5 ways to style your mantelpiece

Charged Canvas Print

It’s not just good for keeping you warm in the winter – your fireplace, and the mantelpiece above it, are also excellent for displaying your personal style and making a statement in your home. Here are 5 different ways to style your mantelpiece to keep the space from going to waste

Featured image presents Charged Canvas Print, available from Zanui.


by Dura Supreme Cabinetry

by Dura Supreme Cabinetry

This theme is perfect if you want to create a cosy, comfortable feeling using your mantelpiece, rather than use it as a statement piece.

To create personality, consider displaying your possessions in an asymmetrical way. If you want to display photos or artwork, opt for frames of different sizes and materials. Stack your books in different ways, some lying down and others standing up, and use bookends to add a little extra touch of style (and help keep your books upright!).

Display whatever small knick-knacks you like: figurines, a money box, a sculpture, trophies – whatever is going to help show off your personal style, or your family’s.

For a really old school mantelpiece look, fluted candlesticks can add a touch of vintage charm, particularly those with a distressed wood or resin finish, as can a traditional mantel clock.

Traditional Silent Mantel Clock, shop at Zanui.com

Traditional Silent Mantel Clock, shop at Zanui


From adoremagazine.com

From adoremagazine.com

For a more contemporary look, try to keep everything to a minimum. Pick 2 or 3 décor elements to display, for example, a painting, a vase and a cluster of tea lights. Do no more than this, to keep things as clean and understated as you can.

Small, green, potted succulents or even a terrarium can add a bit of colour and life to the contemporary mantelpiece (plus, they’re easy to maintain). Conversely, consider displaying a lone solid-coloured vase with a tidy bunch of flowers – or even a single stem – to keep things fresh but still as tidy as possible.

Depending on the height of your mantelpiece, a mirror can also look elegantly modern hanging above your fireplace. To avoid only seeing the top of your head in the mirror’s reflection, we recommend you don’t hang a mirror above your mantelpiece if it is quite high.

In such cases, a simple framed canvas print can look just as sophisticated, and might even add a bit of colour to the space. For a less conventional but certainly still contemporary way of displaying artwork, consider leaning frames of different sizes back against the wall rather than hanging them.

If you’re able to, think about sticking to a colour theme. Black and white is always classy – if your walls are white, consider thin, black photo frames or a black vase for your flowers. For a display that’s going to stand out, consider colours that offset each other, such as navy blue and gold. A gold mirror against a navy blue wall, for example, creates an excellent statement piece.


From ZsaZsa Bellagio

From ZsaZsa Bellagio

With an elegant theme, keep artwork, photo frames and random knick-knacks elsewhere – this is more about grandeur and refinement than homeliness.

Think gorgeous bouquets of white roses or orchids in tall, glass vases. Think gold candlesticks and crystalline glassware. Think of a small mantel clock or even a jewellery box. Think of a gold-framed mirror, to make the space look all the more dignified.

Most importantly, try to keep things symmetrical. Balance out the objects you display to avoid creating a haphazard look. For example, place a vase on each end of the mantelpiece containing the same type of flower, followed by two gold candlesticks on either side of a mantel clock in the centre.


Flameless Carrara Marble Wax Candle, shop at Zanui.com

Flameless Carrara Marble Wax Candle, shop at Zanui

Additionally, if you’re able to, think about placing sconces on either side of the wall beside the mantelpiece. This will create further elegant symmetry and give you light in the space when the fireplace is not in use!


By Carole Poirot

By Carole Poirot

For a rustic display, it’s all about weathered wood – from photo frames, to mirrors, to the mantelpiece itself – mixed with stone, animal motifs and unconventional, ‘make do’ elements.

Think lanterns as tea light candleholders and wrought iron candlesticks. Some leafy plants or even just sticks in ceramic pots instead of luscious bouquets of roses in ornamental vases work well. And of course some rustic themed wall art, from a picturesque country scene to a (faux) bulls-head sculpture.

Podium Pot by Zakkia, shop at Zanui.com.au

Podium Pot by Zakkia, shop at Zanui

Paintbrushes, horseshoes, handcrafted items, ceramic pots – all of these distinctly un-modern things will contribute to creating that undeniable country charm. If it’s to your tastes, animal hide and other animal themed elements are an inherently rustic element of interior décor.



From lonelysweetwilliam

At the end of the day, your mantelpiece doesn’t have to have a particular theme – you can style the space however you want – but if all you’re looking for is a way to add more colour to your room, the mantelpiece can be a perfect way to do this.

By hanging a wreath of colourful paper lanterns in front of the mantelpiece (although, we recommend not doing this when the fireplace is in use!) or displaying an array of different coloured glass jars or cups, you can add a burst of colour without it being overdone.

Multi-coloured bouquets of flowers (perfect for spring!) and all different kinds of colourful artwork, either on the wall behind the mantel or sitting on the mantelpiece itself, can also help bring more colour into your space.

Kali cup from Aura by Tracie Ellis. Shop at Zanui

Kali cup from Aura by Tracie Ellis. Shop at Zanui


Even if you aren’t intending for your fireplace to be a statement piece, it – and the mantelpiece above it – will typically be the focal point of the room. Don’t let the space go to waste. It’s a perfect way to show off your personal touches, family mementos and just how décor savvy you are.

Whatever your style, your mantelpiece can help you display it!

Elizabeth is a digital content writer and copy editor from Sydney, Australia, with a degree in Media & Communications from the University of New South Wales. When she isn't writing for Zanui, she's usually attempting further study, burying her head in a novel (or writing her own), pestering her cat, or desperately trying to keep her small potted succulent alive.