Choosing the Perfect Fireplace Mantel for Your Home

Hand-carved or cast stone fireplaces have long been known for their elegant look. You’ve decided that’s exactly what you need to match your home décor. But how do you choose what design you want? Perhaps you want something extremely elegant to match your opulent furnishings. Or maybe you want something simple to add elegance, but not to be the central attraction of the room. Either way, a great way to decide the style for your fireplace is to narrow it down to the style category you like most.

French Style

This design originated between 1820-1890. Significant architectural period styles during that time include French Classical, French Baroque/Rococo, French Renaissance, French Gothic/Norman, French Transitional, and French Country/Provincial. Fireplace mantels from this era are marked for their clean lines and intricate designs. The French style of mantels varies from brick inlay to intricate ornamental carvings of designs such as fleur de lis, coats of arms, leaf patterns, and much more. It is usually made with the finest French limestone.

English Style

This particular style can range between the 1500s and the late 1800s. The English style mantel is one that falls into such architectural period styles as English Regency, English Baroque, English Tudor, English Jacobean, and English Goth styles. These mantels are characterized as having feminine floral detailing that perfectly balances with their more masculine structure. This particular style can range from moderately simple shapes and carvings to elaborate carvings, shapes, and designs.

Italianate Style

This style dates back as early as the 14th century. Italianate, as the name suggests, originates from Italy. These fireplaces can be noted to fall into the periods of Italian Renaissance, Italian Traditional, and Italian Tuscan styles. While French and English styles tend to boast a blatant, lavish design, Italianate style takes a more subtle approach. The carvings are slight with more prominent structure, such as jutting pillars and lids.

Contemporary Style

Contemporary style pieces are just that—contemporary. They fit with the current trends and styles of the day, including simple classical profiling, transitional, and contemporary styles. The contemporary style of fireplace boasts clean lines and few engravings. It is popular to include a brick inlay overmantel and strong profiling for the frieze of the mantel.

 As you search for your perfect fireplace mantel, explore options that fall into the particular style category you most identified with above.