Perhaps it’s the maximalism trend that has crept into our homes over the past few years, or the boom in amateur floral styling; either way, a fun fascination with dressing our fireplaces has emerged. Known winkingly as ‘mantelscaping’, using your mantelpiece as a space for some much-needed decorative variety can be a simple and joyful way of ushering a sense of the approaching spring indoors. There is something meditative about arranging your favourite things and seasonal flowers on a newly empty mantel or focal shelf – not to mention Instagrammable.
‘A mantelscape is an inherently tidy space,’ points out Bryony Sheridan, a creative consultant and buying manager at Liberty, whose own chic arrangements pepper her Instagram feed. ‘Even if the rest of your room looks messy, a mantel can be a grand moment.’ Here, style experts share their tips on making the most of yours.
How to decorate your mantlepiece
Curate your clutter
‘Mantelpieces tend to be a focal point for a room and as such are an ideal place to display the objects you own that bring you happiness, in an ever-evolving way,’ say Angus and Charlotte Buchanan of creative design firm Buchanan Studio. ‘We like to think of it as “curated clutter”. On ours at home we have everything from vases and candles to books, collectables, fresh or dried seasonal flowers, artworks and treasures like shells and driftwood from beach walks. Moving things around, and frequently ringing the changes in terms of what you display, will help keep a room feeling fresh, stimulating and inspiring.’
Make a bold floral display
Floral artist Hazel Gardiner has developed a reputation for bedecking mantels in flowers – a trend that has exploded in popularity over the past year. Ditch the environmentally problematic floral foam, she advises, and fill cardboard boxes or planting troughs with a couple of layers of scrunched-up chicken wire, then fold the wire over the edge ‘like a waterfall’ to cover the front of the box. ‘That’s basically your structure,’ she says, ‘then you just keep adding things in.’