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Birds, Reindeer Moss, Sea Turtle Art, Coral…Sea Fans: A Summery Coastal Mantel

By Lindaleyble @LindaLeyble

Creating a coastal inspired fireplace mantel

I have a habit of changing the decorations on my great room mantel pretty often…but sometimes I am guilty of being lazy and not changing it soon enough. Up until a few days ago my mantel was stacked with bunnies and nests – so it was surely time for an overhaul!

a mantel with no decorations

Pretty boring, huh?  l love a blank canvas and sometimes I can go overboard (an apt expression for this post!) but I have to admit I had a little trouble with this mantel. I had to keep rearranging things – editing, adding, editing again, switching things around. I told myself that I wasn’t going to overload the mantel this year – but when I held myself back…it just didn’t look right.

one piece of art as a focal point on the mantel

I always start with a focal point, like the artwork, and build out from there. Scale-wise, this lovely sea turtle art could have been a bit bigger, which probably was one of my problems to start with! But, it reflected the feel and theme of what I was going for – a relaxed coastal vibe – so I went for it! My husband loves anything connected to the beach and the sea – so this turtle was going to have to pull his weight!

decorating a summer mantel

I like to have the eye travel kind of up and down, from left to right, so I place varying sizes of objects on either side. My husband loves these shorebird decoys that I found while buying a rattan sofa set on Craigslist a few years ago, so they fit the summer mantel bill (OK, I’ll stop the beachy puns soon enough!)  And I just fell in love with these rope candles I found at HomeGoods and I thought they would add some nice texture to the mantel. But right now – everything looks a bit boring!!! Height and interest are needed!

adding more items to the summer mantel

No…not there yet! But the sea fans and coral look good. The rope candles are too heavy – need to remove a few and re-arrange

adding a lantern and books to a summer mantel decoration

I usually need to add height, so I do that with books that act as lifts to create different height levels. A mantel decoration can look so stagnant if everything is the same height! I tried adding the lantern to add some height and interest – but it just looked out of place. So finally…things came together!

adding a floral arrangement to the summer mantel

So, as I was snapping these proof pics with my iphone (the previous shots in the post) and showing them to my husband, he suggested something floral could be added on the left. What? That’s usually what I would say…not him. I was trying to avoid adding anything floral and I only had what was growing in the yard – but I gave it a try. It worked! I added some more coral, sand dollars and some reindeer moss that I had forever in a glass jar full of sea shells and seaglass – all things we found on our honeymoon. It brought me right back to that beautiful week we spent in Amagansett, Long Island.

summery coastal mantel decoration

Incorporating some personal items, things you know your family loves – and creating a theme for your mantel always helps to give your room a new life…and new spirit, while it helps lift the mood of anyone who enters. After the long (way too long!) winter we had here on Long Island – I really needed to have my mood lightened as well. I am so ready for summer! Below you’ll see a few pics of what my mantel looked like last summer.


summer mantel ideas


summer mantel ideas

A little darker…a little different. Click here to read the story behind last year’s mantel.

Which one do you like better?  Comment below and let me know how you are decorating your home for summer!


Birds, Reindeer Moss, Sea Turtle Art, Coral…Sea Fans: A Summery Coastal Mantel

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