A cozy fireplace easily becomes the centerpiece of any room, but it can be surprisingly difficult to create a safe yet beautiful decorative display on your mantel and hearth. Whether you’re moving into a new home, redecorating after a recent fireplace repair in Salt Lake City, UT, or simply want a new look for your old hearth, here are some guidelines to keep in mind.

Create Layers

Decorating is largely a matter of personal taste, but most designers agree that layers are key to a good mantel design. One common suggestion is to think about your decorations in terms of three separate layers. Start with a large focal point or anchor. This can be a mirror, a piece of artwork, or even a large, bold sculpture that acts as the centerpiece of your design.

Use your second layer to create balance. These should be larger pieces placed symmetrically on either side of the anchor piece. Popular choices include floral bouquets and large candelabras.

The third layer should be smaller filler pieces that round out your display. These can be photographs, small figurines, smaller flower displays, or anything else you want.

Blend and Personalize

Be sure to pick your decorations while thinking about the rest of the room. It’s safest to choose matching or complementary colors, although some people prefer to use it as a contrasting accent piece instead. Make sure it flows with the rest of your decor, regardless of which approach you take.

Your mantel also provides ample opportunity to add small personal touches, so don’t be afraid to put your home’s personality on display. Family photos are a classic choice, but you can also get creative with unique art pieces.

Keep It Safe

It can be tempting to use a lot of fabric around your hearth to help create a cozy atmosphere, but keep in mind that this can be a fire risk. Experts recommend keeping any combustible materials, including pillows, blankets, and seasonal decorations, at least three feet away from the opening of the fireplace. This includes any decorations you might hang from your mantel, such as stockings or garlands.

Candles are another classic mantel decoration that requires extreme caution. Many mantels are made of wood or other inflammable materials, so your candles need to have appropriate containers or a safe drip tray. Artificial candles can be a better choice if you want a warm glow without the fire risk.

The mantel design itself can present some risks. It should be a minimum of 12 inches above the top of the firebox. If it’s closer, you may need to consult a professional to assess the risk and fix any problems.

Whether you’re looking for routine fireplace maintenance or want a new installation or gas fireplace conversion in Salt Lake City, UT, Croft Fireplace can help. Our professionals are available for a wide variety of projects, so give us a call today!