Last Updated: Aug 22, 2018
You might not realize it, but there is power hidden above the fireplace.
The fireplace mantel, sometimes called a chimneypiece, has the ability to completely transform a room with just a few simple decorative touches. Cleverly placed candlesticks, garland or a collection of heart-warming family photos can make the mantel the true star of your living room.
However, finding the right placement of your mantel decor for each changing season of the year can sometimes prove difficult. Coordinating colors, sizes and pieces correctly can make your fireplace mantel a focal point. We have put together a collection of mantel decor ideas for every season of the year. After you choose your design, be sure to include a special family photo print for the final touch.
Fall Mantel Decor Ideas
When decorating your mantel for fall, take your cues from nature (maybe even your own backyard). The essence of the season can be brought out easily by using the colors and decor pieces that you find all around your home. From pumpkins to pinecones, just a few pieces are needed to bring in autumn.
When autumn comes, the first thing everyone thinks about is falling leaves. The rich oranges, yellows and reds that come naturally with fall are mainstays in any fall decorating idea. Here, we’ve used a garland made of leaves to provide the base orange-red color. When it comes to your mantel decor, use these colors for starters.
Greens and browns found in plants and trees also mix just as well. Luckily, all of these hues can be found in nature all around your home during the fall.
Pinecones and acorns are natural fall decor elements. The browns of a pinecone give the essence and aroma of a walk in the woods. Pumpkins and squash, both favorites for Halloween decor, can serve a dual purpose on your mantel either as accents or decorative centerpieces because of their magnificent range of color.
Candles come in all shapes and sizes and can be used in just about any mantel decoration. White candles work especially well when used to provide contrast. Here, they are placed in a glass vase with dark brown acorns.
This simple DIY candle project uses acorns to fill the space around the candle. It also creatively combines natural elements with the elegance of a white candle. Find a white candle that is at least two inches thinner in diameter than the vases. Then fill the surrounding space with acorns. You can also try other small nuts or even use small pinecones. If the size of the vase allows, include a small wreath on the bottom.
Choose Autumn Art
Sometimes, the right piece of art can tie everything together. First, choose a frame that matches your decor. This custom wooden frame fits because it is not too dark and the colors from the custom printable artwork still pop.
If you are using artwork as an addition to your decor, and don’t want it to be the focal point, stick to subtle patterns. Artwork with words works great on a mantel as long as they are cheery and fun like the one pictured above.
You can download the fall printable artwork here to get custom printed in the frame.
Winter Mantel Decor Ideas
When the temperatures begin to drop and snow starts to fall, there is no place you’d rather be than sitting in front of a fireplace with a crackling fire warming your feet. The theme of winter is joy.
There is a lot to celebrate between the holidays and the beginning of a new year, which means lots of guests to impress with your newly decorated mantelpiece. It also means extra decorations around the house, so be sure to coordinate everything with your mantel decor.
Some classic holiday colors for winter are red and green. However, a more neutral elegance can be added with golds and whites as seen with the candlestick, candle and center photo cubes. Other choices that add a touch of elegance are pearls or colored ornaments. These also provide a reflective surface if you choose to string lights on your mantel as well.
The green pictured can be found in the natural pine tree clippings, but you can easily use garland throughout. The reds are found within the lanterns, as well as hints of red on the miniature wrapped gifts. You can also use items like berries to add hints of red for your winter mantel decor.
If you simply can’t decide on a color scheme and you are decorating a tree, use the tree as your guide. This will help keep continuity throughout the room.
DIY Gift Decor
This fun decor piece is perfect for the holidays and can be made in a flash. Find small boxes and wrap them with kraft paper. Then tie a red, satin bow to complete the look. Using kraft paper instead of overtly holiday-themed wrapping paper keeps them neutral enough to keep around for the rest of the season.
If you want to use multiple sized gifts, be sure that they don’t overpower the rest of the design choices.
JOY Photo Cubes
Artwork or family photos always make great additions to a winter mantelpiece. These customizable photo gallery photo cubes let you add your own collection of photos or art. With five panels on each cube, you can change up the photos or letters of your message to display whatever you like.
