Ultimate Guide of Joanna Gaines Farmhouse Mantel Decorating Ideas

Farmhouse Mantel Decorating Ideas Using Inspiration From Joanna Gaines Fixer Upper Design Style // Mantel Decorating Ideas // www.TantrumsandTools.com

How to Decorate a Modern Farmhouse Mantel Using Ideas from Joanna Gaines Fixer Upper Style 

So, you’re looking for farmhouse mantel decorating ideas but don’t know where to start. You’re trying to mix cozy farm vibes with a touch of modern flair. You love the genuine warmth and charm of Jonna Gaines Fixer Upper designs, but re-creating her style feels daunting. And the amount of design decisions has led to analysis paralysis. 

Guess what? Getting that Joanna Gaines Fixer Upper style you love isn’t as tricky as it might seem. Just like you, I’ve been totally drawn in by her amazing style and have spent countless nights pondering how to bring that magic into my own home. 

Lucky for us, I’ve dissected her farmhouse mantel decor ideas into manageable elements that make achieving a modern farmhouse look more doable than ever before!

I’ve created this set of step-by-step guidelines to help you source and arrange farmhouse decor effortlessly. Whether it’s about weaving in those weathered wood signs, nailing the modern farmhouse mantel decor, or embracing the art of simplicity, I’ve got you covered. 

This guide will walk you through different ways to create a stunning mantel that beautifully embodies the essence of Joanna Gaines’s iconic style. Say goodbye to design frustrations and hello to a beautifully styled living room fireplace mantel that radiates the charm of modern farmhouse living.

Just a friendly reminder: This tutorial and any opinions or recommendations are genuinely mine, but this is not a substitute for consulting a professional. I also use affiliate links to earn a commission.

How to Decorate Your Mantel Step-By-Step

Farmhouse Mantel Decorating Ideas Using Inspiration From Joanna Gaines Fixer Upper Design Style // Step-by-Step Easy Mantel Decorating Ideas // Modern Farmhouse Mantel Decor with Vintage Glass Vase and Distressed Wood Mixed with Metal Frames // www.TantrumsandTools.com

Achieving the farmhouse look inspired by Joanna Gaines involves a thoughtful approach that combines rustic style charm, modern elements, and personal touches. 

By following these easy steps, you’ll be on your way to a modern farmhouse-style mantel that looks like Joanna decorated it. 

  1. Clear the Mantel: Start with a clean slate. Remove everything from your mantel to create a blank canvas for your new design.
  2. Gather Inspiration: Collect inspiration from Joanna Gaines’ designs, magazines, Pinterest, and other sources. Identify specific elements that resonate with you, such as rustic wood, vintage finds, greenery, layered artwork, and neutral color palettes.
  3. Choose a Focal Point: Select a focal point for your mantel, such as a large mirror, artwork, a vintage sign, or an oversized clock. This item will set the tone for the rest of your decor.
  4. Build Symmetry or Asymmetry: Decide whether you want to create a symmetrical or asymmetrical arrangement. Symmetry involves placing identical items on both sides of the focal point. In contrast, asymmetry involves mixing different elements on each side of the mantel for a more relaxed and dynamic look.
  5. Layering: Start layering items around the focal point. Use a combination of textures, sizes, and different heights. Place larger items at the back and smaller ones in the front to add depth and visual interest. Consider a mix of framed artwork, vintage signs, and mirrors in various sizes and shapes.
  6. Incorporate Vintage Finds: Integrate vintage or antique items into your design. Look for items with character, such as old books, glass vases, or architectural salvage pieces. 
  7. Add Greenery: Include natural components like potted plants, fresh flowers, or faux greenery. These elements add life and freshness to the design. Eucalyptus, olive branches, or cotton stems are great choices.
  8. Personalize with Photos and Mementos: To add authenticity and make the mantel design uniquely yours, incorporate personal items like family photos, heirlooms, or sentimental objects.
  9. Balance Color and Texture: Stick to a neutral color palette for your mantel backdrop and use different textures to add pops of muted colors. Use a mix of distressed wood, metal, glass, and fabric to create visual contrast and depth.
  10. Use Candleholders and Lighting: Incorporate candleholders or candlesticks for a warm and inviting ambiance. Mixing in varying heights will add dimension to the mantel.
  11. Embrace White Space: Allow some empty spaces between items to prevent the mantel from feeling cluttered. White space enhances the overall aesthetic and keeps the design from becoming overwhelming.
  12. Mindful Arrangement: Step back periodically and assess your arrangement. Make adjustments as needed to ensure a balanced and cohesive design. Don’t be afraid to rearrange items until you achieve a look that feels right in your soul.

