40 Cozy Ideas for Fireplace Mantels

Create a Cozy Fall Fireplace
Photo: The Frugal Homemaker / Pinterest

In the South, we love a well-styled and accessorized fireplace mantle. The more layers, the prettier the finished product. One of our favorite mantel decorating ideas is to layer varying sizes of framed or unframed art on the shelf. Though you don't always have to hang art, if you do, be aware of how high the frames are in your space. You can try placing artwork just a few inches above the mantel as a tip for the ideal height. Another fireplace mantel decorating idea is to place mirrors in various sizes and shapes to replace the standard single mirror.

There are so many seasonal and festive fireplace mantel ideas that you can try out too. We have mantel decorating ideas for Christmas, but we don't forget the beautiful scenery changes in fall. Many of these autumn-inspired mantel decorations are a great way to cozy up to the fire on those chilly fall days. Before hanging up your decorating hat, don't forget about your outdoor fireplace because it deserves some love too. Here are some cozy ways to make any fireplace the room's focal point.

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Embrace Fall Foliage

Foliage-Filled Outdoor Fireplace
Helen Norman

Take advantage of the seasonal foliage and incorporate it into your home decor. We love this elegantly-draped oak, magnolia leaves, and stacked pumpkins that complete the fall effect. Foraging for items outside might be the perfect way to find inspiration.

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Clothe the Mantel

Boxwood Garland with Ribbon and Flowers Around Fireplace Mantel
Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller and Elly Poston Cooper

Tailor a festive fireplace garland to suit any season. This draping adds a pop of natural color to a monochromatic room. Switch the garland strands to fit any occasion.

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Lead with Pops of Color

Play Up Your Favorite Color, but Keep the Base Neutral
Photo: William Waldron

A neutral fireplace makes bright accessories pop when placed on the mantel. This option is a great way to display a themed collection or beautiful accessories too delicate for a high-trafficked entryway table. Use shades of color to add interest and cohesiveness to the room.

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Try Laid-Back Looks

Chelsea Meissner Johns Island, SC Home Living Room
Jillian Guyette

The simplicity of the black-and-white fireplace mantle, topped with a single large framed photo, complements the rest of the room's playful, relaxed aesthetic. Trying an uncluttered arrangement can bring serenity to the room and be a resting point for the eyes. Find something that brings you happiness and place it front in center, with no distractions.

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Use Screens

Hanna Seabrook Living Room in Louisville, Kentucky
Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Elly Poston Cooper

​​​​​​​A white wicker screen matches the cottagey decor of this home's living room. It's both practical and stylish. Upcycling an outdoor screen can be a way to add character to a space usually deemed traditional.

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Eclectic Experiment

Authentic Gas Fireplace
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

A ventless gas fireplace has an authentic feel with an Eldorado fireplace surround and a wood mantel. Instead of one large painting above the mantel, a group of framed and unframed pieces creates an eclectic display. Use this space to bundle coordinating artwork to create a treat that continues to surprise viewers.

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Blend Seasonal Accents

Create a Cozy Fall Fireplace
The Frugal Homemaker / Pinterest

This fireplace combines everything we love about the fall into one cohesive display. Stick with a color palette like this orange, white, and brown scheme to ensure all your decor is complementary. Fresh fall flowers, like mums, bring life to this display.

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Embellish with Mirrors

Know When To Save or Splurge
Laurey W. Glenn, Styling: Heather Chadduck,

An inexpensive honeycomb mirror hung over the mantle dresses up this fireplace with a unique style. Vintage or accent mirrors create a focal point to the room without taking up any space. Mirrors over the fireplace can also act as reflective tools to increase the perception of room size.

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Find Antique Character

Antique Fireplace Mantel
Photo: Helen Norman

The distressed finish on this 19th-century relic lends historic character to the new wood-burning fireplace. Leaving original mantels incorporates the home's history into a new living space. When salvaging is possible, look to keep woodworking as authentic as possible.

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Pretty in Pink

Brittney Forrister Pink Living Room in Her Nashville, TN Cottage
Mary Craven

A pale pink wall color brings a delicate, warm feel to this space. A vase of pink flowers perfectly accentuates the eye-catching wall color. Add neutral colors to keep the fireplace in focus as the stand-out in the room.

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Contrast Focal Points

Get Inspired by Art
Laurey W. Glenn, Styling: Matthew Gleason

A white brick fireplace provides the perfect backdrop for cheery pops of color. In this 1920s home renovation, though the seating faces away from the fireplace, it still commands attention as the space's focal point. As a blank canvas, the fireplace encourages seasonal changes based on your creative whims.

