A fireplace mantel is a great focal point for any room. Eyes of family member, guests, and friends are drawn to fireplace mantels, which are usually in the family room, great room, or den. There are numerous ways to decorate a fireplace mantel that can showcase your own unique tastes, artistic ability, or can be a place where favorite pictures are put on for display. The wonderful thing about fireplace mantels are that they can be decorated and re-decorated to coordinate with holidays or special events.

Here are a few ways to decorate a fireplace mantel that can help to spark your own imagination.

Mirror, Mirror on the Mantel
If your fireplace is located in a smaller room, consider getting a bold collection of mirrors to put on display; this will help to make the room appear larger than it is. Choose mirrors of different sizes and lengths to give the display height and dimension. Mirrors with thick accented frames or bold colors can be found at thrift stores or discount department stores. You can choose to simply lean the mirrors against the wall on the mantel for a less permanent display and don't shy away from layering different mirrors against one another to see how it would look. To add to the bold mantel display you can include candles of various sizes, colors, and lengths in unique candle holders to be placed in front of the mirrors. The lighted candles will create a dramatic ambiance especially when the flames are reflected in the mirrors.

Family, Friends, and More
A popular way to decorate a fireplace mantel is simply having great photos of family and friends in various frames. Each photo can capture a significant event or just some good times. If you are looking for a more clean look for your mantel, consider purchasing a number of identical frames and hanging or placing them in a row across your mantel. The great thing about pictures is that you will be able to change them to keep them fresh. For a display of photos with a little twist, considering dispersing prints of your favorite paintings or art pieces into the collection. It will help to diversify your decor and add some different eye candy to the mix.

Collections & Artifacts
Do you have a special hobby or collection that you adore? Consider a way to decorate your fireplace mantel to display all of your treasures. If you collect vases from all over the world, what better place to put them on display? If you are a photographer, consider blowing up your best pieces and hang it above your mantel. Having your collection or hobby on display will make the mantle decor more personal and meaningful. And they can be great conversation starters at dinner parties.