Mantle Styling Three Ways

HAPPY NEW YEAR! 2019 is a BIG year for TMC, you guys! We’ve got a new and improved website, new logo, new blog content, and the list goes on! Ricky and I have so much excitement and anticipation for this year. So, for the first blog post of 2019, we’re talking mantle styling!

 Mantle styling is one of the most frequent decorating challenges I get asked about! So today I’m sharing how I’ve styled my mantle in three different ways, as well as sharing some tips and tricks, in hopes that you’ll be inspired to give your mantle a refreshed look for the new year! 

 Note: All of this info can easily be applied to shelves of any kind as well! I know that not everyone has a mantle, and even those that do often choose to put their TV above it. You do you! So, if you need inspiration for shelf styling, this post is for you too! Also, I challenge and encourage you to SHOP YOUR HOUSE! I did not go out and purchase anything for this blog post. All of these items are things I already had in one place or another. Some of them are things I even dug out of storage! I guarantee you can style with the items you already own! No need to accrue more junk or credit card bills in the new year ;)

 The first look I’m sharing is how our mantle is currently styled! During the holidays, the mantle looked like Christmas had thrown up on it (and rightfully so, because the saying is “more is more” at Christmas time, okay?!), so I wanted to transition to something simpler, but still cozy. This is a pretty standard method of styling. There’s no theme necessarily, and there’s nothing too busy or funky, so it’s versatile for all occasions and seasons!

This is a pretty standard method of styling. There’s no theme necessarily, and there’s nothing too busy or funky, so it’s versatile for all occasions and seasons!


1.    My ultimate tip for mantle styling will always be to make it personal. Shelves and mantles often serve as focal points in the home, so it matters what you decide to fill them with. Displaying a collection of pretty items is good but displaying items that tell a story is even better. So, to add a personal touch to our mantle, I included a canvas with one of our wedding photos on it.

2.    Choose your anchor, AKA your focal point. Ideally, this should be the largest item displayed. In this case, the anchor is our wedding photo. This should ideally be placed at the center. Consider a large framed photo, mirror, wall clock, etc.

3.    Choose other items of different sizes, shapes, and heights. Consider a vase, a stack of books, candlestick holders, a small globe or clock, a framed print, etc. This will add dimension and prevent a cluttered look.

4.    Add in natural elements. Bring nature inside! This adds texture and warmth to the space. For our mantle, I brought in natural elements by using the wooden candleholders and the olive branches. There’s something special about a plant, whether it’s real or faux, that just brings life to a space and makes it more cozy! I took some branches from an olive tree in our apartment complex (been doing this for years and haven’t gotten in trouble for it yet! Ha!) and stuck them in a jug vase I got from Goodwill. 

5.    Stagger the items around the anchor. This may take a few tries before you get it the way you like it, but just have fun with it and get creative! 


The next look is super easy to achieve, and it definitely makes a statement! If you’re someone who collects items such as candlestick holders, glass bottles, vases, vintage mirrors or frames, etc., this would be a great way to style your shelf or mantle and put your beautiful collection on display!


 1.    Gather up your collection and stagger them on your shelf or mantle. Mix them up according to size and height to add some diversity and dimension. This step in and of itself counts as your personal touch, because a collection of items you’ve specially curated is as personal as it gets!

2.    If there’s still a good amount of space that your collection doesn’t take up, fill in the holes with something like a stack of books, or weave in some greenery or a garland throughout the items.


 The next look is more themed. If you enjoy sticking to a specific color scheme, this look is right up your alley! 


 1.    Gather up items according to your color scheme. Remember to choose items varying in height, size, shape, etc. And don’t forget to make it personal! I went with a black and white scheme and used two canvases I made when Ricky and I first got married to decorate our new home. We were on a very tight budget, and I was in a canvas-painting craze, so these are super special to me! The ‘a” canvas is for our family name (Allen), and the other is our wedding date!

2.    Layer, layer, layer! When sticking to a color scheme, layering pieces is a great way to add interest. For this look, I layered the two canvases against each other rather than strictly putting them side by side, then layered a framed print that Ricky bought from an artist in Denton, TX.

3.    Stager the remaining items, and add a touch of greenery for good measure ;)


These looks are all just my personal examples and methods of styling! They are in no way exact formulas, but I hope they inspire you to do what YOU love, and style your shelves or mantle in a way that represents you! Tell me which of these looks is your favorite! And I want to see how YOU style yours for the new year! Be sure to post a photo and tag @themumscorner!


Thanks for reading!