If the idea of changing your mantel a hundred times a year to suit every holiday and season gives you hives, or a panic attack, then take a deep breath. Not everyone does that and you don’t have to either.  Just choose a mantel design that you love well enough to keep it all year long.  Decorating a mantel is easier than you think with these simple tips.   Here are some great everyday mantel ideas to help you get a professional decorator look.

Variety of Height

Farmhouse chic is all the rage right now and this mostly-white mantel is a perfect way to bring that look to your home.  Whiteware along with the chalkboard, a little basketry, and green sprigs for color are perfectly pastoral.  All decorations on a mantel need to have various heights.  This mantel is a great example of that. 

Use Multiple Textures

Okay, don’t scream at me.  I know this is a Christmas mantel, and I just said you don’t have to do that.  But the elements here make for a great everyday mantel.  I love the window frame in the center and the distressed shutters on the sides.  The lamps bring warmth and could be white or bring in a cute country plaid.  Use greens and pinecones if that’s your thing, or other elements of greenery for a timeless look.  Mantels need to have a variety of textures.  

christmas mantel

Layering Elements

This is a great example of layering on a mantel.  Don’t just line everything up like little soldiers, but layer them in front of each other which creates dimension and visual interest.  This is a beautiful yet simple way of achieving the layered look.  The flowers on each side balance it well. 

TV? No Problem

A lot of people have a TV above the mantel and that creates a decorating challenge.  This mantel shows that you can place smaller items at the edge of the TV screen and then put larger, taller items on the sides.  Always vary the heights of everything on your mantel to create a nicer flow.  

tv mantel

Simplify your Style

Use a simple mantel look, for a room that has lots of other things going on.   Modern Glam did a great job of bringing in a mirror as the large focal point.  A quote is layered with something textured on each end.  A fluffy plant in a vase on one side, with sleek metal candle sticks on the other.  The simple colors work very well together. The result is a clean, lovely look.  

Symmetrical doesn’t mean mirrored 

This stunning mantel incorporates large cathedral-style candles on each side.  Notice how the heights of them vary.  The mirror in the center is a nice anchoring weight.  The grouping on the right and left of the mirror are equally weighted, even though the pumpkins are not the same size.  Sprigs of leaves tie the pumpkins down and create unity with the candle sticks.  It is not overly cluttered, which often people do with sprigs.  Good job Sontegable.com

Earth Textures

Go beachy with this charming mantel whose big star is the driftwood.  The mirror will visually enlarge the space, and the candles and greens bring life to the space.

Personal Signs

Your mantel doesn’t have to have a picture, clock, or mirror as its focal point.  Farmhouse trends have given these personal signs the spotlight.  This mantel uses a sign in the anchor space and then adds the varying heights and colors of sundry items.  It’s always good to include something tall on one or both sides of the mantel to draw the eye up and fill the space above the mantel. This sign can be purchased on Etsy by SalvagedchicMarket. 

Before we end there are a few DO NOT’s when decorating mantels.  

DON’T use random items:

Your mantel elements should have a common theme.  Many people use the current season to spark their decorating theme, or they decorate with things that speak out to their personality, such as books, boating, or the love of nature.  

DON’T layer so much you hide items:

When layering, the main part of each object should be seen.  Don’t layer just for the sake of layering

DON’T forget about balance:

If you have a visually heavy object, the other side need to have some weight to it as well.  If you have light objects, don’t bunch them all on one side, spread them out. 

DON’T use the same shape or size:

Create balance by using multiple shapes and sizes.  You need something tall, something short, something round and something with angles.  Using the same object, like multiple plates over is boring. It doesn’t engage the viewer.

DON’T over decorate:  

This happens most often at Christmas.  If you have garland, and stockings, already pull back on the decor you might normally keep up there.  Replace your current decor with Christmas options, don’t just add to it.  Remember with decorating any area of your home, less is often more. 

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Here are some great everyday mantel ideas to help you get a professional decorator look.