Fire Place Inspiration

I had an email question from one of my most loyal readers, and no, it wasn’t my mom! Shocking I know.

She was looking for some inspiration for a fire place mantle and suggested I do a post in response. The timing is great because I seem to have misplaced my camera which makes showing you what I have been working on very difficult. Boo.

Back to the topic, lets talk fireplaces.


There are tons of different options for a mantle, from no mantle, to elaborate hand carved works of art.

Isn’t that puuurdy…

Below are examples and ideas of a range of realistic, likable, dare I say sane? styles


If you have built in cabinets you can tie your mantle into your built ins. This mantle and surround could be achieved with some MDF and crown molding primed and painted.


These owners opted to use a slab of wood like a shelf over the fireplace rather than hanging a mantle on the face. The shelf has a texture and colour contrast to the surround which lends to the overall impact of the fireplace.


What I like about this fire place is how the top half of the fireplace has been built  out so that the face is completely flush. Framing out the top and cladding it in the same material as the surround not only makes the fireplace a focal point, but it draws the eye up, making the ceiling look higher. This is especially dramatic when the walls beside contrast the surround.


Stone fireplaces that take up the entire wall, as in the first stone fireplace picture, can sometimes look very dated. The owners have updated this one with the replacement of the chunky, modern rustic, timber mantle, floating on the face, and then styled it with current accessories.


Another option is forgoing a mantle per se, and installing a long floating shelf. You could install it high like John and Sherry of Young House Love did and use it as a shelf for pictures and decor, or if you prefer the more traditional mantle look, hang it lower and closer to the fireplace.

There you have a few ideas, what are your thoughts? Do you have a favorite style?





3 thoughts on “Fire Place Inspiration

  1. Hi Rachel. Thank you so much for the inspiration. I did get a great laugh out loud laugh with the first picture! I cannot wait to show my husband that one. I now have a naked fireplace…no surround,no mantel…a nice clean slate. A drywall expert(he did an amazing job in less than 2 hours what would have taken us a long long time to do with not so great a result) came in to repair all the wall damage, the wall is primed and ready to paint. There are some tasks that are an art and drywall taping/mudding is one that many DIYers I know outsource because it can really mess up a project’s outcome if done poorly. After that I will hang the large mirror that was the catalyst for the inevitable removal of the surround and will contemplate your pics and think about what I want.

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