What exactly is a fireplace mantel? History has it that it was a hood that projected over the grate to catch the smoke. In the current day and age, the decorative framework that we see around the fireplace is what is referred to as mantel. Mantels are synonymous with the term chimneypiece and have been considered the most artistic feature to add to the beauty of any room.

Fireplace mantels and Interior decoration: Usage of fireplace mantels dates back to the early renaissance period and the seventeenth century. Mantelpieces extending to almost the full length and height of the room have been adorned in the fireplaces to add to the glam quotient. It would not be an understatement to mention that the earliest examples of interior decoration have been the mantelpieces of the early Spanish and English architectures.

Though mantelpieces started off as being made of the grand ornaments of the medieval eras, current day fireplace mantels include all types of material like granite, limestone, marble and of course, wood. Though colored marbles and stones are a thing of the past, marbles still continue to astonish. The thing to look after in today's fireplace marbles is the dexterity and workmanship of the artisans.

Mantel elements: Each mantel that gets created is a challenge to the sculptor. A range of elements can be looked at, to create various styles and themes. Fruits, vegetables, forests, vegetation, moldings and animal figures are just some of the many themes that one could lay hands on. However, the quality of the carving in the mantelpiece is what creates the actual difference between a good room and a magnificent room.

Carved Mantels: Western art has a longstanding tradition of deploying glamorous mantelpieces. Almost every incidence of European architecture can be seen carved on fireplace mantels of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In fact, there are some museums that exclusively showcase the mantelpiece creations. As is the case with the facades of rooms, mantelpieces are defined by their proportion, design and attention to detail.

In today's microcosm, the point to remember is that fireplace mantels add to the wow factor, be it creating a new room or carrying modifications to your existing room. Handcrafted mantels, with an array of paint choices are an exciting element, when thinking of designing your fireplace. As a matter of fact, technology is at its zenith, that you need to just send a line drawing of your fireplace mantel to your architect / creator. What comes back is a master list of designs with different styles, colors and prices that you are left confused for choice - a good confusion to have though.

Fireplace mantels offer you the choice of value, designer or premium mantels. Value mantels are for the pocket-friendly people looking for some stunning, yet elegant designs at affordable prices. Designer mantels, on the other hand, are for people looking for a slightly stylish and ornate appeal. Premium mantels are for the ones who do not compromise on the price to get the desired quality. The most sophisticated of designs that one could lay hands on are part of the premium mantel package.

Mantel Shelves: There are some who despise the fancy art work and artistic brick and stone creations that surround the fireplace. Mantel shelves come as an alternative for those looking to keep photographs and heirlooms near the fireplace. Whatever be the style you choose, mantel shelves are available. Commonly, Minimum Density Fiber
( MDF), birch and oak are used. However, other materials may be used, if you so feel that the beauty of your rooms will be enriched as a result of those.

Custom Fireplace mantels: For those of you having a flair for creations and an eye for detail, custom mantels are the best bet. You not only get to choose the style, but also do the measurement yourself, before providing the final outlay to your architect. Things to include while taking the measurement range from the simple height and width dimensions to the more complex shelf thickness, shelf depth, leg width and outside return

A Fireplace Mantle will add warmth and comfort to your home while also enhancing the décor. It is best that you consult with a company with experience in installing mantles. They will be able to advice you on the best fireplace mantels for your needs.