10 Tips for a Successful Mantel Remodel


In a home, it is inevitable that some elements will need more care and consideration than others when it comes to remodeling, with the mantel being a prime example of this principle. This is because the mantel is a natural centerpiece for its surroundings, meaning that it will draw the eyes of those who set foot in the room whether the homeowners want it or not. As a result, those who want their homes to look as pleasing as possible must make sure that their mantels are well-suited to the settings in which they are situated, particularly since a pleasing mantel combined with pleasing surroundings can be much more than the sum of their parts.

Here are 10 tips that can be used for a successful mantel remodel:

The Mantel As Contrast

A mantel that is contrasted with its surroundings through the careful choosing of colors, materials, and styles can stand out all the more, thus becoming that much more captivating to the senses. Better still, it serves to highlight its surroundings at the same time, thus enabling them to look their best as well.

The Mantel As Complement

In contrast, a mantel with colors, materials, and styles chosen to make them complement their surroundings can provide a much more subtle but no less excellent enhancement for their surroundings. By blending in, it can contribute to the overall sense of the room as part of a harmonious whole rather than a stand-out element. Although this is not so exciting to the senses, it can result in a more peaceful impression, which can be useful for those who want a room to rest and relax in rather than something to set their senses ablaze with wonder.


A symmetrical look is the simplest and most straightforward choice for a mantel. This is because it looks pleasing, but in an expected sort of way that makes it next-to-impossible to irritate potential visitors. With that said, it is important to note that different mantels can have different levels of symmetry by using more or less symmetrical elements, which can make it easy to tweak them for different homeowners with different tastes.

Flanking Elements

Flanking elements are one of the easiest ways to introduce symmetry, which is convenient because they are also extremely useful for providing ornamentation. For example, something as simple as a pair of corbels on the sides of the mantel can serve to strengthen its presence while also reinforcing a sense of perfect order.


Asymmetry is a bold but risky choice when it comes to the mantel. It can be done, but to do it well is difficult, not least because a poor choice can result in something that looks chaotic and confusing rather than fresh and exciting. As a result, people who want an asymmetrical look for their mantel may want to experiment a little before putting the final look together so that they can get a better idea of what they are really creating.

Visual Weight

When it comes to symmetry and asymmetry, it is important to discuss the role of visual weight as well. In brief, visual weight is how well a particular element can attract attention, meaning that an asymmetrical arrangement of elements can actually be used to create a strange but nonetheless real sense of symmetry. For example, imagine a pair of elements with a bigger one painted in a color that blends in and a smaller one painted in a color that stands out. When used together, even though the bigger one is bigger, it will have less visual weight relative to its size because it blends into its surroundings, which is something can be helpful to people looking for remodeling ideas in regards to their mantels.


Speaking of which, homeowners should make sure to get a good idea of what their mantels will look like in the end because going back and redoing things can make an already expensive and time-consuming project that much more so. Never mind the frustration from having to bear with even more remodeling. Generally speaking, speaking with their contractors about the colors, materials, and styles that are available to them is helpful in this regard, but if they are really serious about learning what their choices will look like in the context of their rooms, they should be able to find the right services to provide them with that as well through some of those same contractors. This is absolutely critical because it can be difficult to know what a room will look like before it has been put together, meaning that most homeowners will have a hard time evaluating the results before it is done, thus increasing their chances of getting something that they will not want.

Neutral Colors

Some colors are called neutral colors because while they are not particularly exciting for most people, they are also rarely irritating to them. Common examples include but are not limited to beige, brown, black, and white. As a result, they are often used in remodeling for the simple reason that they make something either more pleasing or neutral to most people, which is particularly important for homeowners who know that they might have to sell their current homes at some point in the future. After all, while bolder colors might appeal to them more, the same can’t be said of all the real estate consumers out there.

Supporting Roles

Most people like putting all sorts of items on their mantels, meaning that mantel remodeling should take that into consideration as well. For example, for homeowners who want to draw attention to the items on their mantels rather than their mantels, it might be best to go with something that is simple and clean in appearance with a minimal profile, thus rendering it a support for the true centerpiece of the room.


The position of the light relative to the mantel is an important consideration. For example, a light that shines upon the mantel can cause it to stand out, thus serving to emphasize its importance in the room. In contrast, a light that is focused on nowhere in particular can help homeowners minimize the presence of their mantel, thus letting it serve as a pleasing addition without dominating its surroundings in the presence. If necessary, homeowners should not hesitate to experiment with the placement of their lights as well as the kinds of light that will be used because hot and cold light can result in very different looks.


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