It’s hard to imagine a shelf that people obsess over more than the fireplace mantel. And sure, it’s more than a shelf—it can help protect your wall from the smoke of the fire occasionally roaring beneath it. Let’s be real, though: The thing that makes us scroll Pinterest until our thumbs cramp is figuring out what to do with that narrow ridge of space. It’s typically the focal point of the room, so the pressure’s on to make sure it reflects your multifaceted, brilliant personality and, oh yeah, pulls the room together.
But guess what? It’s just an array of objects, and you can easily move them around at any time. So stop stressing over finding capital-p Perfection and play around with a few different options until you find the range that suits you. These fireplace mantel ideas will inspire you to do just that. (While you’re at it, pin this story for later, so you can come back and try something else out, should you need a refresh three years—or three months—from now.)