Are you thinking about changing your fireplace mantel, or getting a fireplace mantel installed? Fireplace mantels can help your fireplace stand out and become the focal point of your room. Depending on how you plan to use your room, different focal points will draw different emotions. Using a television as your focal point can often take away from social gatherings and family time. You might choose to arrange your room around an interesting piece of furniture or an exotic artwork. If you decide to use your fireplace as the focal point, the room can take on the characteristics of the fireplace mantel. That’s why it is important to choose your mantel with care, considering the implications on your room’s style and feel.
You will want to gauge the size of your fireplace mantel by making it complement the size of your actual fireplace. The mantel should not be much larger than the fireplace, or it risks looking ill-fitting. Large, imposing fireplace mantels can enhance the rich, elegance of a room. Typically, these large pieces will be ornately decorated, hinting at luxury and wealth. A small fireplace mantel with a simple or rustic design can introduce coziness and warmth into your room.
The materials that you use for your fireplace mantel will determine the cost of the mantel, as well as the aesthetic. Marble fireplace mantels will necessarily cost more than most other mantels, but they will add an opulent touch to your room décor. Brick fireplaces are rustic and charming, stone can look natural and soothing, and plaster, one of the less expensive materials, has a variety of possible shapes and profiles making it a versatile option.
The shape of your fireplace mantel can suggest a lot of different decorative schemes. Simple, minimalist mantels pair well with sleek, contemporary furniture. Baroque, intricately-carved mantels allow you to incorporate gorgeous antiques and era-appropriate furnishings. If you are using stones, smooth stones might suggest a Zen-like retreat, whereas rough stones may give your room a more rustic feeling. Whatever your materials, the shape can influence the overall style of the mantel.
To maintain the atmosphere that your fireplace mantel creates, you will want to decorate around the same design aesthetic. Keep furniture in the same era as the mantel’s architecture, and try not to mix styles. An ornate Louis XV mantel will clash with modern, minimalist furniture.
Finally, if you want to decorate the actual fireplace mantel, be careful that your decoration does not detract from the mantel. If you overload your piece with trinkets and pictures, no one will notice the craftsmanship and beauty of the mantel itself. Start by placing one item on the mantel. Make sure that the item is similar in design and style to the mantel. Step back and look at the overall aesthetic. Does your new piece take away from the mantel? For each new piece you add to the mantel, step back and make sure that design has not been compromised.