Fireplace Mantel – WWYD?

Our living room is really coming along, especially with the installation of the new fireplace and surrounding tile. One difficulty I’m having, though, is with the mantel.

As you can see, it’s enormous – spanning the length of the whole room – and has two windows above it.

For the past couple of years, we’ve had a number of small decorative things along it, but this method doesn’t do the mantel justice.

So, I’m looking for ideas – what would you do? Pictures or links would be doubly helpful!

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Comments on: "Fireplace Mantel – WWYD?" (11)

  1. I would do a few groupings of things (like kerosene lamps on one side and – are those candle holders? on the other and maybe something awesome in the middle, like a hand-blown glass bowl, and then a bunch of assorted, vaguely coordinating picture frames. That way you can change out the pictures with the years- or you could do a series of family wedding portraits from several generations- or baby pictures of family members. But, maybe someone else has an idea that suits you better. 😉

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  2. Anonymous said:

    Much larger picture – maybe 2x as wide, nearly as wide as the stone(?) fireplace surround, and at least as high as the windows on each side. Something quite bold, because it has to stand apart from the bold walls. Then, as Jenny F. suggests, some strong items on the mantel itself, further toward the edges. FWIW.

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  3. Design-o-rific said:

    Much larger picture with a wide contemporary frame. A white frame would complement the ceiling trim beautifully. A family photo done on canvas, maybe grayscale… lots of possibilities

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  4. Design-o-rific said:

    Also I think a downward spotlight mounted on the wall above the photo would add impact. Ikea has some nice ones.

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  5. I agree, something much bigger above the fireplace on the mantle! I find a big mirror can really brighten things up. Here's the link to an example from the blog Young House Love: http://www.younghouselove.com/2012/10/falling-it-up/

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  6. I would use the mantle as an extra bookshelf, but probably mostly because we have so many books! I big, bright piece of art right above the fireplace would also be cool. I've got a print of the 1704 best guess at the solar system (note: few outer planets!) above my fireplace, as the husband and I are both astro-types. It classes up what would otherwise be an IKEA and book explosion of a room.

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  7. Thanks everyone! Now that I look at the photo, I agree that we need something much bigger above the fireplace. We've been looking for the past couple of days, both in local stores and online, but we're so overwhelmed with the choices we're not really sure where to start!

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  8. I'm a little late to the party, but maybe you could emphasize the fireplace mantle with an additional piece of molding to make it stand out from the rest? Here's a few pics.
    http://www.houzz.com/photos/52340/Fireplace-with-glass-tile-and-custom-wood-mantel-traditional-family-room-san-francisco

    I also like the idea of a mirror to be the “third” window on the wall. Sconces on either side of it would be nice. Here's a pic.

    http://www.houzz.com/photos/334441/Viewridge-Craftsman-Spec-traditional-living-room-seattle

    And you could always go with a “clean” slate look where you only put decor items over the fireplace and leave the rest of the mantle blank.
    http://www.houzz.com/fireplace-with-built_in-bookshelves/p/84

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  9. Thanks for the ideas, Joan – so much to think about!

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  10. I would actually build out the fireplace to set it off from the bottom part. Put some molding up above it so that the actual fireplace gives the appearance of being taller. Sorta like this:http://www.themoney-pit.com/2012/09/customizing-builder-grade-fireplace_27.html

    Or here is mine. I don't have the windows, I have floor to ceiling built ins but you get the idea. You want to draw your eye to the center:
    http://www.themoney-pit.com/2012/03/fireplace-mantle-and-built-ins-reveal.html

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  11. I'm a little delayed to the celebration, but maybe you could highlight the fire place layer with an extra item of casting to create it take a position out from the rest? Here's a few photos.

    Final Fantasy XIV A Realm Reborn Digital Collector's Edition
    Diablo 3 Radiant Star Amethyst

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