By following these steps, you’ll be well on your way to having a new mantel with timeless charm and modern farmhouse elegance that Joanna Gaines is known for. 

Now, you might be wondering where to find these farmhouse mantel design elements. Well, let’s take a closer look at each one, and I’ll give you tips on how to find these pieces that perfectly channel Joanna Gaines’s signature style.

Start with a Neutral Color Palette

Joanna Gaines’ mastery of the neutral color palette is a cornerstone of her modern farmhouse style. It’s the foundation for creating soothing, timeless, and effortlessly elegant spaces. 

To recreate this on your mantel, start with a neutral color palette. Joanna Gaines often leans toward using soft and warm white tones for fireplaces in her designs. This choice aligns with her modern farmhouse style, creating a bright and welcoming focal point that complements the space’s overall aesthetic. 

The specific shade of white she uses can vary, but it’s typically a neutral, warm white that enhances the cozy and inviting ambiance she aims to achieve. This choice allows the fireplace to blend seamlessly with other design elements and is a versatile canvas for the surrounding decor. It also maximizes the reflection of light, contributing to an open and airy feel in the room.

For the mantel itself, use natural wood tones because this aligns well with the rustic and farmhouse aspects of Joanna’s style. A mantel with a weathered, reclaimed wood finish can add warmth and character to the space while maintaining a sense of authenticity. 

>> Want more on how to pull off a Joanna Gaines Fixer Upper Style home? Learn how to seamlessly blend farmhouse charm, modern elements, and neutral colors like Jo right here in this Ultimate Guide to Design a Joanna Gaines Fixer Upper Style Home.

Antique Finds and Vintage Treasures

When it comes to finding vintage pieces that channel the Joanna Gaines Fixer Upper vibe, a world of possibilities opens up. Thrift stores, flea markets, antique shops, and even online marketplaces are your new best friend. 

Where to Shop for Vintage Decor Items

Start your hunt in local thrift stores and flea markets, where you’ll likely stumble upon unique items with that vintage charm. Places like the ReSource Store or Goodwill are a great place to frequent and have an abundance of things as long as you know what you’re looking for. 

Online sources like Marketplace, and Etsy are also great places to check out when looking for vintage and vintage inspired decor. Lastly, antique shops are also goldmines, offering a curated selection of items that exude history. These places are more expensive, so they are not always my first stop. 

Although they are pricey, looking around at these shops is it is a great way to gather inspiration for ways to display items. It also helps me learn what to look for in an antique and its going rate. That way, when I stumble upon something outside an antique shop, I know if it’s a good buy. I’ve scored many of my pieces for free on the side of the road or at a thrift store this way!

The trick to shopping in these places is going often. It’s also what makes the thrill of the hunt so much fun. Because you just never know what you will find. Thrift stores’ inventory changes quickly, so if you don’t find anything, go back in a few days. If you do find something, don’t hesitate because if you do, someone else will snatch it up. 

Trust me; there was this one time I hesitated on a unique frame and returned only a few hours later to find it gone. And the real kicker was it was under $5!

What to Look for When Shopping at a Thrift Store

As you embark on this vintage treasure hunt, remember that beauty often lies in imperfections. Don’t shy away from items that are dusty, dirty, or show a little wear and tear – these pieces tell stories and bring authenticity to your space. Look for items with intricate details, interesting textures, and a patina that hints at a rich history. 

Bring a list of what you’re roughly looking for and the exact dimensions or size of the space in your home before you shop. But also, be open to the unexpected – sometimes, unique finds are the ones you didn’t know you needed until you stumbled upon them. 

