Five Different Ways to Style a Mantel!

There are many different kinds of fireplaces: wood-burning, gas-burning, electric, ethanol-burning, and non-functioning. Today, Judith will show you how she styled her cottage fireplace in 5 different ways.

1 | Decorating on a Dime

Styling your mantle doesn’t mean you have to go out and buy new art or decor items. It could simply mean using what you already have, using greenery from the garden, or thrifting some nifty pieces. In the case that this was a non-functioning fireplace, Judith placed some beautiful brush (actually some weeds!) from the garden in our EQ3 Medium Trundle Basket in the fireplace, and decorated the mantel with a candelabra, decoys, and bowl she got at an auction as well as a Brothers Dressler Footform filled with twigs. She kept it simple with the Umbra Oval Hub Mirror as opposed to art.

From Tuck: Umbra Hub Oval 24″x36″ Mirror Black ($150), Up-cycled Brothers Dressler Shoe Form (contact us to inquire about any Brothers Dressler products), EQ3 Trundle Basket Medium ($24.99). The other objects on this mantle were either found at auctions, Habitat for Humanity, or other second hand and vintage shops. The dried botanicals were found on Judith’s property. 

From Tuck: Up-cycled Brothers Dressler Shoe Form (contact us to inquire about any Brothers Dressler products).

From Tuck: Decorating with found, second hand, and vintage items is a great way to add character on a budget. 

From Tuck: EQ3 Trundle Basket Medium ($24.99) filled with dried plants Judith found on her property. 

2 | Collections

The mantel is a great spot to display things you are passionate about. For Judith and Robert, that would be books of poetry, ceramics, and pottery. So as to not take away from the objects on the mantel, Judith kept the Umbra Hub Mirror on the wall. She then placed meaningful pieces, some of which came from Handworks Gallery. The Deichmann vase, which came from an auction but you can get many pieces from Cobalt Gallery, sits on top of their poetry books with the spines facing out. Again, if this was a non-functioning fireplace, you don’t have to fill in the fireplace, but rather the space in-front, which Judith did by using an antique trunk, wooden bowl and dried leaves.

From Tuck: Umbra Hub Oval 24″x36″ Mirror Black ($150). Also shown, Judith & Robert’s personal collection of ceramics, poetry, and dried plants. 

Pottery from various shops in Halifax and Handworks in Saint John

Deichmann Pottery – for similar pieces see Cobalt Art Gallery

Ceramic info

Ceramic info

Dried Magnolia Leaves from Galbraith Florist 

3 | Refined Elegance

In this styling, Judith made Robert Moore’s artwork the focal point. The gold framing of the artwork helped set the tone for the decorative items, like the brass candle holders from Brass n Things, while the eucalyptus from Galbraith florists brings in a natural element. The wood stacked in the fireplace creates a nice tension between rustic and refined, as well as a symmetry between the art and fireplace.

From Tuck: Robert Moore “We’re in This Together” ($700 unframed/ $890 framed). Framing of Robert’s work done by Mario’s Framing 

Candlesticks from Brass N Things

From Tuck: Robert Moore “We’re in This Together” ($700 unframed/ $890 framed). Framing of Robert’s work done by Mario’s Framing 

From Tuck: Robert Moore “We’re in This Together” ($700 unframed/ $890 framed). Framing of Robert’s work done by Mario’s Framing 

In the past, we’ve had the pleasure to style fireplaces for ourselves and many clients through Tuck Interiors. Here are a few more fireplaces that fit the Refined Elegance aesthetic and also have a primary focus on decorating with artwork. 

Another of Judith Mackin’s fireplaces, this one in her home in Saint John. The modern propane fireplace features chopped wood, art by Doug Moore and Bruce Pashak, an acrylic deer head, Areaware Rhino and Bear wooden figures, and a Normann Copenhagen Dustpan & Broom, and aHerman Miller Eames Lounge & Ottoman.

This fireplace, in Jen Shea & David Gamble’s home, is styled with their book collection, decorative objects from Tuck such as the Harry Allen Reality Ware Bank in the Form of a Pig White ($290), Umbra Casa Tissue Cover ($6). The lighting, also from Tuck and available to order, is Pink & Brown’s Cocoon collection: Cigar 10″ ($229), Ball 13″ ($249), and Discuss 18″ ($274). Also check out the Gus* Modern Halifax Chair in Laurentian Onyx fabric ($1150), available exclusively from Tuck in New Brunswick! 

