4 Elements of an Instagram-Worthy Mantel

| Home & Decor

In addition to framing a gorgeous fireplace, mantels serve as the main focal point of our living rooms, making them an important piece of our homes and typically the first thing our guests see. The way you style your mantel can either make or break your space: adding too much makes it feel cluttered and disorganized, not adding enough makes it feel stark and cold, and adding the wrong things can make it feel off-balance.

If you’re not sure where to start, there seems to be a tried-and-true formula when it comes to styling your mantel like a pro. Start by using these four basic elements as your blueprint, then get creative and infuse our own style and personality. The end result? A gorgeous, Insta-worthy mantel your friends will swear was styled by a professional. 

Viciously Cyd copy
(Photo: Michele Andersen)

1. A large centerpiece
This should be the main focus point of the entire mantel. It needs to be significantly larger than anything else on the mantel, and placed in the center to balance the entire look. Some great and popular options include a decorative mirror, a meaningful piece of art or a framed vintage map.

Alice Lane Home copy
(Photo: Alice Lane Home Collection)

2. Vases, pottery or containers
Make sure to pepper in a variety of vessels that can either stand alone, like these modern white ceramic styles, or a vase that holds fresh flowers or succulents. The containers bring dimension to your mantel while the fresh foliage brings life and vitality.

Studio McGee copy
(Photo: Jeremy Bitterman via Studio McGee)

3. Different levels and heights
The best way to add instant interest, texture and shape is by incorporating different levels to your mantel. Easy options include adding beautiful boxes, candle sticks of different heights or stacking a few books with pretty covers and binding. Another unique option is framing a few pieces of textile – again, adding new textures — and layering art pieces of different heights. 

Haute Look copy
(Photo: Haute Look)

4. One wild card — fun objects!
Here's your chance to let your personality shine: add at least one fun, unexpected object to your mantel to make it uniquely yours. This can be anything from funky geometric sculptures to rose gold-plated accents to decorative faux deer antlers. 

Hayley Simmons |

Hayley Simmons is a twenty-something writer, wife and new mama to her baby girl, Scout. A native Texan turned Nashvillian, she spends her time experimenting with healthy recipes -- then forcing her husband to eat them, finding new ways to not hate the gym and shopping for (an absurd amount of) baby clothes.