Happy Friday! Earlier this week I took the time to give our house a good clean and after dusting the fireplace- I felt like getting creative, so I decided to restyle the mantel. I figured I’d turn my little styling session into a blog post of sorts and share some tips that may or may not be common knowledge. Just after built-ins and shelving, mantels are my favorite thing to style. They’re easy and fun… it always amazes me how a simple styling swap can really influence the overall look of the room. I tossed some new pillows onto our living room sofa, switched up the mantel styling, and suddenly it feels like a brand new, fresh space again. Click through for my mantel styling tips, along with 5 different looks! Feel free to pin them or save them for later, if you’d like.
Before we jump into the different looks I styled, here are a handful of tips to keep in mind while you’re styling…
- Create a focal point with one large piece. In my living room, it’s a mirror… but this could also be art, a juju hat, a wall hanging, a wall basket, etc.
- Consider lighting. I love symmetry, so I enjoy flanking the focal point with lighting of some sort… sconces, wall candelabras, etc.
- Style with odd numbers in mind. Odd numbers & groupings are visually pleasing in design… consider groupings of three, five- or a single item.
- Use items of varying heights. Look at your mantel like a landscape- mix object of varying heights while considering color and texture.
- Keep the decor style fairly consistent. With a small surface like a mantel, it’s tricky to include too many aesthetics. Stick to one style- traditional, modern, coastal, etc.
- Layer until it’s styled to your liking. Sometimes it takes adding and removing things until you find balance and your preferred look. Just keep layering, shifting, and experimenting!
Ready to see my styling session? It’s always fun to play around and shake things up. This is how I left it at the end of the day…
LAYERED MANTEL STYLING
I opted for a few book stacks, a pillar candle in a hurricane, a simple vase, and some florals. Easy and sophisticated!
SIMPLE MANTEL STYLING WITH BOOKS
Books are the easiest way to style a mantel… and they’re great if you’re short on space. Simple piles can be pretty effective in creating visual interest.
SCULPTURAL MANTEL STYLING
This was my second favorite… because sometimes more is more, in my mind. I love sculptural objects and the mantel is a great place to display unique finds and treasures from traveling.
MINIMAL MANTEL STYLING
Next, I decided to pare it back a bit and keep the profile a little lower. A centered sphere, books, a magnifying glass, and a favorite candle for summer is sometimes all it takes.
MODERN MANTEL STYLING
Last, I wanted to create an option that felt more modern… which typically isn’t my preferred style here at home. It honestly had me craving fall with those hues! It also proves that asymmetry is equally as beautiful.
Brainstorming List of Objects to Try…
- Magnifying Glass
- Pottery, Vases, & Vessels
- Sculptural Objects
- Florals & Greenery
- Wood Objects
- Sconces or Wall Candelabras
- Brass Objects
- Travel Finds
Which look do you like best? If you’re looking for a fun and creative way to mix things up in your own home (and you have a fireplace), try restyling the mantel. Here’s to a good weekend ahead! We’re taking the camper out again… just close to home. We’ll also be chipping away at the entryway renovation. What are your weekend plans?
ColleenJuly 29, 2022 at 6:58 am
I never tire of seeing beautiful pics of your living room Sarah. My favorites are the layered and modern mantle. We had a more formal living room with a fireplace in our last house which was so fun styling. We actually don’t have a mantle or formal living room at our current house but I love to style my console tables. I’m always switching it up ☺️ So fun!
