These Simple, Modern Mantel Décor Ideas Will Ready Your Space for Fall

Large mirror rests above mantle with firewood piled in exposed storage in living room

 Catherine Kwong

As we say hello to fall, we also welcome cooler weather, which may mean more time spent indoors. At MyDomaine, we take the changing season as the perfect time to start sprucing up our homes with cozy, stylish décor vignettes that make nesting more enticing. Take the fireplace, for example. For those homes that feature one, not only is it the perfect place to entertain around or spend a quiet night in with loved ones or a good book, but its mantle also offers up a makeshift—and best of all, versatile—display area.

The mantle of a fireplace can be the ideal place to create a focal point in your home. It's versatile enough to showcase large-scale artwork, decorative objects, and more. Don't be afraid to experiment with different looks to discover what works best for your space.

From displaying your plants to providing an optimal vantage point to showcase your favorite decorative objects, we gathered 12 low-lift, affordable mantle décor ideas to inspire your own interiors as you prep the house for fall. Here's how to use the full potential of this extra surface area. 

Opt for Large-Scale Artwork and Mirrors

Large-scale artwork above fireplace
Elizabeth Roberts

If your space has gorgeous architectural bones like high ceilings and an elaborate fireplace, play them up with large-scale artwork. Rather than opting for little clusters of decorative objects, stick to one statement piece and make it big. An adjacent sky-high indoor plant will help, too.

Gold Leaf Land & Sea Framed Canvas Wall Art
World Market Gold Leaf Land & Sea Framed Canvas Wall Art $230
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Large framed art piece rests on mantle in living room
Elizabeth Roberts

Here's another strong case for large-scale artwork and an accompanying indoor tree. We also like that the framed piece is just casually leaning against the wall. Though it's a neat choice for purely aesthetic reasons, it's also a good décor solution for a rental if you're worried about drilling into the walls to hang something. Adding a small catch-all on the mantle for keys or small knickknacks is also a good call. 

"Green and Blue Forever," gold framed print by Stephanie Henderson
Stephanie Henderson "Green and Blue Forever," Gold Framed Print, Medium $515
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Large mirror rests on mantle, firewood in open storage unit in living room
Catherine Kwong

Rather than placing large-scale art on the mantle, consider a bold mirror. This can create the illusion of a bigger space for an airier, more open environment. We also love how the firewood is displayed in an open storage unit, transforming it into makeshift art. 

Cyprus Bone Inlay Mirror
Serena & Lily Cyprus Bone Inlay Mirror, Small or Large $448—$598
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Reflect the Color Scheme With Decorative Objects

Living room with metallic accents and decorative objects on the mantle
JH Interior Design

If one big-ticket item on the mantle isn't your style, try this idea instead: Create a vignette of smaller decorative items that enhance the overall direction of the space. In fact, the mantle offers the perfect opportunity to display an array of smaller items that highlight the overall color scheme and style of the space. Here, the smoky gray glass bottles reflect the pop of turquoise and smoky mirror, while the burnt orange bottles highlight all the brass items. 

Bandaska tall vase
DECHEM Studio Bandaska Tall Vase $229
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If your style is super modern and formal, choose items that speak to those qualities, too. This living room has several unexpected elements that keep things interesting, yet each item works well together for a cohesive whole. For example, the ceramic art on the mantle contributes to the overall color story while also complementing the geometric and raw design of the accent chair. 

Links Marble Chain
CB2 Links Marble Chain $129
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We love how the picture frames and décor resting on the mantle are casually propped up and leaning against the wall. It creates a more lived-in, relaxed vibe, so take note if that's the kind of environment you want to achieve. 

Display Your Plants

Simple mantle displays plant, a few ceramics, and a framed mirror
Elizabeth Roberts

The mantle is the perfect place to put your smaller plants and florals on display. Fresh plants will really enliven the space and contribute more character. We love how this living room keeps things simple with an inviting, leafy plant. It really complements the easy, organic feel of the living room. 

Eclectic mantle
Liljencrantz Design

If you want to give your space a more modern twist, sometimes all it takes is an artful decorative object. We like how the rounded vase reflects the avant-garde objects and furniture throughout the space. It also frees up the surface area on your coffee table when you're entertaining guests and doesn't block any views since it's up against the wall. 

Brass fireplace candelabra
Crate & Barrel Brass Fireplace Candelabra $80
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Simple mantle décor in tiled bathroom
Elizabeth Roberts

Opt for a succulent if you want something low-maintenance with a longer shelf-life. It works particularly well in a bathroom where you want to exude a fresh feel, and all you have to do is water your succulent once a week, or in some cases, every other week.

Staggered Vase
Anthropologie Staggered Vase $28
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Go Bare

Elegant mantle with minimal décor
Studio DB

Here's proof that less is more. When the design of your fireplace itself is as striking as this one, don't go overboard on mantle décor. Not only will it ensure a clean, sophisticated aesthetic, but it'll also keep the eye focused on the other statement pieces throughout the room, like wall art and lighting. 

Chord Brass Log Holder
CB2 Chord Antique Brass Log Holder $100
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Sleek fireplace in room with high ceilings and wood beams
JH Interior Design

On the other hand, if your fireplace doesn't have a mantle, try hanging a bold art piece directly above it and then put your decorative pieces on top of a coffee table or side table. We love how the sleek fireplace allows our attention to focus on the gorgeous high ceilings and exposed beams. 

Faux fireplace in living room with modern décor
Studio DB

Not all fireplaces have mantles and not all fireplaces actually work. If that's the case in your space, try painting it the same colors as the walls so it blends in seamlessly, and then block it off with a bench or similar piece of furniture. Or get creative and place a cluster of large candles where the logs would typically go to give your living room a cozier feel. 

Portable Fireplace Candle
D.S. & Durga Portable Fireplace Candle $65
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