Our large river rock fireplace is the centerpiece of our home. It is the first thing that you see when walking through the front door. I wanted the mantel decor to reflect the style of our house. Today, I am going to show you how to decorate a rustic fireplace mantel.
Installing the Fireplace mantel
We knew our large rock fireplace was more than capable of holding the weight of a heavy wood mantel. The large cedar beam came from a tree that we cut down off of our land along with the other cedar accents that we have in our home. Here are a few tips to help you install a heavy wood mantel:
- Use lag bolts in conjunction with lag shields that are at least 2″ long
- Add more support by increasing the amount of lag bolts. A good rule of thumb is one bolt every 10 inches.
- Buy the proper tools. You will need a drill, masonry bit, lag bolts and wood glue.
- Add support by drilling holes for lag shields, then install lag bolts into the brick
- Measure carefully and drill corresponding holes for the wood mantel
- Push the wooden mantel carefully into place using wood glue for extra support
- Caulk the seam and allow time to dry before using
Fireplace Mantel Decor
One of my favorite places in our home to decorate is the mantel. Every season and holiday I love to add something that fits for that time of year. But lately I have not been liking the way the mantle has looked. It needed a large focal point with the tall living room with the rock chimney all the way to the ceiling . I went upstairs to my storage area to see if there were any large pictures that could be used for the centerpiece. Shopping my home first is something I always do before going out to buy something new.
There was an old white 16×20 frame that I have used several times on my mantel before. I brought it back out again and started looking on Esty for a printable photo that could be placed in the frame. I decided to go with the black and white moose print from the Zouzounio Art Shop. After printing the 16×20 photo and trying it in the white frame, I realized the frame needed a little improvement. A fresh coat of black chalk paint was applied to the frame. It turned out beautiful and now it was time to decorate the rustic fireplace mantel.
Decorating the cabin fireplace mantel
I began placing items on the mantel and then I would step back and take a look. I kept moving pieces around until I was happy with the way it looked. A large statement with a more minimal and simple look is what I was wanting to achieve in the decor on the mantel. A couple candlesticks with candles and a little potted plant made the mantel complete.
great items and tips for fireplace mantel decorating
- Decorative boxes
- Framed prints and paintings (lean them against the back wall for a casual look, you can also layer smaller pieces in front of them)
- Stacks of books
1. Start with a base decor
Usually the mantel always has a focal point, like a painting or a mirror. In this case, it was the large moose picture. For a look that will last all year, start with a painting or a mirror and add in some candlesticks and a vase of flowers. Then, all you have to do is change the flowers and the candlestick colors for each season.
2. Swap out items throughout the year
The best thing about the mantel is that it is perfect size for displaying all of your favorites on it. If you collect vases, framed artwork, or anything at all, your mantel is the perfect place to display these items. You can add or take away accessories and play around with what you have. Just have fun decorating and don’t let decorating your mantel be stressful. The decorations can always be changed if your not loving the way it is looking.
3. Adding holiday touches
Adding in the holidays to my mantel decor is something I love to do in our home. For Christmas I love adding garland and a Christmas photo . For Fall, placing pumpkins and leaves. In February, I use a rose garland for Valentines Day. If you like to change your decorations throughout the year, the mantel is the perfect place to add in items that fit for each holiday.
I love how my cabin fireplace mantel turned out. It was exactly what I was trying to achieve. I hope this gives you inspiration on how to decorate your rustic fireplace mantel.
I would love to know in the comments below what your favorite mantel decorations are?