Mantlescaping ideas using vintage treasures

Adorning fireplaces with vintage treasures is the new trend creeping into people’s homes. Coined as the catchy phrase ‘mantlescaping’, this new interiors craze provides the perfect opportunity to create a curated collection of your most valued trinkets. We caught up with Olivia Lidbury, interiors journalist and the creator of Home Stories, to share her favourite mantlescaping ideas.

Neutral design by @lissiwaite

“Leaning frames and items which in theory should be fixed to the wall is underrated in my humble opinion,” says Olivia. “Using your mantle as a ledge allows you to move things around and create different compositions as the mood takes you. This set-up, which features beautiful wallpaper by Lewis & Wood, is also a great example of eschewing a huge mirror to flank your chimney-piece in favour of something smaller and less imposing to give you more freedom,” Olivia adds.

Photographer Alicia says: “I’m not really someone who plans or schemes when it comes to interiors. In keeping with the rest of my home, my mantel is just a collection of bits from holidays, photos, trinkets and general stuff that ends up there. It’s a moving organism which changes by the day.”

Minimalist decor by @chloeweguelin

“I admire the tranquility of this home and this display really evokes that sense of slow living and Chloe’s love of beautifully crafted things. It shows that you don’t have to be a maximalist to make a statement – here less is more, but it’s impactful nonetheless,” says Olivia.

Curator of Sussex Sourcebook, Chloe says: “My view on mantlescaping is that it shouldn’t be too contrived or overly thought-through. The simple plate hung above it also means that I’m not dictated by a certain colour palette. My inspiration usually comes from whatever I’ve foraged or bought that week, mixed with small-scale art, pottery and candles. I like that it’s an ever-changing vignette of stuff that I love.”

Symmetrical arrangement by @gemour

“Mantlescapers will tell you to avoid symmetry when curating your clutter but this really works, and actually it’s wonky in its own subtle way. I love the nuances between the coloured glass candleholders and the vintage tulip vase proudly steals the scene,” explains Olivia.

Gemma, founder of Flea Cambridge, says: “The centrepiece for the fireplace just had to be this antique Delft tulip vase, which will hopefully be full of tulips from the garden very soon. I’ve had these mantle dogs for a while in my ‘to display at some stage’ box, so I was delighted when I started to see mantle dogs appearing again and adorning the fireplace of some of my Instagram favourites such as Luke Edward Hall.”

Evolving decor by @alisoncoldridge

“Alison loves to find treasure at flea markets and car bootsales and the fireplace in her former home perfectly sums that up. It’s a constantly evolving scene – in this picture there’s a posh candle, a tamegroute candleholder and a print by Luke Edward Hall – but look through her Instagram and you’ll see there’s always something new,” Olivia explains.

Lifestyle editor Alison says: “A mantel piece’s ability to act as an ever-changing display shouldn’t be overlooked. It’s a focal point in any home and should feature treasured possessions that showcase your style. My mantel is constantly being tweaked, rearranged and completely reconfigured with seasonal flowers, trinkets and art works. It’s a key addition to any self-proclaimed faffer’s home.”

Retro-inspired curation by @sophiarosemary

“Maybe because I’m also from Stockport is why I have a soft spot for this set-up, which features a nod to the town’s hat-making history with this bold print. But Sophia Rosemary also has great, unapologetically retro taste. Dried flowers and succulents are an easy evergreen on a mantlepiece, no matter how green-fingered you are,” says Olivia.

Sophia, founder of Top of the Town Vintage explains: “I’m forever drawn to vintage trinkets, knick-knacks and vases which means that when I’m arranging a space like a mantlepiece, minimal is never an option. I love having little cluster arrangements dotted around the house as I feel that they inject personality. The gluggle jug definitely draws on my love of vintage and pops against the blue walls, whereas the plants soften the arrangement.”

We think you'll love