The 38 Best Living Room Fireplace Ideas, Just in Time for Cozy Season

updated Oct 3, 2022
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Credit: Kat Alves

Whether you’ve been blessed with a beautiful wood-burning fireplace or simply want to set up a faux fireplace, there are plenty of ways to jazz up your mantel area during prime cozy season (aka right now!). From incorporating plants to brightening up the space with a mirror or sleek fireplace screen, there are tons of playful and sophisticated mantel styling ideas alike to spark some inspiration. 

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There’s a decorating idea for every space – be it bold and maximalist to muted and neutral. For some easy design tips, browse the oh-so-chic fireplace setups below. There’s no need to have a professional style your mantel when your very own, small tweaks can have the biggest decorating impact.

Credit: Tine Hofman

1. Paint a funky color.

Could we be more in love with the bold, teal fireplace shown in this Cincinatti living room? It’s doubtful. Take a cue and make your fireplace the center focal point of your whole living area. Not into teal? Try popular colors like mustard yellow or burnt orange. 

Credit: Lily Sawyer

2. Hang twinkly lights.

What better way to deck out your fireplace than with a strand of pretty twinkling lights? We love the aesthetic created by the combination of the mirror and the lights in this pretty living room.

3. Display a piece of abstract art.

The oversized art print lightens both the tone and the mood of this revamped Jersey Shore living room. The collection of earthy hues is just right for the space. 

Credit: Annabel Joy

4. Bring on the plants.

The days are getting shorter, and the weather is getting colder. So why not bring a bit of extra life to your fireplace with some houseplants, as seen in this lovely Boston condo? While greenery can feel festive, these plants will also transition seamlessly into spring.

5. Add cozy cushions.

If you have the space, take a cue from this Catskills cabin and place cushions on the fireplace ledge to make your seating area look extra welcoming. You’ll love curling up here, right by the fire, as temperatures dip lower and lower.

Credit: Sylvie Li

6. Makeover your mantel.

If you’re a collector, don’t be afraid to showcase some of your favorite sculptures or trinkets on your mantel. It’s always a good idea to show a little personality in a room, and the mantel is a prime spot for this, since it’s a focal point. The mantel in this Montreal apartment features an artful mix of decorative objects and more practical pieces like candlesticks and a lamp.

7. Be a bit boho.

If you’re drawn to a certain look, run with it! This San Francisco home features a beautifully styled boho fireplace area. You can go beyond just the mantel, too. In the space next to the fireplace, pile a shelf with vases made of natural textiles. This adds extra warmth and visual interest to the room.

8. Try a mirror image.

In this Philadelphia home, a mirror adds interest to a faux fireplace, while a beautiful framed piece of art steals the show up top and complements the other colors used in the room. Don’t be afraid to create a vignette beyond the mantel in a more unexpected spot, like the firebox itself, especially if it’s non-functional.

9. Keep it simple.

If your fireplace has good bones like the one in this 92-year-old remodeled house you may want to keep your decorations simple to let the architecture really shine. A few earthy vases filled with dried plants and a mirror placed in the center of the mantel is all you need to complete the look.

10. Showcase a few faves.

How welcoming is this San Francisco home? Can’t you imagine plopping down right here with a good book and staying for hours? We can. A couple small-scale pieces and some plants add spice to the brick fireplace without overwhelming this colorful, collected room.

Credit: Jenn and Vicki Fenton

11. Get a little festive.

If you’re looking to deck the halls without going too over the top, this is the setup for you. Jenn and Vicki Fenton of 2 Bees in a Pod styled their mantel with a few tasteful accent pieces that add festive cheer without screaming holiday. The key is choosing a subtle palette. Blue, white, and gray are the wintry accent colors here—not Christmas red.

12. Think outside the box.

Even if your fireplace is small and non-functional, you don’t have to let the space go to waste. The renter in this NYC apartment chose to display plants, artwork, and other small objects in the open hearth space, but we could also see filling it with books or even a graphic stack of birch logs for a more rustic look.

13. Play with neutrals.

Speaking of books, artist Josh Young has mastered the skill of decorating a neutral living room that still feels cozy. We love how he’s layered artwork atop his fireplace mantel and created a tonal display using magazines and books, pages side out, down below for a classic, curated look.

14. Work magic with a mirror.

Sometimes all you need is an elegant oversized mirror to make a stylish statement. Alaina Kaczmarski placed a gorgeous ornate mirror from Anthropologie over her fireplace, and it pretty much takes up the whole mantel. We can’t get enough of this chic, modern French salon look.

Credit: Brooke Christen

15. Add darling details.

Brooke Christen of Nesting With Grace designed a charming, cozy space complete with tons of fall accents by the fireplace. We love her idea of storing firewood in a cute woven basket. Flanking the fireplace with twin fiddle leaf figs completes the inviting look.

Credit: Sarah Joy

16. Try your hand at a DIY.

If you’re looking to tackle a bigger DIY project, painting over a brick fireplace is always an option. Here Sarah Joy demonstrates just how much of an impact a few coats of paint can have. Moreover, now that there’s so much contrast between the objects and their new white background, the mantelscape really pops.

17. Play with bold colors.

Tiling your fireplace is one sure-fire way to make the space completely your own. Like this maximalist LA house, go for a monochromatic look and style your trinkets, wall, and even throw pillows in shades that match the tile.