The best things to shop for at a thrift store are:

  • distressed frames
  • old large clock
  • mirrors with character
  • large signs or wooden signs
  • unique piece of art
  • glass jars and vases
  • wooden spoons and rolling pins
  • vintage books
  • planter pots or faux greenery
  • table and floor lamps
  • antique furniture
  • quirky collectibles with unique designs

With these thrift store tips and tricks up your sleeve, you’re well on your way to uncovering those vintage items that will make your mantel truly shine with the essence of Joanna Gaines Fixer Upper style.

Farmhouse Mantel Decor Ideas that Mix Modern and Vintage

Farmhouse Mantel Decorating Ideas Using Inspiration From Joanna Gaines Fixer Upper Design Style // Mantel Decorating Ideas // Shiplap Fireplace with a Round Mirror for Mantel Decor // www.TantrumsandTools.com

Joanna Gaines effortlessly mixes modern pieces with vintage ones. And one of the hardest parts about designing like Joanna Gaines is striking this balance between a modern and rustic look. Too much or too little can throw off the entire look. 

You already know how to find vintage items. So, now let’s look at ways to mix in modern elements. Here’s how Joanna would incorporate modern elements onto the mantel:

  1. Monochromatic Decor: Choose a monochromatic color scheme for decor items. Doing so creates a cohesive and modern look that doesn’t overshadow the farmhouse elements.
  2. Clean-Lined Over-Sized Vases: Flank the mantel’s sides with sleek, clean-lined vases. These vases could have a neutral color matte finish or clear glass ones for a lighter look.
  3. Geometric Mirror: Hang a large, geometric-shaped mirror above the mantel. The geometric design adds a modern edge to the mantel area, reflecting light and creating a sense of spaciousness.
  4. Minimalist Artwork: Consider a black-and-white abstract print that contrasts the vintage charm of the fireplace and lean this against the wall. Use a sleek and understated frame crafted from matte black metal. A modern frame has clean lines and a thin profile, embodying a more minimalistic modern vibe.
  5. Industrial Candleholders: Incorporate a pair of industrial-style candleholders. These could be made of metal and have a sleek, linear design in a dark, muted metal tone, such as matte black or aged bronze. The dark metal tones evoke an industrial aesthetic that complements the rustic charm of the farmhouse style while adding a contemporary twist.
  6. Glass Terrarium: Add a glass terrarium in a geometric pattern and fill it with air plants or succulents. The transparent quality of the glass adds a modern twist that contrasts with the rustic mantel.
  7. Contemporary Clock: Hang a clock with clean lines and a minimalist face. The clock becomes both a functional piece and a 

By incorporating these modern elements onto the mantel, you’re crafting a space that beautifully marries contemporary design with the cozy charm of a modern farmhouse. It’s all about creating a balanced and inviting focal point to finish with a mantel that looks like Joanna Gaines designed.


Candles exude warmth and coziness, which makes them the perfect modern farmhouse mantel decor idea. And now that you have your modern candle holders, you need to find the right candlesticks. 

Choose modern farmhouse-inspired candlesticks that perfectly align with the aesthetic. Opt for elegantly slender and tapered candles. Whether you prefer real wax candles or the convenience of battery-operated ones, both options work beautifully to enhance the ambiance.

The colors of the candlesticks should be muted and neutral, such as soft gray, faded white, or warm bronze tones. These soft colors allow your candles to seamlessly integrate into the overall color palette of the space while adding that subtle pop of color and visual interest.

Mix and match different candle heights to create an eclectic yet cohesive display on the mantel. The varying heights create a sense of movement and depth. This arrangement fosters an inviting, relaxed atmosphere that perfectly aligns with the modern farmhouse vibe.

Incorporate Greenery

Greenery is a staple in farmhouse design. Adding natural elements is an easy way to add life to your mantel. Including potted plants (real or faux) or fresh flowers in a glass vase is a nice way to incorporate greenery into your design. Some popular modern farmhouse style stems are eucalyptus branches, cotton, and lavender sprigs. Keep the stems long and place these in a tall vase. And remember to make sure the elements you choose complement you overall color scheme.

