Put the “Man” in Mantle

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Image: Apartment Therapy

Fireplace mantles have become more and more streamlined over the years, and that’s fine with me. Smart editing of décor is always a good thing, I think, and that goes for mantles as well. But—having said that—I am always on the lookout for great mantles that work well in a masculine design environment. Here are a few stellar examples.

Keep it simple by hanging a framed image collection in a structured grid shape, as can be seen above in the NYC rooftop water tower photos. This is easy on the eye because it’s so uniform, and does a great job of filling the space above the mantle, without overpowering the room.

Bare Bones

Mantle Fireplace with TV
Image: Remodelista

Much like the previous example, there’s really no mantle to speak of on this fireplace – but that’s just fine when the materials are as well selected and refined as these. The grass cloth wallpaper and marble surround make enough of a masculine statement without needing additional decoration.


Modern Mantle Fireplace with Gold Skull
Image: Desire to Inspire

Hanging art above the mantle (or, as shown here, simply above the fireplace itself) is a time-honored tradition. Making a decision about what kind of art to place can make all the difference when it comes to making your environment masculine-friendly. The stylized skull is a great choice.


Mantle Fireplace with Striped Paint
Image: Planete Deco

Making a statement with paint is a terrific way to style your mantle. It’s also a way to differentiate your space from almost anyone else’s. Then, to flesh things out, just add your art, or other items, to the mantle.


Image: The Cavender Diary

Another tried and true mantle decoration technique is to display a collection; or, as is the case here, multiple collections. The key here, and the ongoing theme of all of this information, is to be very mindful of what and how much gets selected for display. An X-ray print, a tiny skull, John Lennon and Jesus: why not?

How do you style your mantle?

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Dave Hime, founder/curator of JapaneseTrash.com, has been an interior design addict for as long as he can remember. In 2005, he bought a house-in-progress and missed several opportunities to have an influence on his own home decor–leaving him wanting more. With design heroes such as Blake Dollahite (ruraltheory.com) and Robert & Cortney Novogratz (thenovogratz.com), Dave began seeking out online resources that would exemplify the interior design practices he's most drawn to: using color, texture and simple materials well. Bringing all of this together, along with his specific focus on providing interior design inspiration from a man's point of view, is Dave's mission: masculine design.