A fireplace is important for so many reasons. In some homes, it keeps the house warm. In others, it acts as a center and focal point to the room. In others still, a fireplace is a place for friends and family to gather for good food and warm conversation. Here are six ways you can decorate your fireplace without spending a fortune.
Family Friendly – Because the fireplace is the center point of many living rooms, it’s the perfect place to show off your family. If you’re just married, decorate your fireplace with mementos of your wedding and framed wedding portraits. Another idea is to create a timeline of your love by framing photos of your first date, engagement, and wedding and arranging them in chronological order. If you have little ones, create areas for each child with a baby picture beside a current picture, and in the center, a picture of your brood posing together. To tie your family together, splurge on family photos or frame some of your favorite candids from vacations, birthdays or events. Pay homage to your past by adding photos of grandparents or great aunts and uncles, giving your mantle an antique feel.
Minimalist – For highly decorated rooms (or rooms with a minimalist feel), less can be more. A minimalist décor for your fireplace may seem simple, but it actually takes some planning and careful arrangement. The minimalist fireplace mantel is known for it’s simplicity. Andirons can stand by themselves and look great. Think about adding a single statement mirror with a dark frame (which can make your room seem larger) or choose several small trinkets with a low profile (groups of three are most aesthetically pleasing) and group in a bundle; these can be votive candles, short vases or potpourri bowls.
Art Lover – Let your visitors know your love of the arts by creating a showcase for your favorite art pieces. For the most visual impact, choose an art piece that is almost as wide as your fireplace mantel with complimentary colors that stand out while fitting in with the look of the room. You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on a great art piece. Many cities, especially those with an artistic vibe or college nearby, have starving artist sales or art sidewalk sales, where budding artists sell their pieces for a fraction of the price of a gallery. This gives you a chance to invest in an up-and-coming artist and find a statement piece for your living room on a budget.
Holiday Themes – For the artistic DIYers out there, a holiday themed mantle is a fun way to celebrate the season….any season! The keys to holiday themes are creativity, whimsy and color! A paper bunting is a great way to pull in color and give your fireplace mantel a little character (of course, this isn’t recommended for regularly lit fireplaces!) Find décor that fits the season. Christmas decoration can include wreathes and candles, while Valentines décor might consist of homemade valentines and cut out hearts. Think about designing a new mantle décor each month that corresponds with a calendar holiday. Use your craft skills to make some of the décor, or shop around vintage or thrift stores to get knickknacks on the cheap.
Child Art Gallery – Are you overwhelmed by kids artwork and not sure what to do with it? Use your fireplace décor as a kids art gallery. Purchase inexpensive frames at thrift stores, and use cardboard or construction paper to matte the drawing. Use different landscapes or sizes of frames and position them in groups on your mantle. Think about framing similar styles or subjects at the same time, then switch the art out on a regular basis. You can even make it fun for the kids involved by holding “viewing parties” with family.
Great Outdoors – Flowers are an inexpensive, fresh and stylish way to add some flair to your fireplace mantel. Fireplace logs can make for a nice minimalist decoration. This décor can be especially perfect for rustic or minimalist living room décor. Check your grocer or famer’s market for great deals on bunches of flowers, or grow your own and pick them fresh from your backyard. Even fabric flowers are starting to look more real, so don’t discount them; check your local ads for sales and stock up on different colors and bouquets so you can switch out regularly.