Mantles are often the focal point of a room and can really add to or hinder the look of a space. However, styling a mantle can sometimes pose a bit of a challenge. Don’t avoid this awesome design opportunity, if certain interior design tips and tricks are followed, styling these architectural elements can become an easy, fun process.
Add Some Visual Height
When styling a mantle, or a room for that matter, it is important that the eye has several points of interest to focus on. If you were to simply cover your mantle with shorter objects like 4×6 picture frames or other small knicknacks, the mantle would look unbalanced and unfinished. It is important to have an object(s) that brings the eye upwards and fills some of that white space. A pretty mirror or large vase of branches for example, would be perfectly sufficient at achieving this visual height that we are looking for.
Balancing objects with similar visual weights and heights is an easy way to achieve a polished look. In the picture above, the vase with the branches balances out the tall sculptural piece on the left of the mantle. This balance can be as literal as placing identical objects such as candle sticks or vases on either end of the mantle, or as abstract as using objects with similar heights instead. Basically, it just looks better if there isn’t a super short object on one end and a super tall object on the other.
Layering is Your Friend
Layering some of the picture frames in front of one another and adding in small decorative accessories in the foreground instantly creates visual interest and creates a more cohesive look. Don’t get crazy with the knicknacks, but a few purposeful items can add that final touch that we are looking for. Note: When grouping frames, art, or decorative accessories it often looks better in groups of three. Notice how the mantle above has two distinct sections of three elements?
Hopefully these interior design tips and tricks can help you create the superstar mantle of your dreams! I go into more depth about some of these rules and other helpful tips and tricks in Tried and True Design Rules and How to Enlarge a Space. Happy reading!