Having a fireplace without a mantle is like owning a sofa without throw pillows. The possibility is there and it is clear that the sofa looks better with the throw pillows, but all you have to do is add them. If you think you lack carpentry skills for installing a fireplace mantel, be glad to hear that you do not need them. There are many ways to install a shelf-like mantle on your fireplace and even more ways to style them. See these 30 tips for DIY and Decorate your fireplace mantel shelf and you make your living room look like a whole new room for a weekend.
Top tips for decorating your fireplace mantel shelf
1. Live Edge Mantel Shelf
Just take a moment to swim across the living edge mantel shelf. That would be the easiest thing to install and give you a reason to spray on the living piece of wood that you have been looking at. (via Houzz)
2. Wooden mantle for your fireplace
You’ve probably seen the project for faux wooden beams floating around Pinterest. Use the same method to create a nice wooden mantle for your fireplace. Such a classic look suits any style your living room may have. (via Addicted 2 Decorating)
3. Install a shelf over a fireplace inside the wall
Is your fireplace inside the wall? Do not think that the scenario leaves you out of the mantle shelf game. Build one of beautiful castings and it completes the fireplace image. (via designer captured)
4. Use large vintage fittings
Setting up a casing shelf really only requires the shelf and the brackets. Find yourself some lovely large vintage fittings that show a little wear to bring some life into your fireplace mantel. (via @magnolia)
5. Stains your shelf for a new look
Maybe you look contemptuously at your cape, but you do not have the means to do a great cape shelf makeover. With a simple can of stain in your favorite shade, you can give your coat rack a completely different vibe. Go dark or go light, whether you go the opposite of what you have for a new look. (via Sarah Sherman Samuel)
6. A black and voluminous shelf
Are you looking for a big change of coat? You can not go wrong with something that is black and clumsy. Find the largest parentheses you can and add trim to the bottom for interest. (via home lunch)
7. A long mantelpiece
Some fireplaces have the awkward direction of having a set of shelves on one side instead of both. What are you doing with it? You install a mantel shelf that spans the fireplace as well as the shelves to the side. Suddenly the whole wall is brought together in perfect harmony. (via HGTV)
8. A shelf over a stove
Just because you have a stove instead of a fireplace does not mean you should not have a cloak either. Place one in the corner behind the stove and you will find that having that shelf helps you fill an otherwise awkward space. (via the painted hinge)
9. Hang a large work of art
Great art is one of the best things ever created. With a single piece hanging over your coat rack or just leaning against the wall, you can give your space a makeover and with something that makes you smile every time you look at it. (via Unskinny Boppy)
10. A large mirror to add more light
Of course, a large mirror is also a great way to fill your cape without making it messy and super decorated. In addition, it jumps light around the room and makes your room feel bigger, so it’s basically a win-win for everyone. (via Rachel Bishop Designs)
11. A minimal and elegant coat rack
If you are not interested in the decorated mantle movement, that’s okay. Add a pinch of green and a picture of your favorite place or family for a minimal yet elegant coat rack look. (via Centsational Girl)
12. Hang a poster over the fireplace
Many people say that posters should always be framed. We say differently. Use the method you find appropriate, hang it over your coat rack and no one will think the worse of you or your fireplace for using twine. (via HGTV)
13. Use layering to create depth
Even on a mantelpiece, it is quite easy to create the feeling of depth. Layering framed photos or illustrations, stacks of books of different sizes, small trinkets with sentiment in front of it all, the different layers help you give your coat interest in an instant. (via Emily Henderson)
14. A simple empty window pane
Are you in love with the tile flooring and the weathered look of vintage pieces? Use your mantle shelf to display a simple empty window pane for a fun and minimal living experience. (via The Lettered Cottage)
15. Update your coat rack every season
When changing your decor with the seasons and holidays, do not forget to include your coat rack. Show your favorite flowers in the spring, a quote of blackboards in the summer, bright leaves in the fall, and mini-evergreens in the winter. (via Duke Manor Farm)
16. Show houseplants
Mantles are usually also good places to display houseplants. If you are collecting leaves and cacti, place your very best pots of plants at different heights along your mantelpiece for a greenhouse look. (via @shophesby)
17. Install lamps
Some fireplaces are in desperate need of extra lighting but do not have the cloakroom to accommodate lamps. Now is the chance for you to install your favorite sconces to give it light without taking up any mantle space. (via Jade House)
18. Frame your TV screen
TV screens are a rather ugly, yet necessary element in the living room. Many times it means mounting it over your fireplace. But you can help improve your coat display by framing your screen so that it looks like a black canvas instead of an ugly screen. (via Remodelaholic)
19. Base your decorations on the theme of your room
As you pick and choose what your coat rack should display, be sure to make your decisions based on the theme of your living room. Pink flowers will not work if there are no other pink in the room. (via a beautiful life in the suburbs)
20. Hang a banner
Do not have the money for a makeover on the mantel shelf? It is okay. Hang a banner that you have purchased or even made yourself to distract your eyes from the cloak you do not like. (via Dining Delight)
21. Install a shelf over your sofa
Do you know that you do not even need a fireplace to have a mantelpiece? Install one over your couch or over your piano or over your TV, no matter where you have an empty wall that just looks better with a mantle shelf. (via @angelascozyhome)
22. A simple white shelf
Sometimes less is more and we often find that this is the case in modern home decor. DIY Playbook shows us how we can decorate this simple white shelf that sits above the fireplace. By adding the area minimal decoration you get an elegant and stylish addition to any home. Often, homeowners choose to put too many decorations in this space, which can then leave it looking disorganized and cluttered.
