A fireplace is automatically a focal point in any room. Sheer size alone usually gives it pride of place so that’s where eyes will gravitate. Make it stand out as more than a surround for a good fire with a mantelpiece that’s styled to do justice to your personality and your room.


Step 1: Pick a focal point for your fireplace mantel that will draw the eye above the flames. We chose a large piece of art that’s slightly smaller than the firebox below it. If you have a lot of vertical space above your mantel, be sure to select artwork that also fills the space with height.


Step 2: Complement the artwork with shapely vases or sculpture. Make sure they are different heights. Pull colors from the art.


Step 3: Part of creating a visually pleasing mantel is making sure objects sit on different planes. Raise objects by stacking one or more of them on a set of baskets or boxes. The baskets also bring in much-needed texture. Barely overlap this new arrangement in front of the art.


Step 4: Add life. Flowers, plants or even giant leaves provide organic shape to the visual story. The clear glass vase is larger than any of the items on the right so that it will carry the same amount of weight without stealing the show.


With everything in place you’ve created a balanced and custom composition that offers a peek into your design sensibility. Give yourself extra style points for a basket of stacked firewood or bundle of throws on the hearth.


Produced by Molly Reid Sinnett
Photographed by Adam Albright


© Caruth Studio

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