How to Decorate Your Mantel -Joanna Gaines

To me, fireplaces have always symbolized a feeling of home and warmth, which makes them one of my favorite architectural features in a home. While a fireplace typically makes a statement on its own, I like to consider the mantel as a blank canvas where you can highlight your personality and design style. Even if you don’t have a fireplace, a mantel on its own is an opportunity to showcase pieces that reflect who you are and what you love.

Mantels also function as an ever-changing design feature in a home, and I look at restyling my own mantel as a way to celebrate the colors and beauty of each coming season.

Below, I’m breaking down how I go about styling my mantel. As you go through each step, remember that the size of your mantel and the material it’s made out of—like wood, stucco or stone—are factors that play into the types of objects you should consider displaying. Don’t feel like you have to incorporate each and every detail you see—think of them more as a reference as you work to create a mantel that best suits you.


An anchor piece is a large object like artwork, a mirror or wreath that functions as the focal point. I always like to start with the anchor, and then build out the look from there.


Introduce design details that have varying heights, like candlesticks and stacked books, to help create visual interest on your mantel. Candlesticks will bookend the overall look while stacked books add height and bridge the distance between the other elements on your mantel. I typically incorporate antique books because of the aged aesthetic they add to the overall look, but you can also use newer books with clean lines for a more modern look.


If your anchor piece seems to be dominating the mantel, layer other visually interesting details in front of it, such as family photos, artwork, or more personal items, like framed handwritten letters, kids’ drawings, or a favorite quote.


Plants or faux greenery add life and movement to your mantel. I typically like to stick to one type of stem, even if the vases are different.


For a more laid-back, eclectic style, display an assorted arrangement of items in odd numbers and various sizes. Antique frames in a range of shapes, or even candlesticks, books, and a potted plant are the types of things I typically use. If you prefer a more traditional and polished look, incorporate similar items in even numbers—think pairs of candlesticks on each side of the anchor piece.

I hope this guide gives you a visual reference to follow as you’re styling your own mantel this season!


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