How Do I Choose the Best Mantel Design?

Sherry Holetzky
Sherry Holetzky
A fireplace.
A fireplace.

A mantel can add character and charm to your home, making a seating area more inviting. Deciding on a mantel design does not have to be a difficult process. Begin by considering the size, style, the intended use, materials, and colors, available with different types of mantels. There are prefabricated mantels available as well as custom mantels. For a handmade fireplace, a custom made mantel may be best, to ensure that the look and scale are appropriate.

A mantel design can be anything from a standard wooden shelf above the fireplace to a modern half circle shape. Mantels can be made from many different materials including various woods, stones, marble, glass, and steel. Some materials can be stained, tinted, or painted to add color, including vivid or unexpected colors for the person with a bold sense of style. There is no rule that says a mantel design requires a neutral shade instead of bold color. Choosing the best mantel design is choosing one that pleases you.

You may simply choose a mantel as a finishing touch to a fireplace or you might use it to create a focal point in the room if the fireplace is not especially eye-catching. In fact, some people hang a mantel without having a fireplace in order to create greater architectural interest in a space. Your mantel design does not necessarily have to fit into strict decorating standards.

An eclectic design, one that mixes styles, can give a space a unique, interesting look and feel. To mix different types of décor easily, try to keep it simple. Something in the mantel design should match or complement the other items in the space such as a coordinating color or similar height or scale to help tie things together.

Using these tips to identify what you want to get out of your mantel design will help you make a choice that suits you. Shopping around is always a good idea, not only to see the various mantel types but also to compare materials, prices, and availability. Since a mantel is a large item, shopping closer to home may be the most cost-effective approach, since shipping can be very expensive. Compare shipping costs to delivery costs, if applicable.

Installation may also be an issue if you aren’t exactly handy. Ordering online means you will most likely have to hire someone to install your new mantel. A local company may offer to include installation, so this is another important issue to investigate.

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    • A fireplace.
      A fireplace.