There are many homes, especially in the colder northern regions that continue to have fireplaces to keep their homes heated and comfortable. It is rare to see a fireplace without any decoration, as it forms the central point of any room. Mantels are installed around fireplaces mainly to add to their decoration.
A mantel is one of the attractions of a fireplace and is the upper portion of the fireplace opening. You will find these being used to display art work, photographs and other knickknacks that add character to any room. Decide on what you will use the mantel for, so that you can choose a mantel that will suit this purpose. This will then help you to get a mantel which is of the right width that allows you to display all the items that you will keep on it. A fireplace does serves as a focal point for any room, and that is the why the decoration around it has to be one that stands out, because the attention of people will always be concentrated on it. You can also add shelves to a mantel or even convert it into a cabinet. You must remember that the items on a mantel will always be exposed to heat, and this is why stone mantels can help to reduce the effect of the heat on the items kept on such mantels.
Mantels can be made from different materials and even the designs can be varied to suit the other décor that you have in your home. Stone is a very commonly used material for mantles as it does give a mantle an elegant look that is always neat. When you have a mantel that is well designed and has the right color, it can add to and compliment all the other furniture and furnishings in a room. Stone is a material, which is very durable and can last a lifetime. Most stone mantels are built from either granite or limestone. Limestone fireplace mantels are very popular, because they are cheaper than their granite counterparts, while they also have a rich quality and different colors that give a lot of scope to decoration.
You can get these custom built mantels to suit your taste, but even the ones that are readily available and will prove cheaper, come in such a vast variety of colors and designs that making a choice is no easy matter. You can even have a mantle made of just carved slabs of limestone, or fix them in pieces to add a variety to your mantel. This can also help to reduce the cost. Mantels made of concrete or granite come in dull colors, whereas the limestone fireplace mantels will have subtle color, which you can match with the other furnishing and drapes that you have in your room, that has the fireplace. Most limestone mantels will have carvings and other moldings that add to the elegance of the structure. Any design you choose must not look incongruous with all the other furniture in your room that has the fireplace.
If you are not sure on what you should do, you can always hire a professional architectural designer. They will be able to give you options and examples of what can be done. A fireplace is a focal point to any home, so make sure you do it right the first time.