In the olden medieval days, the fireplace mantel also known as chimneypiece, was originally meant to catch the smoke from the hearth or fireplace. Occasionally, it evolved into an art form, and sometimes elaborate mantels (which would extend even to the ceiling) became the focal point of a room. Over the years, as modern heating technologies, people did not need fireplaces anymore and they became purely ornamental. It is essential then, for any fireplace because now they are just for designs.
If you have a fireplace mantel, then there are many ways you can decorate and design with them. Here are some ideas:
Keepsakes and Pictures
Keepsakes and memories make a great statement anywhere, including your fireplace. The platform on top of the mantel is one of the best places to display anything. Family pictures make a good centerpiece, but other keepsakes, like bronzed baby shoes, diplomas, or souvenirs from trips or life events can be placed on top of the fireplace mantel.
Mirrors are such an under decorated decorating piece. It really is such a versatile piece which can be used anywhere, and the fireplace mantel is not exception. If you have a large wall space over the mantel, place a big mirror with a nice frame over the mantel. Keep the mantel clutter free. With a mirror in place, you do not really need much. A mirror can also give a small room a larger feel, which is a big plus.
Candles are actually the traditional decorations for fireplace mantels. Back then, they did not have electric lights and had to use candles for light in the evening. It was the perfect place to situ candles, which can be taken to the room at bedtime.
The types of candles you put on your fireplace mantel depends on the size of the mantel itself. The idea is to have a good balance, depth and variation. You can have two large candles on either end such as, and maybe balance it with a large decorative piece in the middle. Or you can have several small candles lined up on the mantel. It really is up to you, and you can switch it up to give variation to your mantel every few months or so.
Plants and Flowers
The fireplace mantel, if it's wide enough, would be the perfect place to put some plants or fresh flowers. These fresh elements can really bring life to a room, not to mention the added benefits of adding live plants in your living room. Make sure you pick plants that can thrive well inside or with little sunlight, especially if your fireplace does not get enough sunlight. This idea is best if you severely use your fireplace, as the heat may wilt or kill your plants. If you use it seasonally, make sure you transfer your plants before you start lighting your fires.
There are many more ways to dress up your fireplace mantel. Try different ways and have fun with it. There are no restrictions and only your imagination is the limit.