Three Mantel Styling Ideas for Spring
Before we can style our mantel, let’s talk about spelling. I made good grades in school, but I still have to double check with my word-wizard husband every now and then to see if I’m spelling it correctly! You too? Oh good!
According to Webster’s Dictionary:
“Keeping mantel and mantle straight is relatively simple. Mantel in modern English largely does one job: it refers to the shelf above a fireplace.
Mantle, on the other hand, does many jobs.”
- “a literal cloak”
- “a figurative cloak symbolizing authority or importance”
- “general covering in literary uses”
- “middle layer of the Earth between the crust and the inner core”
There is a catch, though, says Merriam-Webster:
“Mantle is sometimes used to refer to the shelf above a fireplace as well—that is, as a synonym of mantel.”
So, basically, you can spell it whichever way you like! And feel smarter in the process!
More importantly, let’s get them styled!!!
My key ingredient for mantel styling is to create layers. This is a wonderful place to add a lot of texture and character with architectural salvage, vintage mirrors, and artwork. Accessories such as greenery, candlesticks, and vintage books are always my go-to pieces.
Mantel styling can be as full or as minimal as you prefer for your own home. No matter which style you choose, it is a fun place to be creative and think outside the box.
For a more traditional look, you may consider a center statement piece, such as a large piece of art, salvage, or a mirror, and flank it with matching accessories. The symmetry definitely gives that inviting look of traditional design.
For a more curated look, both vintage or modern, you may want to consider an asymmetrical design. This is how I like to style mine and it allows me to use a wider variety of décor pieces too.
The other great thing about mantels is that it is perfectly acceptable to place them almost anywhere in your home! We live in Florida and don’t have a fireplace. We actually had one in our old house that we never used…not even once! But I still love to decorate a vintage mantel and this one works great behind our sectional! Think of them as really big, really wonderful vintage wall art!
Here are a few favorite looks for spring:
Spring Garden Mantel
I created this spring garden mantel last year and still remember how much I enjoyed it. I used this piece of modern farmhouse art from @the.little.bird for my base. You’ll notice that I intentionally off-centered it on the mantel. I layered an arched salvage frame in a chippy white patina, along with a vintage gold mirror. The three different sizes of these pieces worked well for layering and connected the different décor elements in the rest of the family room: white, wood, and brass.
For a vintage statement, I added this old water lilies sign. This is a favorite vintage find from Rehab Vintage Market (a favorite vintage stop in Melbourne, Florida).
Visually, all the white pieces and reflective surface of the mirror felt light and didn’t overpower the room, though it filled the wall. I love the collected look of these pieces together.
I added accessories of small, old terra cotta pots and plants for that garden vibe. And of course, a bunny! The Target Dollar Spot featured these terra cotta colored bunnies last year and I’m glad I grabbed a couple of them for those garden-like vignettes! I also hung two faux terra cotta arrangements from the ceiling. Since they are light weight, I was able to use a simple jute twine and thumbtack!
Spring Cottage Mantel
Notice that arched architectural salvage? I used it again in this spring mantelscape! If you follow along with me for long, you’ll notice that I use many of the same pieces over and over and over again! This is the main reason that I love investing in unique, vintage items. I am able to enjoy them in all seasons, mixed and matched in different ways, and styled with many different looks!
For this cottage-style mantel, I used a fun vintage find. The “Cottages to Let” sign was an exciting splurge piece at an antiques show a few months ago. These are exactly the kinds of pieces that I love investing in. While it’s living on my mantel this spring, I think it would also be perfect in a bedroom, bathroom, or even porch décor! When you find those pieces that you love so much, don’t be afraid to bring them into your collection! I’d rather have this one sign that is so unique than 10 pieces of wall décor from a big-box store!
I layered a large rectangle frame with the chippy arch frame and a small white mirror, alongside the cottage sign. While those are a lot of pieces, I feel like they work well together because they are all white and vary in size. Perfect for layering!
I accessorized with some simple vintage book stacks, white and brass planters, and some fresh baby plants.
I like to mix the old and new together and these pots are a fun example. The $10 Walmart pot on the right has fun texture while the vintage McCoy pot on the left adds a collected look. A simple touch of brass with another plant adds a reflective element and breaks up all the white in a subtle way.
I love mixing old signs together and added this vintage insurance sign over the top. While it isn’t spring-related, I love how the black and white signs and chippy patinas all work together!
Vintage signs are something that I am always looking for at antique malls, flea markets, thrift stores, vintage markets, and even boutique shops. I mainly collect them in black and white, which allows me to mix and match them together for different looks. It is a fun thing to collect and I love how they add some extra character to our home.
Spring Easter Mantel
It is easy to see here that I kept many of the same elements as my spring cottage mantel. The main difference is that I added a couple of bunnies.
I love that Easter décor really is that simple! A few well-placed rabbits are really all you “need” for some fun Easter vibes!
I rearranged the mantel somewhat, though. You’ll notice that the cottage sign is switched to the other side and like I mentioned earlier, is off-centered. This allows me to layer in some pieces for less-traditional, more collected kind of a look.
I replaced the large white frame with an antique gold one. It is missing some pieces and is really chippy…just the way I like it! I recently bought a stack of old frames from a vendor that has all of his items shipped in containers from France. So while I can’t say for certain that is a French vintage item, there is a really good chance that it is and that just makes me happy!
I layered a smaller white frame (with some gold peeking through) and an even smaller blue-gray frame. While these are not the same colors, they work together with commonalities of shape and style..
One of my favorite accessories for this mantelscape is the small architectural salvage piece. It is a chippy trim piece and I just love the unique shape and patina on it. I layered this in front of the cottage sign for a little extra character.
I added two white bunnies for a touch of Easter, along with the same books, plants, and pots from the spring cottage mantel.
For some extra Easter fun, I repurposed an Easter décor item that I’ve had for 10 years or so! I got these eggs that spell “Happy Easter” from Pottery Barn many years ago and I love using them to decorate each year. I like to cut bare branches from the yard and fill a vase, then add the eggs to the branches.
Fun fact: I had the perfect branch that we carefully moved…from two different houses…after our final move and renovation, my husband finally convinced me to toss the branch. All of our items were in storage for several months, and I admit, a branch was kind of a silly thing to be carrying around.
But I still miss that branch. It was the perfect size and shape!
So this year, I decided to hang the eggs on a piece of twine along the front of the mantel. I love that the eggs kind of turn and do their own thing, so it’s a subtle “Happy Easter” and makes a simple statement. I like how they almost just blend right in, but still giving it that Easter touch!
I hope this gives you some ideas and inspiration as you decorate your mantel for spring! You could use these same ideas and concepts for decorating an entryway table, top of a cabinet, or shelf styling as well!
I am linking some similar items to some of the accessories I love to use, as well as some of my favorite neutral Easter décor, in case you’re on the hunt this weekend!
Happy Spring Decorating this weekend!