Have a wonderful weekend adventure in your swanky glamper 😜 It’s such an amazing way to travel and explore. We are headed to the city to see our friends this weekend 😎 Cheers
SarahJuly 31, 2022 at 8:10 pm
Thank you, Colleen! I feel like console styling is very similar to mantel styling- such a good point. It really is fun to trade things out every once in awhile. We had a fun weekend at a nearby lake in the camper… we did some swimming, boating, and had plenty of good food. It’s really convenient. I hope you had a fun time in the city with your friends!! xo
PeggiJuly 29, 2022 at 7:33 am
Good morning! Looks like somebody had a fun session. Because our fireplace is the aesthetic bane of my home, I essentially ignored it…forever. Thanks to your gentle, positive influence, I have experimented in recent years with styling and have been surprisingly happy with some of the looks. This spring, I finally thrifted a pair of buffet lamps. They were the height and heft the mantle needed. D even commented on the change! (Sidenote: I am psyched to have a pair of small lampshades to change on a whim!) I still have two minor obstacles. All of my styling pieces must be either too heavy for Sunday the cat to push off the edge or unbreakable. So far, so good on that count. The real problem is that I need more styling items, but of course I want them all to be unique and meaningful. Ha. I’ve also noticed that finding larger objects is key. Too many small tchotchkes look cluttered or unintentional to my eye. From your looks, I have a few favorites. I really like the modern version! The simple boldness catches my attention, and the shot of color has my heart. (Also, virtually begging for fall over here.🥵) The layered mantle is simply so pretty! It tells me that I especially enjoy plants, branches or florals in the mix. The sculptural example definitely makes my top three. I’m always drawn to striking shapes. Lastly, I might try the books only vignette as a sort of kitty parkour. Lol. Thanks for an interesting exercise this morning! Examining each style felt like a mini Design Eye. Have a blast on your next camper adventure; btw, does she have a name yet?? Happy Pizza Friday, friends!💜
SarahJuly 31, 2022 at 8:08 pm
It was a fun little styling sesh :) Every photo I’ve seen or you have sent me of your fireplace- I’ve loved! Your buffet lamps sound amazing! Well done. You’ve influenced me to swap lamp shades on occasion- I’m all about that. Having a cat certainly complicates mantel styling… you definitely have to make sure things are safe and pet-friendly. For the modern version, I went outside and snipped some branches (or at least what was left from the deer who apparently had a delicious dinner featuring our landscaping). Those colors certainly have me craving fall. We had a fun weekend camping at a nearby lake- we swam, the dogs got super muddy, and fun was had by all! We still need to come up with a good name. We brainstormed some this weekend, but nothing stuck. Hope you had an amazing weekend! xo
TamiJuly 29, 2022 at 9:01 am
Gorgeous! I loved the layered look (#1) but then feel even more deeply in love with the modern look! Then again, maybe it’s my fall loving heart coming through there! 🥰
SarahJuly 31, 2022 at 8:04 pm
Thanks, Tami! I am really craving fall over here- I can’t wait to start sprinkling more of those colors around our home in anticipation of the season. Hope you had a great weekend!
Danna FJuly 29, 2022 at 9:27 am
Your mantle is a beauty in itself. I especially love your mirror (the thickness and size). Surprisingly for me, I really liked your modern styling. Maybe the colors, simplicity or asymmetry? My fave is the layered with flowers.
Love that you are going back out in your camper! Have a great time! Crossing fingers stair remodel goes well.
Have a great weekend everyone!
SarahJuly 31, 2022 at 8:03 pm
Thanks so much, Danna! The simplicity and asymmetry are definitely fun to look at in the modern version. I think it has me itching for fall and that color palette. We had such a fun weekend camping at a nearby lake! Back to work this week on the stairs :) Hope you had a wonderful weekend, too! xo
LaurenJuly 29, 2022 at 11:08 am
Good morning Sarah! I love this type of post- and how fun to get creative with different objects from around your house. I do the same. My mantle is a tough one for me to style, mostly because the mantle seems extremely high on the wall, and it’s bulky. The sculptural look you’ve shown here is my favorite, followed by the modern look. I’m loving asymmetrical styling, florals, and greenery lately. I’ll have to shop my home and play with the mantle when I’m back from Utah. Thank you for the constant inspiration! Can you even with those plum colored stems?? I’m so ready for fall! Happy Friday friends; see you in a bit Sarah!
SarahJuly 31, 2022 at 8:02 pm
Hi Lauren! Hope you had a fun weekend with your family. It was so great to see you and hangout for a bit on Friday :) Thanks again for meeting me! It was like catching up with an old friend. I’m SO ready for fall. I skimped on the sunscreen at the lake this weekend and I’m vowing this will be my last summer sunburn of the season. Ha! Have a safe trip home! xo