Many fireplaces come with mantles, but some don't. If your fireplace doesn't have a mantle, it's possible to add one. A mantle can add just the touch your fireplace needs, providing you enjoyment while you live there, and helping the fireplace enhance your home's resale value when it comes time to move.
For years, basic fireplace mantles were constructed of a high-density fiberboard with wood moldings or else veneer over solid wood. Now it's possible to have a variety of stone mantles as well, adding a different sort of elegance to the room.
Here are some ideas of how to put your mantle to good use.
Knick-knacks are usually what people think of to put on the mantle. Porcelain figurines, crystal, boxes, souvenirs from your travels. A mantle is the perfect place to display these sorts of objects, guaranteeing that everyone will get a good look at them. They become the focal point of the room.
Pictures are another obvious option. The mantle is a great place to display framed portraits of your family and loved ones. Visitors can stand in front of the fire, warming themselves, as they enjoy looking over your photographs.
Vases with fresh or artificial flowers will bring a charm to your mantle. This is a great way to have the beauty of flowers in your home without using up counter or table space that you might need for other purposes.
Potpourri also adds a nice touch as well as enhancing the smell of the room. A few glass bowls of potpourri look lovely and artistic when unlit. Light them along with the fire and they can dramatically enhance the experience while adding their own flickering shadows to the wall above the fireplace.
Candles can also add those flickering shadows and their own scents as well. Consider a few decorative candles along the fireplace to add to the romance and elegance of the room.
A mirror on the wall above the mantle can greatly increase the effect of whatever you put on the mantle itself. The mirror will reflect the backs of your mantle ornaments, allowing you to enjoy the way they look from all sides. Additionally, a mirror will extend the depth of the room, giving you the feeling of more space.
A painting or a wreath above the mantle is also a nice touch. Make sure that whatever you choose is large enough that it doesn't seem dwarfed by its surroundings. This is the place to make a bold statement.
More than one of the ideas above may appeal to you. It's easy to mix and match. Mantles are great because the decorations aren't fixed. You can change the decorations with the seasons. Put together a harvest theme for fall, a snow theme for winter, a flowery theme for spring, and a sunny theme for summer.