Antique Fireplace Mantels

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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Think hard about antique fireplace mantels as you redesign your living room or den. Maybe you're hoping to create a refuge from the stress and the fast pace of the early 21st century. Whether you invest in a true antique--because they can be had--or simply an antique look doesn't matter. Fireplaces have been the center of indoor living since the first massive hearths in the great halls of medieval castles. The fireplace hearth and mantel evokes home and comfort and belonging no matter where we are or when.

Flexibility is the operative word today when it comes to fireplaces. It doesn't matter if you're designing a new fireplace or giving an old one a face-lift. You can find antique fireplace mantels to suit whether you're dealing with a wood burning, electric, or gas log fireplace. After all, the critical function of fireplaces as cooking and heating centers faded away more than 100 years ago. Their form, though, continues to be a focal point of interior design and family living.

The range of styles in antique fireplace mantels is very wide indeed. You might be planning a paneled room with tall windows, hardwood floors, and Persian carpets. Maybe you favor white woodwork and rich classical wall colors, and know that the sharp simple lines of the Federalist style will draw the eye to the fireplace and radiate the easy warm hospitality you enjoy.

Decorating with Antique Fireplace Mantels

Mantelpieces are a wonderful place to display any number of decorative objects. Imagine an informal collection of small framed antique and contemporary photographs. Maybe silver or brass candlesticks flanking a bowl of silk flowers is your particular touch. Decorating with the seasons is especially enjoyable--from dried flowers in the fall to fresh ones in the spring and summer, and of course evergreens in midwinter.

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