Fireplace mantels are important for fireplaces of homes and so you should not ignore them because if you design other parts of your home well and ignore the fireplace mantel, it will seem incomplete. It is left to you to decide what you would like to keep over the fireplace mantel. However, to accommodate family photos or similar articles, you need to decide upon the design of the mantel in prior, so that it will suit your requirements at a later point of time.
If you prefer the fireplace mantel that is already existent and you do not wish to replace it, your work is lesser as you have to modify it only. However, if there is no mantel, then you have more work to do but it is anyway a one-time effort. When we consider the actual design of the full fireplace mantel, think about how you would like it to be – do you think a simple design will be sufficient or do you want to use the mantel to cater to your space needs. Your needs may be for holding simple display items or for keeping some books. After you decide this, give some more thought on the actual size of the shelves. This will have a bearing on what you can store. You have to opt for strong materials, if you plan to keep some heavy books.
Some people like to design fireplace mantels on their own. If you fall in this category, you should collect some ideas, discuss it with other people, and refer some magazines before you finalize a fireplace mantel design. If you know an interior designer or someone refers you a designer, you can hire him or her to finalize the mantel design for you. These designers are experts and they can offer some suggestions on the fly. They will know about the latest fireplace mantel designs and utility value of various materials that are used. They will also know which material and design has long lasting value. They will first draft a plan and if you do not like it or find it expensive, you can request them to make a fresh plan.
Do not forget to measure the fireplace surrounds, so that you know the basic detail for planning the fireplace mantel. This may sound simple but is important and if you think a skilled person can do this for you, seek help. You should also find out about the cost of custom mantels while you are still planning a mantel. If you feel that it is better to choose a fireplace mantel that is custom-made in spite of the cost involved, it is fine if you can afford it. The shape of the mantel has to suit the shape of the room. You will come to know when you look at different fireplace mantels, that a rectangular shaped fireplace mantel that is placed at a corner of the house makes the house appears wider. At this point of time, you can also decide the location of the fireplace mantel. Corner fireplace mantels will offer you a private place to retire and talk with your family.
Let us first consider what material can be used for making the mantels. Wooden fireplace mantels are common and the popular choice is oak. However, it is not necessary that you have to follow what others prefer. Your fireplace mantel material choice will have to match with your home’s design. You may find some fireplace mantels appeal to your taste better than the other mantels. Following are some other materials that are used for making fireplace mantels – iron, marble, and stones. Next, you will have to decide upon the color of the mantel – this has to match with the color used for the rest of your home. If you do not choose the fireplace mantel that appeals to you and matches the overall look, it will be odd.
You can decorate the fireplace surrounds to improve its aesthetic appeal. During every holiday season, set aside time for decorating it tastefully so that it reflects the theme of the holiday. You can install the mantel personally or using some professional help so that you are sure that it is fixed properly.