Urban Road

Australia’s best stylists agree, styling on a fireplace mantel should be restrained

With winter well and truly here, no doubt many of you have dusted off your fireplaces to enjoy their cosy warmth but what about styling them?

Fireplaces are the hero of any room and with a little effort, it’s easy to take them from fine to fabulous. Yet the secret — according to many of Australia’s best designers — is to keep things restrained.

Related article: A day in the life of Vanessa Colyer Tay, Head of Styling at Temple & Webster
Related article: Top stylists spill their cushion styling secrets

Belle Vue Georgian apartment living room with fireplace
Incredible fireplace at Belle Vue property | Take the tour with before and after reno pics

Queen of colour and fun, Julia Green, starts this round up of expert tips!

Styling a mantle should result in a powerful vingette. Don’t overcrowd it. Select 3 beautiful objects of varying height and scale to showcase them rather than clog it up with tonnes of little stuff.

Bright and colourful living room styling on a fireplace mantel
Styling by Greenhouse Interiors for Morgan Jamieson

Nicole Rosenberg of Liberty Interiors, takes it one step further and says, “The key is to barely style it at all! I love the simplicity of having one hero piece on the mantel such as a beautiful large scale floral arrangement. There are amazing fake florals out there these days.”

She adds, “Let the mantel and mirror/art/wallpaper be the hero rather than taking away the attention with multiple candles, picture frames etc. An example of this is the mantel we styled for Nadia Bartel’s baby nursery below.”

Styling by Nicole Rosenberg of Little Liberty. Nicole keeps styling on a fireplace mantel to a minimum

If you do want to play with decor though, Michelle Hart of Bask Interiors, shares her top tips.

“A mantel is a great place to display interesting vignettes and unique objects and treasures of interest, including pieces that are of differing textures, colour, shape and height.

“If it’s a fireplace mantel in a bedroom, I like hang a mirror above the mantel piece, as this can help to make a room appear larger as well as reflect and bounce light around it making it feel warm and inviting. Then on top of the mantel, I would include personal items grouped together on each side in vignettes. For example, a small framed photo, perfume bottles, candles or candelabra, plant and fresh blooms. Also ensure each item is of differing height to create a layered effect.

“For a living room mantel, I love using trailing plants and ceramics with different shapes, colour and texture. Perhaps next to a coloured glass or brass vessel for variation. And I always love to hang an artwork or display an interesting piece like a feathered ju-ju hat above. It creates a beautiful focal point in any room.”

Michelle Bask styling on a fireplace mantel
Interior Design by Michelle Bask and photography by Suzi Appel. Showing styling on a fireplace mantel can incorporate plants, decor and more!

Catherine Heraghty of The Stables, also takes a minimalist approach. “The first and main element of styling a mantel would be hanging a beautiful mirror or artwork above. This will create a focal point in the room and help finish off the fireplace perfectly. I love round mirrors above a mantel. Keep styling to a minimum on the actual mantle. So a small vignette off to one side should be all it needs — including some greenery to bring life to the space.”

Do you have any styling challenges you’d like us to ask the experts? Post it in the comments below!

Check out more styling advice

This article was first published in July 2019 and has been updated with the latest styling tips and images

Gina Beschorner Style Curator

Welcome to Style Curator, your destination for daily interiors inspiration, styling tips, reno advice, home tours and DIY projects!

We're on a mission to help you create a home you love. And with plenty of tips and tricks, tutorials and other home inspo, we give you all the tools to achieve it!

I’m Gina, Founder and Interior Designer, and you can read more about Style Curator here.


Get the best of the blog to your inbox each week PLUS instant access to our free downloads!

    We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at any time.
    Interior style quiz

    Shop our fave online stores

    Aura home
    Koala Eco

    As seen in

    Style Curator in the media



    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here