This fireplace, in Natasha Tobias of Natasha’s Weddings & Events previous home, features artwork by Suzanne Hill paired with chopped wood as well as decor from Tuck. Notice also the popular, and totally customizable, EQ3 Arie Chair in Coachella Cognac and Lana Dark Grey Fabric ($1849). Order this chair from Tuck! 

4 | Historic Minimalist 

When choosing a statement piece of art, it’s important to choose decor elements that have purpose and intent, and that don’t take away from the art. Judith chose a timely painting of a Loyalist man by Robert Moore, and framed around the painting with 19th century bottles and frames that are from New Brunswick.

From Tuck: Robert Moore “This Too Shall Pass” 24″ x 30″ Acrylic on Canvas ($900)

From Tuck: Robert Moore “This Too Shall Pass” 24″ x 30″ Acrylic on Canvas ($900)

From Tuck: Robert Moore “This Too Shall Pass” 24″ x 30″ Acrylic on Canvas ($900)

Here are some minimalist fireplaces from some of our past clients… 

Home: Chris & Jodi Nadeau’s home featured in East Coast Living. From Tuck: Gus* Modern Jane Bi-Sectional (view the updated version here) ($3495), Gus* Modern GT Rocker (new fabrics available) ($1350), Gus* Modern Timber Table ($275).

Amanda & Adam Hoirch’s home featuring a minimalist fireplace clad in Ceragres Architecture 24″ x 24″ Noir tiles ($8.99/square foot) available to order from Tuck. Also from Tuck, is the Gus* Modern Adelaide Bi-Sectional in Andorra Pewter ($3450), EQ3 Kacia 31″ Tri Coffee Table ($399), EQ3 Kacia Tri End Table ($199), Cole & Son Nuvolette Wallpaper 114/28054 ($768/ 2 roll set – contact us to have a sample shipped to your home!). All of these items can be ordered from Tuck! 

5 | Maximalist

Maximalism on a mantel is about displaying many items that have meaning in a curated way. Judith centered a favourite and very meaningful piece on the wall from her late brother-in-law, Doug Moore, and then built around that. Keeping the shape of the frames, colour, and sizes in mind, she chose works by Pamela Marie Pierce and Robert Moore to keep in theme. She also used meaningful objects like a Johnathan Adler vase given to her by her son and a Carol Taylor vase, which was the first piece of (new) pottery she ever purchased. Sprinkled in on the mantel and by the fireplace, Judith added houseplants and foliage from the garden.

Central artwork by Doug Moore. From Tuck: Robert Moore “Faith” ($195), Robert Moore “I Come Undone” (sold), Pamela Marie Pierce “Three French Hens”, EQ3 Trundle Basket Medium ($24.99). Also shown, but certainly not for sale, is the adorable Macy, Judith’s Boston Terrier!

From Tuck: Robert Moore “Faith” ($195). Pottery is Carol Taylor

From Tuck: Robert Moore “I Come Undone” (sold), Pamela Marie Pierce “Three French Hens”

From Tuck: Robert Moore “I Come Undone” (sold)

From Tuck: Pamela Marie Pierce “Three French Hens”

Jonathan Adler Muse Bowl

Silk Screens: Meghan Barton

We hope you enjoyed these 5 fireplace mantle styling ideas from Judith Mackin and are feeling inspired to decorate your own mantles at home! When working on your own mantle, there are design elements to consider, too! Like a hidden fireplace, modern fireplaces, historical fireplaces, tiled fireplaces, wallpapered fireplaces, and the list goes on! Here are some more inspirational fireplaces that we have had a hand in!