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Display Collectibles

Curate a Rotating Mantle Display
Photo: Alexandra Rowley

Above the mantel, this homeowner displays an ever-changing arrangement of artwork and accessories. An avid flea market and antique store shopper, as he finds new collectibles, he likes to bring them in as a quick way to change up the look. The renovated lake retreat retains its vintage charm while presenting a wide-ranging mix of decor.

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Discover Marble Grandeur

Allison Allen Neutral Living Room
Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Elly Poston Cooper

This room may be bursting with decor, but the grand marble fireplace remains the focal point. The white tones and natural green elements relieve the eye from the busy shelves and furniture. Instantly adding elegance to any space, a marble fireplace setting showcases the sophistication in the room.

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Fill the Fireplace

Magnolia Garland and Red Accents Around Fireplace
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

​​​​​​​If your fireplace is not in use, turn it into the focal point of the room by filling it to the brim with logs or other statement pieces. This concept is simultaneously sleek and rustic. Using the fireplace for decor leaves the mantel available for collectibles, artwork, or other display pieces.

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Embossed Marble Fireplace

Formal Living Room
Wayne C. Moore of Back River Photography

This carved antique mantle requires little dressing up. A fresh bouquet of seasonal flowers and a statement mirror that brings out the fireplace's gold accents will do the trick. The classic embellishments add a traditional character to your home that any renovation could not build.

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Repurpose the Old

Jenny Keenan Designed Living Room for Her Parents House in Mount Pleasant, SC
Marili Forastieri; Styling: Barbara Schmidt

The mantel is one of two relocated into a new home. The distressed wood of the fireplace reminds the family of its history. A piece of modern art reinforces the antique yet contemporary feel.

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For the Bibliophile

Fireplace Storage

Not enough room on your shelves for all your books? Turn the fireplace into a storage spot for your extensive collection. This rustic look is perfect for the fall.

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Fit the Floorplan

Dogtrot Hallway Fireplace
Photo: Helen Norman, Styling: Rebecca Omweg

This fireplace and cherry mantle bridge the two sides of the home in the central hall of this dogtrot floor plan. Building this fireplace in the center of the home is a reminder of how it is a prominent fixture in the house. A painting by South Carolina artist Linda Rorer accompanies this mantel.

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Combine Classic and Whimsy

Blend Elegance and Comfort
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

Comfortable and formal collide in this vibrant living room. A traditional mantel juxtaposes the whimsical decor. Surrounding a classic fireplace with bold colors and modern decor adds to the room's personality.

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Achieve Symmetry and Balance

Achieve Balance
Laurey W. Glenn

When a home's fireplace layout contains asymmetrical surroundings, achieving formal symmetry can be intimidating. When surrounded by built-ins or walls, it's much easier to pull off, adding a calm balance to the room. The simple arrangement above this fireplace is clean and elegant.

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Make it Meaningful

Go Local
Photo: Erica George Dines

Make the coveted mantel space meaningful by adding something unique to your family, whether it is drawings from your children or local artists, such as this painting of Florida live oaks. The cast-stone fireplace, flanked by neutral shiplap, creates the perfect canvas for a standout decor piece. The casual setting around this special place in your home is worth a memorable mantel.

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Make it Personal

Living Room
Ellis Creek

We love decor that has a story. Personalize your mantel with old family portraits to give the room character without oversized, posed photos. Make your mantel showcase your family's history from all the shared moments in your home.

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Patterns on Patterns

Spotswood Hall Atlanta Living Room
Rodney R. Collins/Beacham & Company REALTORS

With such an intricately decorated room, the fireplace offers a splash of simplicity. Twin sculpted plants rest on each side of a gold-framed painting. The no-frills fireplace encourages pattern exploration throughout the rest of the room.

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Build a New Space

Sara Hedstrom Pinnell Walland, TN Cabin Outdoor Living Room on Porch
Photo: Helen Norman; Styling: Jeff Minnich

Relocate your family outdoors. This stunning outdoor fireplace keeps it casual with festive fall foliage and wood panel detailing. Outdoor fireplaces provide the perfect gathering space for the fall and winter holidays, creating an extra room for entertaining.

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Light the Room

Add Interest With Decorative Trim
Photography Van Chaplin, Charles Walton IV / Styling Buffy Hargett

Sconces above the mantel provide elegant symmetry, while the neutral fireplace plays well with bold-patterned upholstery. Additionally, the lighting near the fireplace sparks a desire to read by the fireplace. The modern construction allows for more presentation options for the holidays around the mantel.

