Modern Mantel Decor With A TV: 7 Ways To Pull It Off

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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 7 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! Read about all these Modern Mantel Decor Ideas with Chrissy Marie

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Mantel Decor With A TV – It Can Be Done & Still Look Great!

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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!

First Step Before Decor: Placement of The TV is Key

Why Have a TV Above Your Mantel?

Usually, a mantel is the most logical place to put the television. The mantel in most cases is already on the biggest focal point of the room. Placing the television somewhere else then the mantel – for instance, on opposite wall, makes the two spaces feel like they are competing for attention – which wall do you center your furniture around? Typically, mantels aren’t too high, keeping the television at an appropriate level.

7 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:

  1. Adding floating shelves
  2. Switching to a Smart TV (or The Frame) with art
  3. Adding sconces (hardwiring optional!)
  4. 13 greenery ideas as mantel decorations and how to use them
  5. 17 pieces of mantel decor to choose from
  6. Size/scale of objects
  7. Using trim work correctly in place of mantel decorations

I’ll also discuss when not to add anymore mantel decor!

1. Add Floating Shelves on the Right and Left Side of the TV

Decorating around your TV with floating shelves is an affordable solution to distract from the big black box, making your design feel thought out and purposeful!  Shelves on either side of the TV “floating” on the wall will add symmetry to the wall, and any designer will tell you symmetry in design is a great idea.  Shelves don’t have to be costly, they can be found at big box stores these days!

Many of us have cable boxes, Apple TVs, or a gaming system, so placing those necessary items on the floating shelves with decor around makes it functional. Placing boxes inside baskets is also a great solution – dangle wires over the back.

Accessorizing shelves is the best part, obviously! It doesn’t have to be hard to perfect. My formula is simple.

  • Start on the top shelf with a group of objects only in the center
  • On the shelf below, put items on inner and outer part of the shelves
  • Rotate each shelf (a shelf with objects in the center, shelf below has objects on either side)
  • Grouping objects into 3 items is easy and sure to look good
  • Layer with books (underneath small objects)
  • Don’t use too many small objects – they tend to look like clutter

TV Over Fireplace – Keep the Mantel Tidy 

Minimal decor is another solution, and one I’ve grown to love. Maybe a few candles sticks on both ends, or small vases with faux greenery, but not an overload in small accessories!

If you’re a fan of minimal you’ll also love the idea of the the Frame TV , which turns the TV into art and has a minimal frame that comes with it.

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!

2. 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:

mantel decor with tv and green pumpkins on the mantel

To 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:

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.

frame tv with no mantel decor

Frame TV | sconces | bubble light | mirror

Another look at minimal mantel decor with an art TV (also the Frame):

3. 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.

brass sconces next to tv

source: sconces | blue orchid pot | Amazon topiary

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!

sconces next to tv on a mental

source: pillow | rug | Amazon drapes

You might have seen did a similar trick in our bedroom, on a sconce we didn’t want to hardwire. We used these pucks tucked inside the scone because I didn’t know those rechargeable bulbs existed! 

These are our sconces next to our TV, and below are some affordable options. 

affordable sconces next to the tv

sources: one | two | three | four | five | six | seven | eight | nine | ten | eleven

Most of these come in a variety of colors / finishes.

4. 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. 

Above: a long wooden bowl sits low on the center of a dresser, with green moss balls lined up neatly.

Try placing a long garland along your entire mantel. It doesn’t have to be for holidays- a eucalyptus garland looks nice year round.

TV styled with decor underneath it on a mantel

via: Thrifty Decor Chic

Wooden long narrow bowls:

Amazon Greenery / Decor:

More Greenery:

Matching Mantel Decor with the Seasons

Fall Mantel Decor

Use warmer colors – warm cream candles instead of bright white candles. If you use blue in your decor, you can mix in some dark green. Blue and green look great together.

Winter Mantel Decor

Swamp in holiday decor, like a bowl of your favorite ornaments on display. This is easy and cheap!

Spring Mantel Decor

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.

decorating a mantel with faux greenery


 Summer Mantel Decor:

Try fresh greenery and fresh or faux blooms in the summer.  Bright, happy shades look great in the warmer months.Try a theme of colors: yellow and greens like sunflowers mixed with green objects. 

Tip: Don’t forget to updated your smart TV to play seasonal images and art pieces! 

5. Time For Design Inspo:  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!

17 objects to style with:

Pottery Barn:

Affordable Choices:

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.

vases above fireplace as decor above tv
via: 2 Sunny Side Up

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.

mantel decorated with blue and white ginger gars and green leaves

 Coffee Table | Rug | White Dipped Vase | blue and white planter set | faux magnolia stem


6. 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.

a girl arranging mantel decor under a tv


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.

built ins and mantel decor around a TV
via DIY Playbook

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.

mantel decor styled with a TV on top
via Summer Adams

Creating height on each end, with low prices in the middle here.

girl put-on on candles and mantel decor with a tv

I kept it simple with candle pillars and tall driftwood only here.


7. Alternative to Decor – 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. The mantel decor isn’t necessary if the trim work (box molding, shiplap, etc.) is enough on its own.  Here are some ideas of trimwork to inspire you:

mantle decor with mirror in a room


mantel decor with trim work around a tv


fireplace decor with tv

mantel decor ideas like sconces with tv in living room
via: Randi Garret Designs

And if you are simply working around a TV on a wall with no fireplace, a gallery wall with big frames offers interest.

gallery wall mantel decor around a tv
via: @JLGarvin


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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