Mantel decorating can be a challenge. Sure it’s a fun spot to switch up the decor with each season but it can be overwhelming to get that perfect balance. Since I recently updated ours with some new decor I thought I would share some tips for Mantel Decorating with a TV.
MANTEL DECORATING WITH A TV
The only mantel we have in our home is in our master bedroom and it’s original to the house. It was a weird design element before we added some shiplap and a brick looking hearth, but now it looks like it was always meant to be. Our simple and modern mantel makeover gave me the perfect neutral and blank space to play around with my decor and figure out what works and what doesn’t.
I had some left over christmas things up until just recently so I figured it was probably time to give it a fresh look for spring and summer. I wanted to share some of my tips for creating the perfect balance and how to get the look in your own home. Since we have a tv above ours, I’m going to focus on styling around that but thees tips can be used without one as well.
STRIP DOWN YOUR MANTEL
The best way to begin when you’re re-styling any area in your home, is to strip it down to the bare bones. Remove all the existing accessories so you have a blank slate and can see the space in a new perspective and not get distracted by the old design.
CHOOSE YOUR TV ART
If you have the Frame TV like we do, then your television will act like a piece of artwork when it’s not turned on. This is such a great way to hang your tv above your mantel, yet allow it to blend in with your decor. Choosing the artwork first, allows you to set the tone for the rest of the space and gives you a color palette to work off of.
If you don’t have the frame, don’t worry! Just continue on to the next step. Or go buy one because they are totally worth it 😉
START WITH ONE LARGE GROUNDING PIECE
Every mantel is different but I like to start with one larger piece that will help to ground the space. I typically put this piece on the bottom, either side will work, and then go from there. This could be something like a basket with pillows in it, a basket with wood in it, a firewood holder or even a pouf off to the side or two centered in front.
Depending on the style of your mantel, this item could go directly on the floor or on top of your hearth if it’s raised.
ADD ELEMENTS OF VARYING HEIGHT
When you start adding in smaller decor items make sure that you are using items of different heights. You want there to be some variation and this will help keep your eyes moving around.
You can do this with the following:
- Books – I always stack a couple underneath something if I need it to be a bit taller. My favorite place to get cheap books for styling is good will or thrift stores. You can rifle through them all and take the covers off to find the colors you want. I usually stick with white or earthy colors.
- Greenery or plants – this will give a vase some extra height if it’s next to another item of the same size.
- Candlesticks – these are always a go to of mine for styling mantels. Try using different sized ones in a group to create some varying movement.
Sure you can still keep things neutral if that’s your style like me, but try not to put things that are the same color next to one another. Or if you do, add in something else to add some contrast like a book with a dark cover or some greens. Too many dark pieces can create a heavy feel and too many light colors pieces won’t create enough of a presence.
*Tip – if you have a piece you love but it’s not the right color, give it a quick coat of spray paint!
THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX
When you have a TV above your mantel it can create an imaginary box between the four corners. You have the space to the left and right of your television and then usually the space to the right and left of your fireplace. In this case, I did put something in each corner, but in the past I’ve used that space in the middle on top of our hearth as well.
We don’t have room under our tv to put much but if yours is higher think about using that space in a creative way. You could put a low dough bowl or basket, or even some garland. Stacked books could fit nicely or even some small vases.
There’s something calming about symmetry but it’s not always the right option for your mantel decor. Sure it can work, but creating an asymmetrical design will keep your eyes moving and create organic movement. You also want to think about balance when designing this way. If you put something really heavy on one side, then go lighter on the other.
The downside of having a TV above your mantel is that you can’t layer pieces over it. But it doesn’t mean that you can’t still use this technique. Try layering some smaller art pieces off to the side with a little vase or pot in front of it. This will help to create a sense of depth on your mantel, which is usually a sure way to make a space feel right.
THE RULE OF THREES
When using smaller objects to decorate your mantel, think about the rule of threes. Basically things arranged in odd numbers are more appealing. If you just have two items next to one another, you don’t have to look around much and therefore it can make things feel stagnant. When you design in a group of three, you create a triangle which keeps your eye moving from one object to the next and creates a more visually interesting design.
You can style your mantel in threes using three of the same object or 3 different ones. As you can see on ours, I did one of each. I used three vases on the bottom left of varying shapes and sizes, with some dried eucalyptus for added height. Above that, I used candlesticks, stacked books and a vase to create a grouping of three.
TRY AND TRY AGAIN
The only way I ever figure out what works best when I’m styling my mantel, or any space for that matter, is to keep trying different things. Change things around and try various arrangements until it feels right! Get creative and bring in different pieces you might not even think will work. You won’t know until you try 😉
Do you struggle with decorating your mantel? I hope these tips will help you out and give you some new ideas to try!