Figuring out mantel decor with a TV is a challenge for so many TV loving people! What to do- leave your mantel empty and let the TV be the focus? Fill it up with all the knick knacks?
I am sharing 6 ideas on how to style a mantel with a big old ugly TV above it – because with a little effort you can make your fireplace decor – even with a television – look a lot better!
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Mantel Decor With A TV – It Can Be Done & Still Look Great!
While building our home, I was anxious because we had the opportunity to design our living room any way we liked, but we put our mantel under the TV. We considered carving out a space for the television next to the fireplace, but I wanted windows there.
While I don’t particularly love that we have our mantel under a TV, the tradeoff is worth it. Here are 6 mantel decor ideas that will help you decorate around your TV!
6 Mantel Decor Ideas With A TV
In general, a few pieces are all you need when you are have a television above the mantel. Too much decor and it all looks like clutter. Below are 6 mantel decor ideas and tips when working around a TV that include:
- Switching to a Smart TV with art
- Adding sconces (hardwiring optional!)
- 13 greenery ideas as mantel decorations and how to use them
- 17 pieces of mantel decor to choose from
- Size/scale of objects
- Using trim work correctly in place of mantel decorations
I’ll also discuss when not to add anymore mantel decor!
1. Forget the Mantel Decor, Upgrade to a Smart TV with Art or the Frame TV
While not in everyone’s budget, is is important to mention because it is the easiest solution. We made our regular TV work for a while – and then upped the game with our Frame TV. Finally, we added sconces which I talk about below.
We went from this:
The Frame TV solves the whole issue, right? We put a 55″ Frame TV above our 6.5′ mantel, and with the art – you can actually skip the mantel decor if you wish! The art is the focal point and this is all you need.
Alternatively, some smart TVs also display art although they don’t have the option to stay “on” all the time or pop on with movement.
Before we installed sconces, and with just a black Frame TV:
You can read about how we put a Frame TV over the fireplace and how to decide on the best size TV, or read the pros and cons and a review of the Samsung Frame TV here (we love it but it’s not for everyone!). When we moved from this house, the buyers of our house added both Frame TVs into the contract and negotiated for them! (Does this mean they could potentially add value to a home? Hmm.)
We chose to go with another Frame TV in our new house. This is a 65″ below, on a 90″ fireplace wall. I thought any kind of mantel decor would take away from the look.
Another look at minimal mantel decor with an art TV (also the Frame):
2. Sconces Next To the TV As Mantel Decor
Sconces next to the TV can visually work just like mantel decor! Flanking your television – as in, sconces on either side of the TV- serves as a distraction and upgrades the whole look. Sconces are a space filler and will save you from feeling like you have to decorate with more “stuff”. Truly, you could keep your mantel empty if you have sconces.
The actual light from the sconces might not actually be needed in your space, but this is about adding balance, ambiance, and making your fireplace and mantel look finished! In the evenings we love to light a fire and turn on our sconces next to the TV for a cozy, warm look. When entertaining we always flip them on for mood lighting. Our designer sconces are made by Visual Comfort and are one of their most affordable sconces they make, but they still look high end like everything else Visual Comfort makes.
Placement of Sconces Next To A TV
When hanging sconces on either side of a fireplace, consider the mantel width. If your fireplace is very long and wide, hang your sconces over both ends of the mantel with plenty of room, not way off to the side. When putting sconces next to a TV on smaller fireplaces, the lights should hang approximately eight inches from the edge of the mantel.
Sconces Without Hardwiring
Our sconces are hardwired – but what if you can’t do that? I recently bought this battery operated rechargeable lightbulb that screws directly inside a standard light fixture. Brilliant!
Simply screw in the battery-powered light bulb into your sconce, like a regular light bulb screws in. Mount the sconce to the wall with the screws it came with (no electrical box needed). The light bulb comes with a remote to turn it off and on – but it also has a button if you prefer. You can recharge the bulb after 10 hours of use by plugging it into a light with electricity. Bingo, you have two sconces that light up with actual light bulbs!
These are our sconces next to our TV, and below are some affordable options.
Most of these come in a variety of colors / finishes.
3. Use Greenery As Mantel Decor With A TV
Greenery, the opposite of technology, for the win! Fresh greenery looks nice and happy under a big dark box. Something alive (or that looks alive) is the remedy to the struggle of ugly televisions dominating the room.
In general, keep the greenery minimal. A grouping centered underneath the television, or a vase with a pop of greenery on each side.
Try placing a long garland along your entire mantel. It doesn’t have to be for holidays- a eucalyptus garland looks nice year round.
via: Thrifty Decor Chic
We used our faux magnolia stems in our vase here that nobody (seriously nobody) would know are faux. These are SO lifelike – even the branches are fuzzy like magnolia branches are. They come on a long branch, so I cut my stem to make it look best in the vase.
Blue and green look classic and fresh together!
Amazon Greenery / Decor:
Transition Your Mantel Decor Into Spring:
4. Pick Through 21 Ideas For What To Use On Your Mantel Under The TV
Don’t go overboard with the decor here – but sometimes you just need a few specific ideas. Group three items together on each side at most. Or, for symmetry place two larg identical objects on either side. Symmetry looks great in design, so if you are struggling this is an easy way to get it right!
If you have open built in shelves on either side styled with objects, go easy on decorating your mantel so it doesn’t look cluttered. You might not need as much mantel decor as you think! If the mantel feels too minimal for your taste (some of us are maximalists!), try a group of items on one side only.
17 objects to style with:
Vases, ginger jars, a stack of books or books between bookends, a frame, candles grouped together, lanterns, driftwood, large shells, antlers, or a collection of similarly colored objects grouped together will work.
Use just two or three colors to create an intentional, curated look, and keep your fireplace decor under the TV looking more put together. We used blues, whites and greens vases and jars.
During the fall, I kept the color palette simple to green and white only, because I had a lot of large objects. I would keep this to about 3 colors at most.
5. Size and Scale of Objects
The size of your decor makes a difference. Don’t use objects so big they compete with the TV. And stay away from small items, they look like clutter.
Place low objects in the middle, and taller objects on the ends of course.
I filled in the spaces between the pumpkins with greens. I like these faux silver dollar stems! They are the best for little styling projects like this.
Minimal decor here because she has those tall built ins – just an item with some height on the sides. And again with the eucalyptus! See? It is so versatile.
Creating height on each end, with low prices in the middle here.
6. Trimwork In Place of Decor
You can alternatively use trim work on your mantel and skip the decor all together! This will give your fireplace a focal point and interest. he mantel decor isn’t necessary if the trim work (box molding, shiplap, etc.) is enough on its own. Here are some ideas of mantels trimwork:
One last idea… If you are simply working around a TV on a wall with no fireplace, a gallery wall with big frames offers interest.
While not a mantel, it is the same idea of keeping an area free of clutter, while adding larger pieces to beautify the space and distract from the ugly big black box.
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