Spring Mantel Decor Ideas
Springtime evokes a feeling of newness. So, decor items like fresh flowers and bright colors are a must for your mantelpiece. Baby chicks, birds and eggs are all symbolic of spring and are always great additions.
Easter falls during spring, so if you want to choose a thematic route, this would be the holiday to build around. We chose to go with a general spring freshness that works throughout the full season and can easily tie in with most other decor pieces.
Your fireplace mantel should reflect the warming feeling of sunshine after a long winter. So, make sure that you include a range of bright, fun colors. Pinks, blues, greens, yellows and oranges all work well together to paint a picture of spring. Make sure you keep an even balance of the colors across the mantelpiece.
One word of warning, it can be easy to go overboard with your pinks and baby blues. Although these are classic Easter colors, remember that spring lasts for about three months, so it is better to add in other complimentary colors that will help balance your decor.
There are many types of flowers that work for the spring. The most common colors/type are pink peonies, roses or tulips; blue forget-me-nots or morning glories; yellow daffodils or pansies; white pussy willows or hydrangeas; and orange gerber daisies.
Feel free to get creative with your flower pot choices. Terra cotta planters work well for spring mantels and also pair well with succulents. Tall glass vases or white pitchers also look great with spring.
Artwork of flowers and lush green landscapes are a great fit for spring and look especially nice paired with real flowers. Outdoor family photos, wedding photos or newborn photos all help evoke the feeling of newness.
This wood watercolor family artwork helps add a natural vibe to a spring mantel. The blue watercolor keeps things light and friendly and helps provide a pop of color.
With the ability to personalize, you can choose any name or message that fits your spring decor. At a smaller 12×12 size, this works as an accent piece, but one of its larger sizes can be used as a centerpiece for your mantel decor.
A spring mantelpiece wouldn’t be complete without a banner. This is a classic decor addition and can be easily strung up with jute. Use tape or clothespins to attach the banner to the string. Then, either pin it or use the weight of vases or other decor pieces to keep it in place.
You can download the printable spring banner here.
Summer Mantel Decor Ideas
As summer rolls in and the days get longer, you’ll want to adjust your mantel decor to incorporate fun pieces from everyone’s favorite season. The lazy days by the beach or sitting under the sunshine evoke the feeling of relaxation. The beach or coastal decor is one of the most obvious choices for this relaxing summer mantel that you can achieve easily by following some of these simple tips.
The summer colors for a beach-theme are white, blue or green and light brown (think: sand). You’ll want to use the blues and greens to help add pops of color since the sandy colors will get easily washed out. Here the vase adds the blue and the artwork on the right side of the mantel also provides color.
Since this is a beach-themed, summer mantel decor, driftwood is a must. Buy authentic or artificial driftwood, but for the full experience, try finding your own. If it is large, use it as a centerpiece, but if you can only find small driftwood, incorporate it on the side with a few other beachy items.
Filling up the rest of your summer mantel, look to the beach for inspiration. You’ll want to include natural elements like shells, starfish or sand dollars. In lieu of flowers, you can try dried grasses or palms to complete the look.
Art prints are great opportunities to add pops of color to your mantel. If chosen correctly, even a small canvas print can make an impact. The art choice here is obviously thematically connected to the rest of the mantel but the evocative saying is what really helps make this a special piece. Pick up a canvas print of your own to give your mantelpiece a special touch.
When choosing a photo piece for the mantel in the summer, include photos of your family doing outdoor activities like hiking or a special vacation. If you have landscape photos of a beach or boat on the water, these types of additions fit well in the summer.
DIY Rope Candles
This simple DIY project gives the illusion of a candle wrapped in rope. (You are actually wrapping an outer piece of cardboard.) Using 3” candles, find some discarded tape cores, wrap and hot glue some jute rope around the candle. You can see the full instructions from Minted Strawberry. Note: these candles should not be lit!
If you ever find yourself staring at your empty mantelpiece, think of it as a blank canvas with endless possibilities. Through easy DIY projects or decor pieces that you can find right outside your door, a complete mantel transformation is easier than you think. Every color and item evokes a different mood that can be combined with others to create the perfect mantel and transform your room throughout each season.