With the long-needle pine garland packed away the house looks a little bare. This is the perfect time of year for a mantel update. If you do not have a mantel in your current home, condo, apartment, rental or in your parent’s basement a mantel refresh works for a hutch or entertainment center.

It is a refresh, not a remodel. These tips are budget-friendly and easy to tackle in an hour. Think of it as a manicure for a mantel. It’s a fresh look with no long-term commitment if you don’t like these tips.


I had no idea how ready I was for the spring season until I started to think about my mantel..at 2 in the morning. I know instead of worrying about the world or my adulting kids (who give me no reason to worry), but live in three different states) I like to think about decor problems like mantels or what to do with this hutch.

For almost six months my mantels have looked like pumpkin patches or a Christmas tree lot stocked with 18″ faux Christmas trees.


And my ledges and mantels are looking a little tired and dusty. So here are a few ideas to get your mantel (or side table) ready for the year.


In full disclosure, I have mixed feelings and opinions about painted feature walls and the niches in most homes built in the early 1990s-2005. Over the years I have repainted my architectural niches a 1/2 a dozen times. You can see those niches here.

Ideas to update a mantel

Tip: If your mantel or fireplace niche is painted the color of a Maggiano’s banquet room it might be time for a paint refresh.

  • Paint the inset to match the color of your walls to neutralize the space
  • Choose an accent color to add a pop of color. It can be tricky to pick the right color so start here for paint color ideas.
  • The photo above was in the early days of Everyday Edits. So keep scrolling.


Start by clearing the accessories on the mantel or the ledge above the fireplace. The goal is for your accessories to stand out, but not look like a middle school class photo.

Years and years ago I found this Pottery Barn clock on clearance. Once I painted the space above our family room fireplace the clock and accessories popped and looked so much brighter.


  • Go bigger with your accessories. When you add too many small items versus three larger pieces your fireplace or hutch starts to look like the top shelf of a Homegoods clearance section.
  • Below is our pre-renovated mantel. I stuck to larger pumpkins to fill in the space. It made it look so much more dramatic with these paint colors.
  • Play with the balance. I am guilty of this where I like to match both ends of a table or mantel. It wasn’t until I photographed some of my rooms that I noticed either the matchy-match pattern or the small accessories.

There is nothing wrong with candleholders just go larger. If you don’t want to spend money on larger candlesticks prop them up on books or a table riser. I have used leftover landscape pavers to prop up accessories.

Our original family room fireplace had a 1999-inspired inset and round edges. But at the time I loved it because I could layer so many decor items above the family room fireplace.

I added every basket or crate that needed a home. But over time the mantel looked like the back of a pickup truck after a neighborhood garage sale.

If you have grey or beige walls a pop of navy (or one of these popular colors) might give your mantel the refresh it needs.

With a dark background, my seasonal decor looks so much more impressive. I loved the contrast of the green and white stems against the Hale Navy wall.


I followed the paint under the around the windows on the opposite side of the mantel After our family room fireplace remodel I kept the paint around the windows.

After much discussion about the television’s location, we made a mantel like this one on the opposite wall.

Thanks for stopping by today! I would love it if you pinned your favorite image! Or follow me on Pinterest for weekly inspo!

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  1. I had to chuckle when you talked about your mantel. I am the very same way. I try to do the “less is best” thing but it sometimes doesn’t happen.

    I love your Spring mantel and the color of the backdrop you have. Blue is my all time favorite color. Happy Spring!

  2. I like the contrast of the white and stems against the dark navy wall color too. Everything seems to pop. Things evolve as will my mantel. Have fun and Happy Decorating! Thanks for joining us today.

  3. Your mantel looks so pretty decorated for spring, Laura! I also love your Hale Navy wall.

  4. Looks beautiful, Laura! I love how the white bucket and branches pop against the navy wall. I’m still playing with my mantel, too, so we can embrace the process together!

  5. Who needs a mirror when you have that big handsome clock Laura! Love your mantel and the spring stems in the white bucket. So smart to spray paint it!

    1. THank you Michelle! That was a Pottery Barn find years ago. It is not an operational clock! I love it! laura

  6. Your comparison to a Homegoods shelf after a sale cracked me up, Laura! Yes, it’s hard to know when to stop, sometimes, isn’t it? I love the crisp white against your navy wall; so fresh. I think a wood accent or white shiplap would be a cool backdrop and a fun foundation to decorate with, just sayin’!

  7. Julie Briones says:

    Your vase with branches is very nice! Looking forward to the whole reveal!😉

  8. Hello Laura, I think your mantel looks nice! The navy blue wall behind it really makes everything infront pop. The two lanterns nicely balance everything and I think the clock takes up the middle space very well. 🙂 Hope you have a wonderful spring and I am glad we are on the PC tour together again. <3

    Here's to a beautiful spring,
    Barb 🙂

  9. I love the contrast of the navy blue background with the clock and lanterns in front of it, Laura! I don’t think anything really needs to be added in the middle. The clock fills up that space nicely. Happy almost spring to you and it is nice to be with you on the PC tour again. <3

    Barb 🙂

    1. thank you Christy! Have a wonderful weekend! laura

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