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If the weather where you are is anything like where it is for us here at The Shelving Store, it’s probably looking a little…bleak and grey outside right now.

Bad news for any of your outdoorsy types, but it’s great news for anyone who likes to stay cozy indoors, especially if you have a fireplace!

Even after you get it all cleaned out and ready to use, you might find the top of your mantel a little…sparse and wanting. Since you’re going to be spending the next few months in front of the fireplace, why not take some time to make it a little more decorative? Here’s a few tips to spruce up your fireplace mantels for the cold months, the warm months, and everything in between:


Add some greenery: Mantels tend to be made out of tough, hard-looking materials for durability and safety purposes, but this look tends to weigh down the rest of the room. Get some seasonally-appropriate greenery and plants to keep atop the mantel to avoid everything looking too harsh – some mums and lemon cypress for fall, lavender in summer, etc – and add a more natural look to your den.


Dishes and pitchers: Some of you out there might be balking at the idea of un-usable plates and the like, but these are a great decorative touch that tends to be the perfect size for mantels. Get some matching decorative dishes (the kind with fun messages or images printed on them, or maybe a kitschy souvenir from a favorite vacation spot) to line the mantel, and maybe some corresponding cups and pitchers. The pitchers can be used as ersatz vases and plant holders (for the previous tip), and they can be arranged to frame a treasured family photo or a picture you wanted to show off.


Theme it for the holidays: Mantel decorations don’t have to be permanent, and if you’re the kind that likes to get into the holiday spirit (whatever that holiday might be), consider the mantel as an additional surface for decoration. Line it with garland and lights for the holidays (making sure to keep everything out of the fire, of course), hide some Easter eggs up there, use it to show off embarrassing photos of your kids when their birthday rolls around…whatever kind of holiday spirit you’re in, the mantel is a great place to show it off!


Go for a nautical theme: When summer comes around, a mantel is a good place to make a little beachside setup for anyone that lives near the water (or just loves boating). Get some driftwood and sea shells for that beach-campfire vibe, set up a few lanterns and a knot ball for a dockside look, or even put a little aquarium up there. (Just remember to feed the fish!)


Just put your TV up there: Of course, there’s always slightly more practical uses for the space above a mantel – if you have a big flat-screen TV, you could use that space to mount your television and free up room for the rest of your living room furniture. Just a suggestion.

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