5 Ways to Fake a Fireplace Mantel

Viewing all the beautifully decorated mantels is enough to give anyone some serious fireplace envy if you don’t have one of your own.   Don’t worry–you are not alone! While I have a tiny mantel with my TV above it, it isn’t much to decorate.  Quite a few homes are built without fireplaces these days, and if you are living in an apartment or condo, then your chances of having a mantel to decorate are pretty slim.  And there’s a good chance that even if you are lucky enough to have a fireplace in one room, you’d love having a few more elsewhere in your home.  Fortunately, the lack of a chimney and firebox don’t need to stop you from getting the architectural impact of a fireplace in your space.  Check out these creative ways to get all the fun of a mantel without the flames.


1.  Bookshelf Mantel

Design Sponge featured this bookshelf fireplace.  You can read about how the homeowners attached a vintage mantel to a bookshelf to create a faux fireplace that was both dimmensional and functional.

2.  Salvaged Decor

This piece of architectural selvage at Curly Willow Drive DIY is just leaning against the wall, but it still manages to give the impression of a manteled fireplace.  The gorgeous display on top of the mantel only fools the eye even further.

3.  Rustic Wood

Instead of hunting at flea markets for an actual mantel, the owners of this fake fireplace, featured at Apartment Therapy, collected old wood from the local lumberyard.  The stacked wood manages to convey the feeling of a cozy fireplace and add lots of texture and interest in an otherwise bland rented space.

4.  Flameless

When Decorchick‘s Emily found a beautiful mantel at the Pottery Barn Outlet, she didn’t let the lack of a fireplace stop her from using her thrifty find.  She created a focal point with her mantel that works just as well as an actual fireplace.

5.  Fake and Flaunting It

When Jaime at Caught in Grace brought a mantel into her living room, she realized that just attaching it to the wall wasn’t enough.  She added the element of a chalkboard to not only create the illusion of depth where there wasn’t any, but to effectively (and playfully) show off her faux fireplace.

Do you have a fireplace?  If not, have you found another way to create a focal point in your rooms?

Check out my fireplace mantel makeover

styling shelves and bookcases

Family Room Makeover Part 1: Installing the IKEA Billy Bookcase Built-Ins

Family Room Makeover Part 2: Framing out the Fireplace

Family Room Makeover Part 3: Building a Hollow Rustic Mantel

Family Room Makeover Part 4: AirStone Fireplace Makeover

Family Room Makeover Part 5: Finishing Touches

Family Room Makeover Part 6: Styling the Built-ins