look incredibly pretty, and give off a warm glow!
  • Buy an electric log burning stove for the effect of having a ‘real’ fire without needing to sweep your chimney

You don’t have to use the hearth by making it look warm though. A few suggestions for your fireplace that don’t involve making it look like a working fire: 

  • Use it to house a large decorative basket – either for kids toys or blankets – a tidy room always looks better, after all!
  • Use your hearth to display a collection – bottles of red wine stacked on a rack, or framed photos can look great 
  • Add potted plants – a poinsettia adds visual warmth through the winter months, yellow roses or orchids look fresh through the spring and summer, or arrange a collection of succulents for low-maintenance greenery
  • If you prefer cut flower arrangements, choose bunches according to what is in season.
  • Lean a large piece of artwork in the fireplace to frame the art and draw attention to both the artwork and the fireplace

There are many, many other ideas that we’ve seen, including stacking books in the fireplace, adding mirrors or sculptures – so get creative, and see what you already have at home that could work. 

Autumn home table
Autumn home table

Fireplace Decor Ideas For Christmas

After the tree, the fireplace is the focus for festive decorations – so much so, one of the best loved Christmas songs references chestnuts roasting on an open fire! For many of us, decorating your fireplace for Christmas is part of the ritual – we pull out the box of decorations from storage, and get busy with whatever is left when we’ve decorated our tree. But there are other ways that you can decorate your fireplace at Christmas – here are some of our favourites.

Hang Stockings

Is it even Christmas without stockings hanging from the mantel? Even though Santa tends to be more generous these days than just a small stocking, leaving bigger gifts under the tree, having them hanging and full of tiny presents for Christmas morning is a tradition that can’t be abandoned. Find stockings to match your colour scheme, or personalise them with names stitched in.

Garlands

Garlands are a great way to decorate your fireplace. Whether you decide to hang them from underneath the mantel, or you simply arrange them along the top and in front of the hearth, garlands are a luxury festive look. They can be as simple as festive greenery tied together, or decorated with the type of accessories you might add to the tree – ribbons and bows, pine cones, tinsel, and berries.

Mini Christmas Tree

If the room you’re decorating is small, or if the actual Christmas tree is situated further away, why not place a miniature Christmas tree inside your fireplace? You can decorate it as you would with a full size tree (albeit with smaller baubles!) and your fireplace will look festive – once the fairy lights are on, you won’t even notice there isn’t a fire. 

Halloween Decor
Autumn Home Party

Wreaths

Not just for doors, wreaths can be used in all kinds of ways throughout the festive period – including on, or in your fireplace. If you normally have a mirror or artwork on the chimney breast, temporarily replace it with a festive wreath, pop one in the hearth with a candle at the centre, or place a small wreath (or two) on your mantelpiece.

Candles

Candles are an intrinsic part of Christmas décor – and so it stands to reason that you’d want to use them when decorating your fireplace! As we’ve already mentioned, placing an abundance of candles in the fireplace is a great way to create a warm glow, but candles can be used along the mantel, and on the fireplace surround to great effect too. Just remember to use LED candles if children or pets are around – and especially if you and yours are having more than a few glasses of mulled wine.  

Home Made Ornaments

There are so many lovely handmade Christmas ornaments that we love to see each year – and we’re sure you do too. Bringing out the decorations that your grown-up children made when they were five prompts equal parts love and embarrassment, while young family members will love adding their contributions. Children come home from school with Christingles and all kinds of festive DIY that, combined with other decorations can look wonderful – and of course, if you’re spending time making items like gingerbread houses, they look great in the mix too.

Final Thoughts

A fireplace in a room is an opportunity for decoration – no matter what the time of the year, and whether you use the fire or not. Whether you love the look of your fireplace and the surround as it currently is, or you plan to decorate it, your fireplace can reflect your taste in interior design, and offers a place for you to show off your art, trinkets, plants, candles and more. If you’re considering a new mantel, our rustic oak mantels are simple in design and show off the beauty of the grain in the wood – and of course, you can choose the finish to match the furniture in the room perfectly.

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