The idea of a fireplace intuitively makes sense. When we’re cold, we can use it to warm ourselves by a fire or enjoy it as a cozy gathering place in our home. But have you ever wondered exactly where the mantle originated from in the first place? It wasn’t just a place to display a vase of flowers or family photographs. According to Design Sponge, the French mirror industry developed full-length mirrors during the 1690s with marble mantles for important rooms. The idea was that guests could sit around the fire and look in the mirror to take in the expanse of the room.
You don’t have to embrace French style from the late 1600s to create your own fabulous mantel in the grandest room in your home. Instead, can give your mantel a modern touch and make it a focal point of your room without spending a bundle or having your guests sit around and stare at themselves in an adjoining mirror. Here’s how to get started.
Install an electric fireplace
First things, first. What if you don’t have the opportunity to modernize a mantel because your home doesn’t have a fireplace to begin with? You can install an easy-to-use electric fireplace that gives your living room or bedroom a cozy touch. And if you’re short on space, you can even try a TV stand with an electric fireplace to maximize space. Once your electric fireplace is in place, start decorating your mantel with pillar candles and fresh flowers to give it a modern touch.
Give it a splash of color
Ignoring a dated and tattered fireplace mantel is a missed opportunity to dress up your favorite room. Instead of letting a shabby mantel chip away or covering it up with books and clutter, you can give it a splash of color, suggests HGTV. Paint the wall behind your fireplace and your mantle the same color to update your living room. Choose deep grays, cobalt blue or pastel blue to match your favorite color scheme and revolutionize the look of your home. Add a few touches of brass or silver to tie together your chic new look.
If you’re starting from scratch with an old fireplace and don’t have a mantel yet, you can add a floating mantel and turn it into modern shelf space. Add it above an old fireplace or newly installed electric fireplace and dress it up with your favorite travel keepsakes or mementos. You’ll end up with a focal point, shelf space and modern mantel all in one place.
Make it artsy
Your mantel can do more than serve as an additional shelf space, it can also serve as a work of art. Turn it into a mini art gallery with small paintings, ceramics or a simple jar of sea glass from a recent beach trip to show off your creative side. And to give it an anchor point, add a funky mirror above your artistic mantel to give your mini gallery balance and reflect the light throughout your room.
It’s easy to overlook your mantel as an asset for your home. The endless possibilities of a modernized mantel can transform your favorite room from average to spectacular with just a few touches. Start with an electric fireplace or fresh coat of paint and add the personalized touches that speak to your signature style.