how to style your mantel


Our mantels have the post-holiday blues! For 3 months they have been covered in pumpkins, wheat or greenery. Our mantels have been the feature of our living areas since Halloween and now that the holiday decorations are down, they just look a little plain and sad.

Our friend and talented interior designer Leslie Hunt, owner of LLH Interiors is here to give us some tips on styling mantels.

Styling your mantel is really about adding dimension with different elements and layers to give your mantel personality. There are so many ways to add dimension to your mantel. I love to mix art, mirrors, decorative objects, books and greenery to create a story.

With my own mantel, I started with the painting as the focal point. The collage has a lot of depth so I wanted to create a visual narrative that related to the rest of the room, which is eclectic. I inherited a beautiful tortoise shell from my aunt and placed that off to the left side on a bamboo stand to add some height. I then added antique books and fabulous vintage elephant bookends that I found at the flea market. I adore elephants and these particular ones are loaded with personality. On the right side, I added vintage aluminum letters, LA, that symbolize where I grew up and where I live now; a sentimental touch that makes me smile every time I see it. A simple green plant is placed below, as it adds life to the room. As a result, I achieved a story that reflects the way my family lives and can mix it up by adding more layers whenever inspiration strikes.


Photos above from LLH Interiors.

A few key ingredients to styling a mantel:

Creating a Narrative: We love the personal touches Leslie added to her mantel. If you can add items you love or items that mean something to you, you will love your mantel that much more!

Balance: It is important for the mantel to be visually balanced. Once you have a focal point, layer items of different heights and sizes to give your mantel depth.


Photo above from Apartment Therapy

Symmetrical vs Asymmetrical: You can never go wrong with items placed symmetrically on a mantel. Symmetry is clean, classic and always in style. An asymmetrical design is a little trickier to pull off, but can be very interesting visually.


Photo above from Better Homes & Garden


Photo above from The Inspired Room

A collection can also be a fun way to add interest and make a statement with your mantel. Do you have some interesting frames or mirrors you could layer on the mantel? A collection of vases where you could add flowers or greenery? We love this mantel with the map and globes because it’s unexpected and playful!


Photo above from Gather & Build


Photo above from Lonny Magazine

Changing up your mantel is a great way to freshen up a room and mix things up! Styling your mantel is about experimenting and trying new looks until you find one that feels right to you. Thank you Leslie for sharing your expertise!

Happy Decorating!


Hallman + Ashley

Recognized for her classic yet eclectic style, Los Angeles based designer Leslie Hunt merges formal design with a relaxed and understated sophistication.

One thought on “how to style your mantel

  1. Pingback: 8 easy ways to freshen up your home | jane can

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