Give your hearth a fresh new look with these chic ideas for topping a mantel
1 of 10Lisa Romerein
When surface space is at a premium, use the mantelpiece as you would a bookshelf or window ledge. In this living room with floor-to-ceiling windows, vases mingle with framed photographs above the fireplace.
2 of 10Thomas J. Story
Showcase favorite artwork and keepsakes on the most prominent real estate in the living room. Here, a pet portrait and historic home photograph sit with small framed landscape paintings and stoneware.
3 of 10Thomas J. Story
Instead of using a display shelf, congregate collections on the mantel. Here, charcoal paint and gold leafing create a display platform for collections of white ceramics and volumes of colorful books.
4 of 10Thomas J. Story
Arrange season-specific decor on your manteltop for an artistic vignette your holiday guests will covet. Here, a collection of glassware and ball ornaments compliment an evergreen wreath propped against the wall.
5 of 10Coral VonZumwalt
No mantel? No problem. Add a mantel ledge to an existing fireplace. On this floating shelf of a mantel, heirloom and global finds blend for an eclectic look.
6 of 10Astronaut Images/Getty Images
If you're blessed with a fireplace in your master bedroom, arrange objects that encourage peace and tranquility on the mantel ledge. Go further: Paint the fireplace the same hue as your walls so the fireplace and mantel don't interrupt the flow of the space. Here, white keeps the space—and mood—light.
7 of 10Thomas J. Story
Displaying a large mirror (or multiple) helps a small space live large. Here, large twin mirrors fill the tall wall space above the mantel and serve double duty as both space expanders and art.
8 of 10Image Source/Getty Images
For quick and transient decoration—for a birthday party, celebration, or holiday—tack a piece of ribbon above the mantel with strong (but removable) double-sided tape and affix lightweight photos and memorabilia with accents from your garden.
9 of 10Thomas J. Story
Install wall-mounted lighting above far sides of the mantel top and prop or hang statement artwork center stage. Switch out artwork with the seasons or as desired.
10 of 10Image Source/Getty Images
Less is more
Keep it simple with a trio of objects: a tall pant, a framed piece of art, and a memento.