Whether formal or informal, mantel décorations need a balanced look

Apr 22 2011

A mantel can be decorated in a formal or informal style.
A mantel can be decorated in a formal or informal style.
There was a time when a painting was hung above the fireplace and the mantel was kept bare so it wouldn't detract from the art.

These days, the mantel has reclaimed its place as a focal point within a room and is decorated year-round instead of only during holidays.

Mirrors and artwork still have a place above the mantel, but should be integrated with collectibles, candlesticks or keepsakes that match them in tone, according to BetterHomesAndGardens.com.

Symmetry among mantel objects will bring a formal touch to a room's décor. But for a more relaxed look, choosing items that don’t match exactly is acceptable as long as they complement each other in color, texture and size.

"Start with a large object in the center, then place pairs on either side. They don't have to be identical, just related. For example, two different terra cotta pots still look like they belong together," states the website.

For a window treatment, a covering that continues the theme of the mantel accessories and artwork will provide some unity in the room's décor. Shopping for custom blinds online, for instance, gives homeowners a large selection of treatments for any style of home design.
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