The design possibilities for decorating your mantel are endless. Each famous designer gives their unique approach to the mantels below. Which one is your favorite?

Designer Richard Mishaan ran into some issues when designing the mantel in the presidential suite at the St. Regis New York. “The mirror above the mantel turns into a TV,” he says. “So, the challenge was to do something decorative that didn’t block the view. Politicians and high-level executives use that room and they have a very traditional sense of what the decor should be, but I wanted a clean and streamlined look. This is pretty minimal for a traditional fireplace. I think it’s just enough—we created something low, and the symmetry brings your eye across it.”

For the holiday season, New York event designer David Stark knew it was time to get creative. “The rooms are crazy classic and very Federal,” he says. “One of the challenges was to decorate them in a way that would honor and feel simpatico with the period, but at the same time be modern and fresh.”

Mantels should be seen as a piece of furniture, similar to a console, says Chicago designer Alessandra Branca. “Once you stop thinking of it as a part of the architecture, then you can think of it as a focal point,” she says. “Changing up a mantel can change up your entire room.”

Elle Décor

Author is a story-teller at heart. Her unique perspective and tailored design process empower her to create singular interiors for clients all over the world.

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