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Rustic Mantels - How To Decorate A Fireplace Mantel

Updated on January 27, 2012
Display trophies in a prominent place!
Display trophies in a prominent place!

Fireplace Mantels In Rustic Wood

Instead of a traditional finished wood mantel, you might want to go with something more natural if your décor is rustic. We actually harvested our own wood and had the builder install it for us but you can purchase rustic mantels as well. A mantel is such a focal point in a room and is deserving of your most prized possessions or handcrafted décor.

Now, my husband is an avid hunter and I must say that I have given him a special room for most of his trophies. His ducks however,are so darn cute! They have been allowed the esteemed position of the fireplace mantel. We couldn't just plunk them there and call it good - that might not do them justice. I added a vase of cattails, an antique binocular case filled with birch branches and an antler for good measure. A handcrafted birch lamp adds some extra glow.

Whatever your main focal point might be for your rustic setting, make sure to support it with some rustic accessories or natural elements. Pinecones or acorns, put in the right containers, make good decorating pieces. Dried flowers, twigs or branches all look great in an antique of some sort. It could be a fishing creole, tackle box or shell box. There are endless possibilities. They key is displaying them artistically.

For the holidays, combine rustic and Christmas accessories together for a rustic Christmas blend!

rustic fireplace mantel
rustic fireplace mantel
fireplace decor
fireplace decor

Use Less Larger Items

If you have a large item to display on the mantel, which is a focal point itself, keep other items to a minimum. You want the area to be a showcase, not a cluttered miscellaneous collection of favorite items.

You can see the changes I made in the two rustic pictures.  When I added the large shadow box, in the second picture, I needed to take away some items.  I removed the antlers and the vase with the cattails.  I brought the cattails down to the hearth below.  That helped to tie the whole them of the fireplace in together.

Bring other items down to the hearth to continue the décor theme. In this way, you are tying the whole fireplace together with a common theme and it is easy on the eye.

If you are going to showcase a large item, pick a nice piece of art or a significant conversation piece.

Simple and serene.
Simple and serene.

Elegant Rustic or Cottage Style

A casual setting or cottage style can also be quite elegant when décor is kept simple and streamlined. This mantel is simply flanked with matching rustic  lamps. The pattern is then repeated with Pottery Barn vases filled with long grass from a craft store. One picture in the middle completes the look. The colors are all earthy and toned down, making the objects harmonize rather than compete for attention. The overall effect is soothing to the eye.

The mantel itself is just painted white.  To give it a more rustic feel, you could roughly sand half of the paint off leaving some areas white.  This gives it a weathered look and can be very comfortable depending on the look you are going for.


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    • gr82bme profile image

      gr82bme 6 years ago from USA

      You have great and easy to do ideas. I do not understand why more have not visited your hub!

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Here I am again! Collecting as much information from your custom ideas as I can. I have a white mantel against rust colored rock fireplace and didn't have a clue as to how to decorate it. Thanks so much. I am havving a ball! :)vocalcoach