The fireplace has been the focal point of the rooms since the 12th century when the stove moved from the center of the room to the wall. This simple change made it possible to provide the fireplace with elaborate and richly decorated fireplace surrounds and mantels. Of course, this kind of extravagant representation was the task of wealthy castle residents, who had deep enough pockets to commission ornately carved frames made of wood and stone. This paved the way for the “styling” of 18th century mantels – it was customary to hang a framed family portrait over the mantelpiece. And while we certainly won’t stop you from using the mantelpiece to display your favorite family portrait, our designers have a few other styling tricks up their sleeves to ensure you get the most out of this mantelpiece.
Pictured: coat close-up via HGTV
1. Center a large piece
If you get dramatic, go all the way. Make sure your burning piece is at least 2/3 the size of the mantelpiece. Everything that is smaller will be lost.
2. Create a visual movement
Pay attention to the visual movement of the objects on the fireplace. When everything is the same level, it feels calm. Instead, you want the eye to move naturally around the fireplace. You could place a twig or a plant on the mantelpiece. The organic shape encourages this visual movement.
In addition to visual movement, you want to create visual weight by laying the objects on top of each other. Small items, candles, and even small paintings can be placed in front of your larger piece to create a cohesive composition.
4. Varying heights
In addition to the overlay, you’ll also want to add accessories of different heights. Here, too, it is about moments of the eye. You can imagine creating a shortwave effect.
The mirror is the focal point, the layered objects add visual interest, and the natural elements keep the eye moving. This is a winner! About Lonny
Leaning faux coat
You don’t even have to make a single nail hole to get a fantastic mantelpiece display. This crooked art exhibit is a great example of the power of layering. About Lonny
Objects on the coat
This peacock’s tail creates the perfect visual movement when the tail swings to the right. About Lonny
Single focus – type coat centerpiece
A single piece of art can make a big statement – just make sure it’s big enough. It should be at least 2/3 the size of the mantelpiece. About House & Garden UK
Mirror coat centerpiece
In the former home of JCrew’s style icon Jenna Lyons in Brooklyn, the layer was perfectly encased. About milk & honey
Elaborate coat mirror is the focus
This large mirror is the main focal point while the other objects keep everything on the floor. About Lonny
Simple wooden coat
The objects on this mantelpiece are the perfect example of adding visual weight. About Lonny
Wall lamp + fireplace cladding.
Create an even bigger focal point by adding bookcases or sconces to flank the fireplace. In this case, they both did! About apartment therapy
Gallery wall coat
Creating a collage that extends beyond the fireplace makes the entire wall look even more dramatic. About collecting & collecting