How To Decorate A Fireplace Mantel For Summer

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Fireplaces are often associated with cozy winter nights and families gathered around a roaring, crackling fire. A fireplace and mantel are part of your home all year round, however.

Use your mantel to celebrate the joys of warm weather and sunshine with light and airy summer mantel decorating ideas

Summer Mantel Colors

Certain colors just bring the warm, easygoing days of summer to mind. When decorating your mantel for summer, you've got a few color palette options that will work equally well, depending on your taste and décor:

  • Beach-pastels: This approach includes faded shades of blue, sand, aqua, lavender, yellow and green, and creates a perfect, gentle traditional summer palette.
  • Bold tropical hues: For a dramatic summer statement, introduce intense summer tropical shades such as vibrant pinks, magentas, greens, yellows and reds.
  • Clean whites: Shades of white and cream are a perfect compliment to the open, breezy feeling of the summer season.

Incorporating colorful or white candles, brightly framed mirrors and ceramics into your mantel design helps set the tone and color for a summery atmosphere.

Cape Cod & Beach Themed Mantel Ideas

Beaches are a favorite summer theme for almost everyone! These ideas will bring the lure of the seashore to your mantel:

  • Seashells and beach glass: Display them in a glass vase, mason jar or dish, or simply arrange some on your mantel around other items.
  • Starfish: These add an authentic ocean feeling to your mantel.
  • Sailboats: Display some attractive wooden models on mirrors to create the feeling of water, or hang a framed sailboat print above the mantel.
  • Seagulls and Sandpipers: Find some sculptures of these classic sea birds to perch on your mantel.
  • Fisherman's rope and netting: Hang above the mantel like a garland or drape over driftwood, colorful glass balls or any other beach-themed decorations. Also try coiling the rope inside a clear, round vase or high-sided bowl.
  • Beach accessories: Accent your mantel with brightly colored plastic pails and shovels, mini beach umbrellas, mini surfboards, small beach balls, or Hawaiian leis.
  • Bamboo: Shoots of bamboo, or decorative items made from bamboo create a tropical beach atmosphere.
  • Garlands: String any beach themed item, such as shells or starfish on twine or fishing rope to create one-of-a-kind summer garlands.

summer fireplace mantel summer fireplace mantel

Another wonderful beach-themed mantel idea your whole family will enjoy is a miniature beach village for your mantel top. With this summery variation of a Christmas village, start by arranging miniature beach cottages on your mantel. You can find some charming cottage replicas in craft or home stores, or just make your own. Around your cottages, introduce some miniature beach furniture, beach toys, seashells, boats, people, animals and anything else to make the village uniquely your own. Don't forget to add some "water" by including a small toy swimming pool, a cloth "ocean" or just a mirror to your village.

Patriotic Summer Mantels

Independence Day presents a great opportunity for a patriotic summer mantel. Almost anything in red, white and blue will work for this display, so get creative and express you personality. You might want to try:

  • Red, white and blue barn stars on the wall behind the mantel
  • Red, white and blue dyed flowers
  • A patriotic centerpiece with miniature American flags in a plant or floral arrangement
  • A hand knit mantel cover in the colors of the flag
  • Framed prints depicting fireworks or patriotic scenes
  • Red, white and blue glass or ceramic vases and pottery
  • Red, white and blue candles

Summer Meadows, Orchards and Gardens

Flowering gardens, orchards and meadows are also well-loved features of summertime. Here are a few ways to give your mantel a lush summer garden feel:

  • Fresh or faux fruit in wooden or colored glass bowls
  • Decorative nests with eggs
  • Replicas of butterflies and birds
  • Green plants and fresh or faux flowers in colorful glass or ceramic vases and planters
  • Green or floral garlands.

Summer Hobbies and Themes

The extra hours of daylight and vacation time make summer a season when many people finally find the time to pursue hobbies and interests. Share your personality, interests and fun summer memories by including them in your mantel decoration. One of these ideas might be just right for you, or inspire something that is:

  • Summer reading: Display your favorite books for beach and lawn chair reading.
  • Photography: Design an attractive arrangement of vintage cameras.
  • Horseback riding: Arrange some nice horse sculptures or framed pictures.
  • Summer photo gallery: Display framed photos of your family enjoying favorite summer activities such as sports, swimming, water-balloon fights or parasailing.
  • Summer souvenirs: Accent your mantel with straw baskets, sunglasses, trinkets from exotic places and ice cream sundae dishes.

So don't forget about your mantel when the warm weather comes around. Have a little fun by adding fresh summer decorations that enhance the beauty of the season.

Last Updated: April 26, 2013
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About Roberta Pescow Roberta Pescow holds a bachelor's degree in communications from City University of New York, Queens College and is a freelance writer and editor in the NJ area. The author of "A Life In The Service" and "A Monster's Tears," she enjoys writing informative articles, personal essays, fiction and music.  Roberta is a proud mother of two. Her other interests include fitness, photography, sculpture and meditation. She is a voracious reader and holds a 2nd degree black belt in Tae Kwan Do. Roberta enjoys decorating her hectic, but happy home and garden in original and affordable ways.  

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