Making the Most of Your Fireplace Mantel

It used to be, before modern electricity, the hearth or fireplace was the center of the home. It was here that the fire for cooking and keeping warm was kept. People gathered around the fireplace to cook, work, eat and tell stories. As time went on, the simple fireplace became the center of attention in…

It used to be, before modern electricity, the hearth or fireplace was the center of the home. It was here that the fire for cooking and keeping warm was kept. People gathered around the fireplace to cook, work, eat and tell stories. As time went on, the simple fireplace became the center of attention in the living or receiving room. The richest of the rich would make elaborate fireplace mantels with dizzying and dazzling designs of the times.

Of course, in more modern times, many people do not need fireplaces. We have electric and gas heaters to keep warm warm, and stoves and ovens to cook our food. Few homes have fireplaces, and if they do it's mostly decorative, and the fireplace becomes a place where we deposit our clutter and kitsch. However, today, the fireplace is fact becoming a space where we can once again show off and display our tastes and objects d'art. If you want to make the most of your fireplace, here are a few tips.

The key is to balance this area, to maximize its beauty and really draw the eye of the viewer. You can place one large object or multiple small ones. Why not place a large mirror over your mantel, or if you want it to be less severe, you can prop it on top of the mantel itself. A large mirror will also add space and light to your room. A big square mirror with a silver frame can add an elegant look to your fireplace. Or, why not try something more exotic, like a round mirror with a burned gold frame in the shape of the sun? This will bring a warm, exotic feel to any room.

You can also put several objects on the fireplace mantels. Traditionally, this is where people put their candles, so they could light them before they went to bed for the evening. You can place several small candles to line the mantel, or why not have two or three large ones? The key is to find the right balance.

Finally, you can also put various decorative objects on the mantel. For a rustic and festive look, why not place a wooden bowl with pinecones as your centerpiece? You can also place frames of varying sizes with tasteful painting on them. Traditionally, of course, this has always been the place for family photos. Make sure you pick good ones that are artistic (rather than the one with Junior crying on Santa's lap) and place them in beautiful frames.