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Go for Modern

4337 Westway Ave Highland Park Living Room
Costa Christ

Easy, breezy, and modern. This space is a perfect example of how to tastefully hang a television without distracting from the room's color scheme or decor. The simple surroundings also support this setup because there are fewer distractions.

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Utilize the Room's Features

After: Rightsize Remodel Living Room
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

The dark fireplace, nestled in the center of bright white walls, draws the eye closer. The charcoal-colored insert adds a modern touch to this rustic room. A thin coffee table, which fills the space without overpowering its essential feature, achieves a great view of the fireplace from anywhere in the room.

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Honor the Lake House

Lake House Fireplace
Photo: Helen Norman

Richly-hued walls complement the stone fireplace. The complexity of the stonework draws viewers' immediate attention, adding to the rustic atmosphere of the room. Comfortable seating makes for an inviting spot to enjoy the fire.

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Accommodate a Crowd

Accommodating Fireplace
Photo: Lisa Romerein, Styling: Rebecca Omweg

This fireplace provides additional seating to accommodate a crowd when not in use. The deep fireplace hearth, outfitted with custom cushions for seating in a pinch, creates an inviting entertaining space or casual hang-out area. The contrasting black mirror adds an exciting element to the room, amplifying the white brick fireplace.

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Welcome Natural Light

Use a Range of Textiles
Photo: Tria Giovan, Styling: Matthew Gleason

This room has so many architectural features, including the large, arched window and candle chandelier, that the fireplace is a beautiful surprise. The tucked-away fireplace invites you to sit in this cozy space to enjoy its warmth. The luxury of natural light makes this room perfect for winter days and relaxing evenings.

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Guest Suite Retreat

Guest Suite Fireplace
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

This unimposing fireplace creates a cozy spot for guests to unwind. Rich brown walls and a combination of neutral fabrics further the retreat's appeal by creating an understated haven. Reading nook or place to rest, this fireplace draws guests in with its charm, so they won't want to leave.

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Rustic & Simple

Mix and Match Patterns
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Matthew Gleason

A rustic mantel gives weight to the sleek white fireplace. A TV is mounted above, making this a popular spot for relaxation. The mantel, keeping with the simplicity theme, contains a few items displayed in mirroring symmetry.

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Use Unexpected Materials

Use Non-Traditional Materials
Laurey W. Glenn / Styling Scott Martin

A stone chimney is beautiful but also expected in many homes. The natural horizontal wood paneling around this fireplace ties it together with the built-ins flanking the hearth. Sourcing a mix of materials is a way to build a one-of-a-kind statement piece.

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Attempt a Harmonious Look

Use Flexible Furniture in a Great Room
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

This living area contains leather swivel chairs that rotate to face the kitchen or the fireplace. A TV is mounted above the mantel giving this room a laid-back appeal. Since the room is so carefree, the fireplace displays the same easiness as the surrounding decor.

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Inspired by Europe

Visually Divide a Great Room
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

Deep archways and book niches lend a European-inspired design to this fireplace and mantel set. On either side of the mantel, the unique storage adds character showcasing the family's hobbies. Open to the rest of the floorplan, this welcoming fireplace is a spot for people to gather.

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Coordinate Neutrals

Lindsay Bierman's Neutral Living Room
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

A stately mantel, crowned with a commanding landscape photo, adds warmth to the space. Coordinating shades of green throughout the room helo tie together the area. Additionally, the opposing couches encourage great conversations around the roaring fire.

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Raise the Fireplace

Raised Fireplace
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

This raised fireplace allows for wood storage beneath. The brick hearth meets the coffered ceiling and creates a striking structural feature. It adds a vintage, rustic charm to see the wood piles collected to supply the cozy fire.

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Showcase Modern Art

Charlotte Lucas Christmas Garland Fireplace
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Elly Poston Cooper

No matter your art preference, adding a statement-making modern artwork above the mantel will always be a conversation starter. Fantastic art prints placed in vintage or unique frames can help boost the visual appeal. Add some lighting near the fireplace to show off your art collection.

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Keep it Bright

2020 Idea House Living Room with Wood Beams and Fireplace
Robbie Caponetto; Styling: Kendra Surface

The bright accent pieces in this living room play off the dark stone fireplace. It's fun and doesn't take itself too seriously. Matching the mantel to the beams on the ceiling helps to add cohesiveness to the room.

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Go Electric

Best Electric Fireplaces

You are in luck for those wishing they had a fireplace, but their home didn't come with one build-in. Electric fireplaces are options for people seeking the coziness of a roaring fire and the perfect spot to hang decorations. Look into this option, so you are ready for the holiday season and all the mantel decorating fun.

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