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Styling stone fireplace mantel with low ceilings

Amanda Meier
last month
last modified: last month

I need help styling this fireplace mantel!

I've read lots of articles about how to style a mantel - find an anchor piece, layering, create balance and asymmetry, include things with some height.

We have low ceilings 8' or a little less, and the whole fireplace/mantel is very wide but not very tall. We moved in about a year ago, but haven't done much decorating because we've been working on other parts of the house. Reading some other posts on here I'm now also questioning our color choice on the wall surrounding the fireplace (it is an accent wall painted in SW Peppercorn, and the rest of the room is SW Passive - a much lighter gray. Maybe we should have just painted everything white!). But I'm wondering if the dark color is too much of a contrast with the ceilings - drawing attention to them and making them feel lower. But I'm not sure I can take on repainting this wall right now, I am about to have our 3rd baby in less than 1 month! (Also have thought about whitewashing/over-grouting the fireplace at some point, but can't take that on right now either)

So my main question is - should I go with something wide and horizontal as my anchor piece - a mirror, a very wide horizontal piece of art, etc (we don't want the TV above the fireplace!) Or layer with a few different heights of pieces to functionally fill the same space? Or any ideas of what I can do with this mantel space to not make this wide and squatty space feel weirder? I want to avoid making the ceilings feel even lower with what I fill this space with if possible!

Pillows are set on the hearth for reference to some decor we already have and would like to keep - I love the geometric/tribal patterns but I'm afraid that doesn't really go with the style of the house/room, so I'm not sure if I should carry it over into the fireplace. But also want to tie things together.

This room is north- facing but it does get a good amount of natural light as there is a large bank of windows opposite the fireplace and it is connected to a sunroom via french doors (currently being used as a playroom for our kids) that has a ton of windows facing north and west. This picture was taken as the sun was going down so maybe not the best lighting conditions.

I am going to attach some pictures of things in the comments that I have found online and am considering as possibilities.

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