5 Things to Hang Over Your Mantle Besides a TV

There’s a lot of freedom when it comes to balancing practicality with aesthetics in decorating, so today we’ll consider five things to hang over your mantle besides a TV. Many residential spaces of today boast a bonus room or a game room where a large screen television makes sense and looks right at home. There’s no doubt that game day and movie night explode with action on today’s expansive flat screens. It’s pretty impressive, but for those looking for an alternative to placing the TV over the mantle, we have some suggestions worth considering.


Whether or not you are an outdoorsy family, or have hunters among you, matters little when deciding whether or not to use antlers in your home decor. If there is a hunter or two among you, then you may have the benefit of drawing from your own collection of antlers, deer or elk perhaps. Alternatively, you may purchase a rack to display on or above your mantle. The sculptural form of antlers offers interesting, three-dimensional appeal which effortlessly becomes art when hung. The lines, curves, and points look new and different depending on your vantage point in the room. Often mounted on a piece of wood, antlers serve as a bold statement piece as well as a noteworthy topic of conversation. In fact, there is something oddly inviting about antlers used in interior design, even for the non-hunter.

Wooden Map

For a more unique idea than a painting, consider hanging a burnt wood wall map above your mantle. A particular draw of this wall art option is the fact that you can personalize the map to relate to you, your family, or your story. We recently found a resource which we can’t stop marveling over in Ridgeland, South Carolina. In their surprisingly extensive facility just down the road from Savannah, Georgia, a growing company called Fire & Pine creates city maps (Savannah, Paris, San Fran, etc.), maps of lakes and rivers (The Great Lakes, Keowee River, Cape Cod Bay, etc.), historic maps dating back to the 1700s, and also unique offerings such as patented Walt Disney illustrations. You can choose a map of your hometown, your favorite destination, or a place on your bucket list. You can even move out of the realm of maps by commissioning Fire & Pine to create your family crest or company logo with their in-house laser engraving machine. Each map or rendering comes to life on laser cut wood, and is Made in America. Because you can choose from a variety of sizes, you can fill the space above your mantle with a sizable wall map to make a statement with substance.


A grouping of square framed silhouettes with identical dimensions, matching matte sizes, and the same framing material is pleasing to the eye, and serves as a prominent display above your mantle. We like the look of silhouettes because the contrast between each black silhouette and white or off-white matte housed in, say, a burl wood frame, is so striking. Choose a 4 inch by 4 inch window opening in an oversized matte for each silhouette to achieve a directed focal point. You can arrange groupings of three, four, six, or even nine silhouettes if your mantle enjoys the soaring ceiling of a great room.

Generational Wedding Portraits

With a themed design approach along the same lines as the framed silhouettes idea, generational wedding photos can be a desirable and stately feature above a mantle. In this case, a collection of frames of varying sizes, shapes, and material can work well. Be sure to try different configurations of the framed portraits on your floor before taking hammer to nail in order to arrive at the most visually satisfying arrangement. When hung, the inspired grouping will tell a grand story worthy of its place of honor above your fireplace mantle.


This design idea gives a nod to history and calls to mind medieval times of yesteryear. Individuals who resonate with The Lord of the Rings might opt for hanging one or more swords above their mantle for a different take on this center-stage wall. Swords, and the hardware used to hang them, can be as beautiful and intricate as sculptural art, so it makes sense that people choose to use them to grace the wall above a mantle. A sword can communicate strength and assurance while holding significant eye appeal.

That being said, it is still a perfectly suitable choice to arrive at the ubiquitous mirror or painting when it comes to appointing the space above your mantle. Classic, traditional, and tasteful, a mirror or a painting becomes more eye-catching when flanked by attractive sconces. As with all things design, the choice is yours. Try not to constrict yourself by adopting a “one right answer” perspective.

Your home is your canvas. The way you appoint it should have design appeal, yes, but it should also reflect you, the one who will occupy and enjoy its spaces.

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