Fireplace Mantel Designs

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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The many choices you have in fireplace mantel designs might at first seem overwhelming. We've come a long way, after all, from the rough cut into the stone wall of a medieval English castle. The question isn't whether the fireplace is for heating or cooking. Fireplaces are ornamental, not functional. The question in selecting among fireplace mantel designs is really more a matter of your decor.

A Quick Overview of Fireplace Mantel Designs

You know that the fireplace is the focal point of the room, perhaps even your home. It doesn't matter whether you have a traditional, electric, vented, or ventless fireplace. There are plenty of designers and vendors of fireplace surrounds and mantelpieces. With a little online research, you can browse through any number of fireplace mantel designs. You might get a new idea. You might just need the time to search. Custom work is always an option.

One decor idea is recreate the look and sense of a rustic Portuguese cottage. Start with hardwood floors, keep going with a faux paint job to resemble rough plaster walls, and add a ceramic tile surround. Keep your window treatments minimal, and emphasize sunlight. You're left only with the mantelpiece. A single shelf--whether oak beam or plaster--completes the decor theme.

Anything is possible. Traditional wooden mantels include colonial, turn-of-the-century mission, and carved deco. Marble surrounds come in a variety of designs, from ornate baroque to classic Corinthian. Marble colors are usually white, black, beige, or green stone. Thin cast stone mantel walls are an option you might have thought of as too pricey. Think again. They offer a number of benefits over their natural counterparts. There's no load bearing issue, for example, and they're easy to install.

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