18. Toy with tile.

Shelby Vanhoy of Pretty in the Pines upgraded her fireplace with new tile and then added several sweet accents to the setup including a plant, framed photos, and fun vases. Just switch out the floral wreath for an evergreen option, and you’re good to go for winter.

Credit: Ashley Thurman

19. Hang a decorative object.

Ashley Thurman of Cherished Bliss created a rustic fall fireplace with a woven basket as its focal point. By keeping the styling simple, she made sure that the fireplace doesn’t detract from her pretty bookcase to the right.

20. Stick to a subdued color scheme.

This Denver home’s neutral wall color paired with the white fireplace opens up the space. Wicker armchairs and natural wood pieces add to the relaxed, minimalist theme. 

Credit: Lucy Gleeson

21. Go bold.

But if you love bright pops of color, don’t hold back. Lucy Gleeson’s space demonstrates how a vibrant print can truly make an impact—and who doesn’t love a good analog throwback to cassette tapes?

22. Hang a small mirror.

In contrast to the oversized Anthropologie mirror we saw above, opting for a smaller mirror that hangs gives you a little more space for displaying other items. That’s what we like about this setup by Kimberly Duran of Swoonworthy. What’s nice is that it’s easy to change out objects season after season, which leaves room for tons of design variation.

23. Try your hand at a garland.

Erin Francois of Francois et Moi decorated a friend’s fireplace by making an asymmetrical garland (she provides step by step instructions on her blog). Then she added tons of festive accents like blankets and candles to keep up the holiday theme. If you used something like eucalyptus instead, you could probably get away with this kind of display year-round.

Credit: Kat Alves

24. Stay on trend.

Why not embrace a modern trendy look? The living room in this Sacramento home features tons of current pieces, and keeping the fireplace area open and airy is the way to go! Sometimes less is more—especially if you have other show-stopping pieces in a room, like this sculptural chandelier, for instance.

Credit: Viv Yapp

25. Make it mini.

This darling London home actually features multiple fireplaces (yes, we’re totally jealous!), all of which have been styled in different ways. The above example demonstrates how mantels can be used to store smaller scale, everyday essentials like perfume and jewelry. The key is to display everything in an artful, organized manner to ensure it looks decorative rather than junky.

Credit: Cathy Pyle

26. Bust out a bust.

Add some quirkiness to your hearth by placing a bust sculpture there for extra oomph, as seen in this London space. You’re bound to get tons of compliments from guests, and it’s a way more unexpected place for this kind of sculptural piece than, say, a table or dresser.

27. Put your fam on display.

Need a spot for family photos? Try displaying them atop the mantel. The owner of this Brooklyn home chose to layer alternating frame sizes and styles—it creates a gallery wall vibe, even though none of the frames are actually mounted. This kind of setup offers a lot of flexibility. You can cycle pieces in and out of this spot seasonally. And as you receive holiday cards, you can place them here, too.

Credit: Submitted by Ariana

28. Show your books some extra love.

If you’re anything like us, then you’re constantly struggling to figure out where to store all of your beloved books. The answer? On the mantel, of course—at least we’re pretty inspired by what’s going on in this San Francisco space. Whether you choose to curate stacks or keep books upright with bookends, you can’t go wrong.

Credit: Cathy Pyle

29. Decorate with candles.

We’re all about clustering candles in a non-working fireplace. That way, there’s still something to light for ambiance. This London home nails this idea with its beautiful, charming fireplace setup.

30. Try a natural tableau.

Perk up your fireplace area with natural elements. Whether you choose to incorporate faux taxonomy, dried flowers, or bare branches, you can create a nice composition out of these kinds of materials. This San Francisco home provides some great inspiration.

31. Go wild.

Go wild—with potted plants, that is! There’s no such thing as too much when it comes to creating a cute cactus or succulent display. This Ojai inn fireplace is making us swoon. This configuration also seems like a smart idea for watering, since you can take care of a bunch of plant babies all at once.

32. Go antique.

This Victorian home in Kentucky actually has eight fireplaces! But the display in the master bedroom is our favorite, and you could totally recreate this look in your living room as well. This is a great example of how an antique-looking mirror can make a major statement, when flanked by a few other framed pieces.

33. Paint it blue.

Don’t be scared of color when it comes to tackling a paint project! This turquoise blue wall is totally working in this Austin home, adding tons of spunk to an otherwise quiet space.

Credit: Derona Moss

34. Bottles up.

Glass bottles can be used to create a graphic display on a mantel. Collect pieces in a uniform color scheme to keep the setup from looking too busy. The contrasting color behind the fireplace makes this feature pop, as demonstrated in this before and after.

35. Tile it up.

If you’re up for some remodeling, you can take a stone fireplace from funky to sleek by refacing its frame, as seen in this before and after. The new look totally modernizes the room.  As a final touch, add a chic fireplace screen to subtly tie the space together.

Credit: Julia Drye

36. Hang a banner.

Hang a fabric banner above the fireplace for a unique yet subtle decoration. This 1830s home features a woven, black and white banner that matches its moody vibe.

Credit: Katie Currid

37. Go global.

This Italian living room is already pretty great on its own, but the collection of sculptures and masks displayed on the mantel adds an extra touch of global flair.

38. Stick with the classics.

For a classic vintage look, keep it simple and stylish with a stately mirror and nothing else, as was done in this Boston home. You don’t need much when your fireplace has beautiful moldings and a gorgeous blue-and-white tile surround.