23. A rustic fireplace mantel
Apartment Therapy shares this beautiful living room in New Orleans, which has a rustic look. This simple wooden shelf decorates the neat nicely and reaches all the way down to the floor. When you have such a beautiful shelf like this, make sure to keep things simple to attract attention to its design. The three candles add the perfect finish and a little color to the area without making it look messy or cluttered.
24. Add succulents
If you do not like to store large houseplants in your home, succulents are a good alternative. For anyone struggling to keep larger plants alive, you will find that they require less attention and care. However, they still add something much needed green to your home and liven up what would otherwise be an empty mantelpiece. Sugar and cloth offers us this amazing white cloak shelf that is beautifully decorated in keeping with the rest of the room. We also think that the mirror that hangs over your head helps add more light to any living room.
25. Candles or a candlestick
Candles look great in any part of your home, and the living room is no exception. A house in the mountains shares this fun mantel shelf that uses candlesticks to add decoration to the space. You can either choose just a few small pillar lights or something more extravagant, as shown in this picture. Even if you do not use the lights, it is a fun way to add a unique touch to your empty coat rack.
26. A simple vase
If you strive to create a minimalist look in your living room, you can enjoy taking inspiration from Rip & Tan. This white coat shelf is almost empty except for two small additions at the end of the shelf. A vase and a pillar candle are placed at the end and they add a subtle touch of decoration without detracting from the fireplace. When you have a fireplace that is as stunning as this one, you will instead focus on that area.
27. A colored shelf
While the majority of the shelves on this list are wood or white, there is no reason why you can not add a splash of color to your living room. This green shelf from The Spruce makes a bold statement, but it still blends in with the decor. Green is the ideal shade for anyone who wants to add plants to their coat rack, and we love how this shelf contains lots of unique items that show the character and personality of homeowners. When you have a free space in your home, be sure to add items that you love to look at every day as they will bring so much joy into your life.
28. A plant-filled mantle shelf
If you live in an apartment or a home without a garden, you are probably always looking for ways to add more plants and nature into your home. Apartment Therapy shares this amazing Toronto apartment that packs lots of plants on the mantelpiece. You do not have to stick to just one or two plants on your shelf and can add an entire row as in this picture. Plants look great with a white shelf as you do not have to worry about the pots colliding with the color of the shelf.
29. Add antiques to your coat rack
For anyone collecting antiques or unique collectibles, this is a great place in your home to add extra things. If you are struggling to find areas to display your purchases, you will love having the extra space in your living room. Country Living shows us how to create this living room mantel shelf that puts together a beautiful collection of antiques on the shelf.
30. Colorful vases
Even if you do not plan to add flowers to your vases, you will love adding them to your coat rack for a splash of color. Complete Coastal shares this fun makeover on mantel shelf that adds a bright and beachy look to any room. Many living rooms stick to neutral colors, but in a beach house or an apartment, it can be fun to add a little color to the room.
Mantle shelves are so often overlooked during home makeovers, but they provide extra storage and shelving. If you lack space in your home or apartment, you will find that it is a great place to display your favorite objects or works of art. However, it is important to remember that you do not want to make your coat rack look too cluttered. Cures a matching selection of items that work well together to create a fun addition to your home. When you Decorate your fireplace mantel shelf, you do not have to worry about it being a permanent addition. For more seasonal fun in your home, change the items each season to create a new theme and look.