I just love fireplaces, I feel it adds so much character to a room. Whether your fireplace is working or just decorative, it usually is the focal point in a room and therefore, should not be neglected and should be carefully decorated. Here are my seven tips to make the most of this beautiful feature; you can use them individually or combine them (see above picture). Have fun decorating !
A lot of mantels have mirrors, I think it is such a great addition, especially in a small room as it adds depth and makes it feel larger and it will also add light by simply reflecting the one in the room. Mirrors also adds glamour to a room.
The mantel is a perfect place for art display. As I mentioned above, the fireplace is often the focal point in a room, meaning our eyes are automatically drawn to it, so what better place to show your most precious works of art? If you do not have art you want to place there, well I always say the most beautiful pieces are often family pictures, so add photo frames with your best shots!
3/ Ornate with fireplace accessories
Whether your fireplace is working or not, adding a fire screen, wood logs and a tool set are a chic addition to your home decor. Here are my shopping suggestions for a cosy and elegant fireplace.
Use the mantel as a display for fine books, it is a perfect match and the fireplace will feel even more cosy! I mean seriously, who hasn’t dreamt of reading a good book by the fireplace with nice cup of tea or red wine?
5/Flowers, holiday and seasonal decor.
Candles are just a stunning addition to add warmth and a romantic feel to a space. Now you can either add just a couple of candle holders or literally fill the mantel and the fireplace with candles of every size and shape. For those of you who have a non working fireplace, it is the perfect addition to create a “faux” fire… (for safety purposes, you can use the faux flames ones for maximum effect without the damage ).
6/ Adapt it to your style
Just bought a home with a fireplace but do not like the style? Too old, too modern, too dark, etc… This point comes to mind , as I had a friend, who bought this beautiful apartment in an old coop Manhattan building, so there was this beautiful fireplace with mouldings BUT the mantel was made of a very dark wood and some of the tiles were broken and missing! My client wanted a modern Scandinavian style design, so the fireplace felt out of place and she suggested destroying it! I stopped her straight away and explained how it was such a beautiful and unique feature; we decided to paint it in white, replaced the tiles with dark grey subway style tiles et voila! She loved it and I believe she would never think of destroying a fireplace again! This is to say that there are always solutions, and the most important is that the fireplace style should match the design of the apartment, whether rustic, modern, transitional etc… You do not have to destroy it or live with it as is; ask a specialist about what are the best options if you are unsure; but just keep in mind that sometimes it doesn’t take much to transform you fireplace.
7/ TV or no TV?
I’ve been asked many times if it was ok to put the TV above the mantel. The truth is , it all depends on the size and purpose of the room. If the room is small and it is a combined dining room/living room space, it is also very likely that the sofa(s) will face the fireplace; so yes, it would be more practical to actually put the TV there. If you have a large living room/family room, and you can fit your furniture in a way that you have the fireplace on the side (you do not want to have your back facing the fireplace; it’s just illogical) and the TV on a wall in front of the sofa; then it is best to place the TV on a separate wall, in order to optimize the mantel and fireplace decor… Then of course, the best would be to have a boudoir like living room to unwind by the fireplace and a media/family room 😉
…You can still decorate your mantel in a chic way
… Or you can find a sophisticated way to hide it