Fireplace with a Hidden TV

We created this fireplace for Sean & Carrie McGrath in their home. They wanted a TV in their living room but didn’t want it to be the focal point and draw attention from their one of a kind custom wall mural (check it out here). The solution was to design the wall in such a way to hide the TV behind touch release panels above a sleek fireplace insert so it’s only visible when they’re using it and is hidden away the rest of the time. Design by Judith Mackin, built by Christoph Malinowski, CM Woodcraft

Electric Fireplace

Of course we realize not everyone has a fireplace existing in their home and it’s no small task to install a fully functioning propane or wood burning fireplace. Thankfully, there are many electric fireplaces available that give you the warmth and ambiance of a fireplace without the high price tag. 

Take, for example, Jeff & Laura Brewer’s upstairs living room. This modern electric fireplace (from Alternatives) was the perfect choice for their modern living room.

From Tuck: Gus* Modern Stainless Cube ($650) 

Fireplace with Candles

Just because your fireplace isn’t functional, doesn’t mean you can’t get the warmth and ambiance from it. Instead of traditional logs, fill the insert with candles and light em’ up! Perfect for a cozy night in. See below Judith lighting the candles in the fireplace for an HGTV Home Tour article in 2010 (read the article here). 

Fireplace with Wallpaper

Wallpaper is an obvious choice to really make your fireplace stand out. There are limitless options, each pattern like a work of art. Tuck is proud to sell Cole & Son, JF Fabrics, and Newwall! Contact us to order samples and have them shipped right to your doorstep. We’ll help you to find the perfect pattern, determine how much you’ll need, and can even put you in touch with installers. 

Janet Scott & Mark Leger’s Historic Home. From Tuck: Gus* Modern Thompson Chairs in Vinyl Coal/ Walnut ($325), Dylan Pendant Light Matte Gold ($750), Cole & Son Geometric Riviera 105/6029 Wallpaper ($236/ 11 yard roll – contact us for samples!)

Patterned Fireplaces

Don’t be afraid to add pattern to your fireplace, especially in the form of tiles! Most propane or wood burning fireplaces need or should have a fire rated tile surround, so why not have fun with it? Introduce colour, pattern, and texture and let your personality shine. 

Jeff & Laura Brewer’s Basement wood burning fireplace accented with Ceragres Forma 8″ Hexagon Black Tiles (no longer available but check out the Domus collection as an alternative – order from Tuck!). Also from Tuck: EQ3 Arie Chairs in Coachella Cognac Leather and Herringbone Fin Fabric ($1824), Ceragres Ardoise du Bresil Slate 24″x24″ tiles ($7.99/ sqaure foot), SLAB Wood from the Hood End Table (contact us to inquire), Harry Allen Reality Ware Bank in the Form of a Pig Black ($290), Mitzi Ava Double Wall Sconce in Aged Brass ($279). 

Recognize this fireplace from earlier in this post? It’s Judith’s home fireplace, totally transformed from minimalist to bright, colourful, maximalist! The main feature is the tile from Clé Tile which was a collaboration between Clé & Timorous Beasties to create these hand-painted limestone tiles with a vibrant (wallpaper-like) Rorschach ‘splitter-splater’ damask pattern. From Tuck: Gus* Modern Quarry Square Coffee Table in Bianca Marble ($1250), Quarry End Table Nero Marble ($745), moooi Smoke Chair (contact us to inquire), Gus* Modern Truss Chair in Caledon Dahlia ($1050), Gus* Modern Aubrey Sofa in Marais Cerise ($2450).

Robin Clouston & Warren Coombs’ fireplace featuring Clé tiles! From Tuck: Gus* Modern Sparrow Glider ($1250 )& Ottoman ($499), Gus* Modern Metric End Table Walnut ($525), Gus* Modern Tobias Coffee Table Rectangle Walnut ($750), Gus* Modern Jane Sofa (view the updated Jane 2 Sofa here in new fabrics!) ($2395), Umbra 37″ Hub Mirror Black ($180) 

For an additional dose of inspiration, we’d like to provide you with three free designs that we did for our client, Erika Clancy, using an Umbra Hub 24″ Mirror ($100) and the Umbra Floralink ($25/ 3 pack), which are available for purchase online from our online shop.




Of the three options, this is what Erika chose! 

Hopefully we’ve inspired you to get creative with your fireplace mantle! The products featured in this post are all from Tuck! Order online or contact us and we’ll happily assist you. Comment below and let us know which fireplace mantle is your favourite and please share your own before and afters! 

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