Wintery temps have got many of us gleefully using our fireplaces, a rare treat in Los Angeles. Most evenings, mine has been crackling nearby as my family practiced armchair athletics during our viewing of the Olympics or sat riveted by Oscar-worthy movies and documentaries (speaking of the Olympics, did you see Icarus? Wow!). Despite the electronic distractions, the fireplace is the focal point of most homes. I've resisted the urge to place a flatscreen above mine because it really is the one space where great art can be showcased, both high and low (affordability-wise). Here are a few ideas how you can elevate your mantel in an attention grabbing and artful way:
This living room (above) doesn't have the advantage of a large fireplace with an expansive mantel. Nevertheless, a large framed photograph that matches the scale of the hearth itself gives the illusion of doubling its size while also providing something artistically compelling to enjoy. I love the expression on the woman's face as if she's enjoying soaking up the warmth below!
Working with a mostly neutral palette? Use art to add a pop of color as seen in this layered look with a central abstract painting. The color story continues in the botanical arrangement on the left, as well as the bouquet-like collection of arrows on the right--all three are vertical elements that take the eye off that horizontal ledge, up and across. Fantastic!
I love the idea of a simple but bold field of color in a painting placed above the fireplace, complemented by a larger scale abstract artwork on the opposite wall in this serene minimalist space.
Although mirrors are often the go-to above most mantels, original art in this Los Angeles-area living room was still incorporated on either side, as well as other remarkable and conversation-worthy items including a collectible book on the coffee table and even a saddle to the right of the fireplace--Yee-haw!
Photography is a great way to decorate a mantel, group by theme as in this very classical-world inspired example. I'm already feeling transported to a distant land...
The best part of fireplace season? When your dog curls up in front of your hearth. Love this cozy boy!