Personal Touches

Joanna Gaines often incorporates personal touches to make a space feel lived-in and relatable. However, finding the right way to integrate your memories and mementos can be challenging. Frame family photos or cherished mementos and display them on your mantel. These items not only personalize your decor but also tell a story about your life and experiences.

>> For an in-depth look at designing a Joanna Gaines inspired living room, check out this designing a cozy living room guide.

How to Layer Modern Farmhouse Mantel Decor

Layering mantel decor is a sophisticated approach that adds depth and visual interest to your modern farmhouse mantel. To achieve this, start with a larger piece as the focal point. This could be an oversized round mirror or a modern clock. Hang it centered above the mantel as the anchor for your arrangement. 

Next, introduce smaller pieces that complement your focal piece. These could be vintage signs, framed botanical prints, or family photos. Be mindful of color palettes, themes, and the overall mood you want to convey.

Position these items around the focal piece, creating a cohesive arrangement that tells a story. Vary the heights and sizes of the smaller pieces, placing them slightly in front of or overlapping the larger ones.

When arranging artwork or other framed items, slightly overlap and stagger them to create a sense of movement across the mantel. Cluster arrangements in groups of three. And to allow some space between each cluster to prevent the mantel from feeling cluttered. 

Remember, layering is an art of balance. Don’t expect to get it right the first time. Take a step back and see how your arrangement feels. If something is off, move things around and repeat this process until you are completely satisfied with how things look. 

Using Symmetry and Asymmetry

While symmetry can bring a sense of order, Joanna’s Fixer Upper style invites a more dynamic and captivating aesthetic that resonates with modern farmhouse charm.

Rather than meticulously mirroring items, allow yourself to curate an asymmetrical arrangement that ignites visual intrigue. An example of re-creating this is placing a substantial article, such as a vintage clock, on one side of your mantel. And on the opposite side, a collection of dainty vintage bottles could add a touch of whimsy and delicacy. 

The asymmetry is in the one large item paired with multiple smaller items. But this is also where there is symmetry; the combination of the smaller items together balances the weight of the one smaller item. The goal isn’t strict equilibrium but rather a delightful equilibrium you achieve through thoughtful curation. 

The Power of White Space

What sets Joanna Gaines’ designs apart is their ability to exude warmth and coziness while maintaining an uncluttered and inviting atmosphere. It’s like achieving the perfect balance between a lived-in charm and a polished aesthetic.

Remember that not every inch of your mantel needs to be filled. Allow some white space between your mantel decoration so things can breathe and to prevent your mantel from feeling cluttered. This negative space can enhance the overall impact of your arrangement.

How to Add Texture on a Modern Farmhouse Mantel

Textures play a crucial role in creating depth and coziness. When shopping for decor, look for unique textures, like woven rattan orbs, hammered metal sculptures, or pottery with intricate patterns. These pieces stand out and add a tactile dimension. Vases, jars, or figurines with raised designs or grooves contribute to a textured look.

Introduce woven baskets as decor items. These add a tactile texture that’s both rustic and cozy. You can place them on the mantel, the wall as a backdrop, or the floor nearby to double as storage.

Add textiles like burlap, linen, or knit blankets to soften your look. Place a small faux fur rug in front of your fireplace. Another great idea is to add a blanket ladder on the side of the fireplace to display blanks and knit throws. You can also place a large woven basket at the fireplace’s hearth and keep blankets there. 

By thoughtfully combining these textured elements, you’ll create a visually captivating mantel and sensory experience. These two features are the essence of Joanna Gaines’ inviting and charming modern farmhouse style.

Using inspiration from Joanna Gaines’ Fixer Upper style, these farmhouse mantel decorating ideas involve a delicate balance of rustic textures, vintage finds, personal touches, and thoughtful layering. 

By embracing simplicity and a mix of old and new, you can create a mantel that exudes the charm and warmth of modern farmhouse design. So, what are you waiting for? Go and transform that mantel into a stunning focal point that captures the essence of modern farmhouse living!

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