Spring is almost here, and with it comes the promise of so many things-new grass, sunshine, baby birds-and of course spring cleaning and decorating! Whether you’ve just moved into your first home or you’re entering spring in the house you’ve loved for 30 years, these are some great ways to decorate your fireplace mantel for spring.
Preparing Your Fireplace
Safety should always be your main priority in any situation with your fireplace or woodstove. Before you start to decorate, make sure that your fireplace is completely cool, the gas is turned off (if you have a gas fireplace), cleared of ashes and that the damper and flue (if you have them) are in the appropriate and safe positions for the spring and summer.
If you have a fireplace with glass doors that are cloudy from the smoke, you can use a solution of one part vinegar to three parts warm water to clean your glass-add a small amount of cornstarch or alcohol if the vinegar needs a little boost! Always make sure you’re in a well-ventilated space when using cleaning chemicals.
Making Initial Decor and Design Decisions
Now that your fireplace is clean and safely shut down for the warmer months, it’s time to make your decor and design decisions for this season. If you’ve been waiting through the winter to remodel and create your dream custom fireplace, spring is the perfect time to start that project so that your fireplace will be ready and functional when the cold weather hits again.
If you are remodeling, decorating might be out of the question for a while, but you can still work on choosing all the perfect elements to create your ideal color scheme and room layout to fit your new fireplace. If your fireplace doesn’t need to be redone, you can choose a series of colors or a theme that you’d like to center your decorations around for the season. It can be as easy as matching the paint colors in your living room, or as inventive as using your favorite abstract expressionist painting as inspiration!
Choosing colors typically associated with spring-pastel blues, greens, yellows and pinks, for example-will definitely make it feel very seasonal, while choosing deep green, rust orange, and sun yellow will make it feel very rustic and desert-y.
Fireplace Accessories-To Upgrade or Not to Upgrade?
The eternal internal struggle with all things home decor-whether or not to upgrade! Of course, it’s always entirely up to you (and your budget!), but if your fireplace accessories are woefully out of date or just plain unusable due to age, it’s time to knock those cobwebs off and get something new!
Whether you have a traditional wood-burning stove or a brand-new gas fireplace, it’s very important to have safe and functional fireplace tools. The typical wood-burning paraphernalia usually come in a set of three-an ash shovel, an ash brush, and a poker. These sets will typically come with a matching stand as well.
You can also accessorize your fireplace with other items before you start decorating the mantel, perhaps hanging a TV or a mirror above the fireplace if space allows, or adding a log basket to the side of your hearth to store your unused firewood until fall.
Now that you’ve made all the decisions surrounding your spring designs, it’s time to finally add your decor choices. An assortment of vases in your colors of choice are a lovely way to accentuate the mantel of your fireplace- you can add flowers or not, depending on your preference and what is in season in your area.
If you’re less of a flower-and-vase person and more of a plant person, you can swap the vases out for a variety of homemade terrariums– just don’t forget to water them!
If you’re looking for an easy way to display family photos or your favorite pieces of art, the mantelpiece is a wonderful way of displaying them for a season-a great way to make them all flow together is to find frames of varying sizes but similar frame colors. Even if you can’t find frames in the exact color you need, just remove the glass and spray paint them. Thrift stores are usually a treasure trove of budget-friendly, easily refurbished frames.
For larger pieces of art, it’s best to hang them in isolation above the fireplace alone, and use other accentuating pieces next to and on the base of the fireplace to lengthen the sides and make the room look larger. A large vase filled with tall willow branches is a beautiful way to fill space without a decor item being overbearing.
If you have small children or rambunctious pets, it’s probably best to keep the decor above floor level. If you are using a collection of plants or flowers as your main decor items, remember that plant pots can leak water and stain your surfaces unless they have trays underneath-a good way to avoid this is to remove the plants to bottom-water them in the sink, let them drain, and then return them to their place on the mantel.
If you are using vases filled with fresh flowers to accentuate your designs, make sure to change the vase water every day and re-cut your flower stems at an angle to keep them fresh for longer. This might seem a little too high-maintenance, but if you still want the look of flowers, try using some dried flowers! Often they will still have a scent, and many of them keep their color after being dried. Decorating should cater to YOUR lifestyle, not the other way around. Always choose decor that makes you feel good and is easy for YOU to take care of!