Fashionable Fireplace Mantels

Traditional fireplaces are no longer a decorative item of the past. In fact, fireplaces are hot and happening in home décor today, and have become a popular symbol of class and contemporary style on one hand, and antique, natural, or rustic style on the other.

Room Centerpieces

Fireplace mantles are the frames that surround the actual fireplace and are truly the defining element of any hearth. Not only do they set the style and tone of the fireplace, but they often become the centerpiece of the entire room. Therefore if you are including a fireplace as part of your home or office décor, you will want to select or design your fireplace mantel carefully to suit both the size of the fireplace and the style of the room.

Fireplace Mantle Forms

A mantle can be as simple as a shelf that is situated over top a fireplace, or as intricate as an entire shelving unit that includes a home entertainment center. The most modern mantle designs can even accommodate contemporary flat-screen TVs perched above the fireplace. Other fireplace mantles are used as show points where treasured photos, trophies, medals, collections, or family heirlooms are proudly displayed.

Mantels can be mounted along one straight wall or they can be fitted around corner. You can purchase mantels over the counter at most home improvement or hardware stores, however you may choose or need to custom-design your fireplace mantel or to make adjustments to the manufacturer's model.

Wood Fireplace Mantles

Although they come in an array of materials to match both classic and contemporary decors, wood fireplace mantles remain a favorite. Typical woods include oak, pine, cedar, and cherry, however if you want to accentuate the wood's naturalness and stain it yourself, birch or oak are good options.

More Mantle Materials

Fireplace mantels can also be made from stone, metal, and ceramic. Stainless steel mantles give a very sheik, modern look, while marble makes a majestic, elegant statement. If you want to save money, you can also buy a plastic or MDF mantel and paint it yourself, or you can buy a fireplace mantel kit that provides materials with which to accessorize and spruce up your mantle.

Mantle Measurements

In addition to matching the mantle to the architecture and ambience of the room, don't forget that the mantle must also match the size of your fireplace!

Fireplaces vary in size in terms of their width and height, and thus it's important to have the correct dimensions before you design or invest in a fireplace mantle.

When it comes to fireplace designs, remember that the mantle takes center stage; so let the fire heat up your creative juices to produce the coolest mantle around!