A mantel on its own is a focal point in the room, but it's also one that you should take advantage of. Although it's easy to recognize a well-done mantel, it's much harder to picture when you're staring at a blank mantel in your living room. Turn that empty space above your fireplace into a charming representation of your home's style with these tips from Senior Homes Editor Zoë Gowen. There are a few principles that are the backbone for any mantel decorating. The first step? Start with a large anchor point. Zoë recommends a large painting to anchor the mantel – but be sure to pick a piece that you absolutely love, as it'll be very visible in the room. Once you've got your anchor, think about symmetry. You'll want to balance out the mantel with a piece on either side of the anchor to create a triangular shape. Follow along for other easy tips that give your mantel a little pizzazz.

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