Monday, October 15, 2012

Design Tips: Fireplace Ideas - Replacing your Mantel

Fall arrived this weekend with a splash here in Portland, Oregon. I always tell newcomers that our summer doesn’t arrive until July 5th but goes until approximately October 15, then ending with the first big rain of the season! The duration between Memorial Day and the Fourth of July is typically known as “June-uary” because of the cool weather. But our patience is rewarded with stunningly beautiful sunny days and afternoon temperatures of 75 to 80 well into October.

But the mornings and evenings get cold, a tease for the wet and wintry weather coming up.

Time to reconsider your fireplace. Did you know you can often replace your mantel and rework the finish on the wall? Without moving or re-doing your whole fire box and chimney, you can create a great new look and focal feature for the whole room. 

This pictured antique marble mantel from Architectural Antiques is a great example of one-piece construction. It's just waiting to be installed in front of a real fireplace! They also have beautiful antique wood mantels as well.

Check with a qualified contractor, of course, but often the mantel and any surrounding stone or tile is simply applied to the wall. If this is the case, the mantle and surround can be replaced with something that suits your taste pretty easily!

The product range is infinite – you can have something custom built in place or you can select a beautiful premade wood or carved stone mantel and surround that looks custom built, and are often made by hand. 

There are also cheaper machine-made wood and pre-cast options as well, that I think generally work best for contemporary or even very modern interiors.

My favorites, besides true antiques, are precast concrete mantels that look like carved limestone. Often, they can be adjusted or even cut on site or customized to fit different fire box openings. Check with the manufacturer, however.

Heat N Glow, known for their gas and wood-burning fireplace units like the one pictured here, also sells pre made mantels made from wood and concrete. No matter if your style is the sleekest modern or traditional, you'll find something to like.

Until next time!
Elaine Bothe

Photos courtesy of Architectural Antiques and Heat N Glow.

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posted by Jennifer Adams Design Group Blog @ 12:01 AM 

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