A fireplace is the focal point of any room, so it certainly shouldn’t be an afterthought when it comes to decorating.

 

According to style maven Karen Kwinter — style editor at large for both Canadian Living and Homemakers magazines — the quickest way to add flare and interest to a fireplace is to adorn the mantle with cherished possessions.

 

“Whether it’s a great collection of black-and-white picture frames leaning against the wall, or a bouquet of flowers in an interesting vase, placing items on the mantle will draw your attention to the fireplace immediately,” she explains.

 

Kwinter says her favourite mantles usually feature a monochromatic palette of a mix of great antique and modern finds, layered amongst each other. “Maybe it’s a stack of white lacquered boxes with black trim, bone horns resting beside them, a unique vase or sculpture, or a great clock,” she adds.


The key is to contrast objects with flowing curves alongside those with strong angles in order to create visual movement. And candles always add warmth to the ambiance.


If you have a small room, Kwinter suggests hanging a framed mirror above your mantle running the full length; this will create the illusion of space and add light and dimension to the room.


Finally, if you don’t have a working fireplace, Kwinter recommends placing a collection of candles inside the fireplace for a warm and inviting touch.