Today we are learning how to style a mantle using a clock, mirror, photo, or a tv as the anchor point. All of the tips below can be used no matter what you choose to anchor the mantle. I am currently loving the Samsung Frame TV. You can check it out here.
This TV looks like a work of art when it’s turned off! You have access to over 1200 works of art on it so you change the art to reflect the mood you’re in that day! It’s really an answer to every wife’s prayer! My husband gets his big TV over the fireplace and I don’t have to stare at it all day long!! It’s a win, win.
But seriously, let's learn how to style a mantle. These tips can also be used to style a bookcase, or an entry table as well. There are six key elements to keep in mind when styling a mantle. Let me know how your mantle turned out! You can send me a photo or post it here in the comments!
An anchor point is just fancy designer speak for deciding on the one piece that you want to be the focus of your display. It can be a
Gather your items that you think you might want to use on the mantle and group them into like items. Put all the candles together, all the pictures, vases, etc.
I like to look at each group of items I have and try to get an idea in my head which three vases/candles/pictures would work together. I ask myself which ones are similar in color or complete a large, medium, small grouping.
Just remember that visually odd numbers look good together. Especially groups of three. Three is usually the magic number but sometimes one object works or a smaller grouping of five objects can work as well (as in clusterings candles together which we will talk about soon!)
Symmetrical Design lends itself to a more formal, traditional feel, but it’s also classic and timeless. You can never go wrong with symmetry.
Do you have two vases that are similar that can be used to flank each side of the anchor? Adding symmetry to a mantle is the easiest way to style it once you’ve decided on your anchor point. Whatever you put on the right side, you also put it on the left side.
Symmetrical design really takes the guess work out of styling your mantle.
If you are looking for a more casual vibe, you can also use an asymmetrical look.
Asymmetrical looks can be a little bit harder to achieve but I’m going to walk you through it. An asymmetrical look is achieved by taking the anchor point and then adding different items on either side.
The trick to asymmetrical design is creating visual balance. Just because there are different elements on each side doesn’t mean you can just throw up anything.
They need to be similar in height and weight to achieve a visual balance. So maybe you add a large vase on the right side of the anchor and then a grouping of three items on the other side.
Another point to keep in mind is you want to alternate your groupings.
In this instance if you have a grouping of three items on the left side, don’t put another grouping of three below it on the hearth. Instead, put the grouping of three to the right of the hearth.
This also helps create visual balance. In the photo above, there is a grouping of three wooden vases on the left, so on the right on the floor, I added a basket with two blankets in it. You are basically just creating repeating patterns by alternating sides.
Next you want to add a little height at the end of the mantle. This can be done by adding something taller items like a vase or a candle holder to the side of the anchor. You can also add some greenery or flowers to a shorter vase to achieve the height you’re looking for.
Adding greenery adds life to any space!
Do you have a small fake plant in a pretty vase that you can add? If you’re doing an asymmetrical design, this could be part of your grouping of three.
Or maybe you want to add it on top of your stack of books? You can also add greenery to the vase to create some visual height if needed.There are several really good fake flowers/greenery available these days that look so real. I’ve linked a few of my favorites here on Amazon. (These are affiliate links. I do get a small commission when you buy something. Thank you for your support!)
If you are looking for a more layered, casual look you can add three prints as your anchor point on the mantle. I would suggest one large, one medium, and one small photo with images that go together. Just remember to keep it in groupings of odd numbers ( are you getting sick of me saying to use odd numbers yet?!!) These could be flanked by some taller candle sticks one side and some greenery on the other.
Creating a layered look can also be achieved with several items in one category. Say you have a bunch of candles in varying heights that you want to use. You can add an ODD number of candles in varying heights across the mantle for a casual layered look.
Another way to create layering is to stack books, also in odd numbers, on the mantle. I would suggest trying to keep the book in similar sizes and color if you can. You can also turn the books facing outward so you don’t see the binding of the book, just the white pages for a more uniform look. Adding a small candle or a small plant on top of the stack books really helps to complete the look.
Regardless of how you decide to style your mantle there are three things you should always avoid!
I hope these tips will help you when deciding to style your mantle. Remember these tips also work when you are decorating for the holidays. Of course you can break the odd number rule when you’re hanging stockings! Let me know what you thought of today’s post and if there’s anything else you want to learn about! Follow me on Pinterest for more designer tips on how to make your home look stunning.