The Magic of the Fireplace Mantel: How Custom Mantels Can Transform Your Living Room
The fireplace is more than the portal through which the red-suited-white-bearded bringer of joy and presents falls through every Christmas. A fireplace brings the room together; it is a place for quiet intimacy or celebratory family memories. It gives you the quiet you need to settle down and read a book or it brings the warmth to spark a conversation or fuel a gathering of your friends and family. Fireplaces are still popular in today’s homes and many interior designers and homeowners are finding ways to make this fireplace retain its classical beauty while adding a modern flare. Here at Dominguez and Sons, we create custom-made fireplace mantels that will bring out the beauty of your fireplace.
Fireplaces Throughout History
In both new homes and old homes, fireplaces have made a comeback. Many older homes already have a fireplace that is often left unused because they seem antiquated. And yet, interior designers know that adding style to your fireplace will make it the central feature of the home.
The origin story of the fireplace begins by necessity. In early America, homes needed a heat source for staying warm and cooking. Fireplaces often doubled as both and served these important functions. Throughout the early 1600s and 1700s, fireplaces were large and the center of the room, but mantles were not yet customary. In England, fireplaces were smaller and more efficient. In colonial America, these fireplaces were essential in maintaining the house warm for longer.
Before the 1800s, true mantels were a rare occurrence. In English colonial homes, fireplaces had simple, floor to ceiling paneling. As far as decorations, there were few and far between. Dutch fireplaces had small curtains hanging from the top as a cover. It wasn’t long before the fireplace became and continued to be the nucleus of the home.
Mantels did not rise until the end of the Revolutionary War. The style became popular and sought-out by many seeking to bring luxury and style to their home. Full-relief fireplaces with decorative elements such as swags, reeding, star and shell accents, and others. As the country industrialized, people’s lifestyles changed and so did their homes. Many homes began burning coal instead of wood. The wood-burning fireplace, however, remained as very much a necessity.
The Victorian Age and the Ornate Fireplaces
During the Victorian Age, many fireplaces became much more ornate, used not only as a central gathering place for the home but a place to showcase style and decorative flair, and luxury. People chose to adorn their fireplaces with different mantels including cast-iron combination fireplaces, as well as adding tiles, decorative surrounds, and mantels of different styles.
During the 20th century, styles for fireplaces incorporated a tip-of-the-hat to early 1700 designs with modern elements. During the early 20th century, fireplaces became simple, mixing stylistic motifs from the 18th and 19th centuries. These fireplaces would fuse Greek Revival style with Georgian moldings. The rustic and back-to-nature movement of the mid 20th century also had an effect on how people approached their fireplaces. Many used river-rock or natural stone to provide a more down-to-earth appeal.
A Mix of Style and Function
For some time, copper was a popular material used in fireplace mantels. The metal was a popular choice because it allowed plenty of options to manipulate it. Copper was also useful in radiating the heat outward, which served to spread the heat source around the house. Materials like stone and marble are beautiful materials but tend to keep the heat in. A mantle is there to shield the fireplace. They serve as protective barriers that allow the heat to damage paintings above the fireplace.
The Mantle in Modern Days
The modern mantle has many possibilities. For some people, the space surrounding the chimney is a place where family photographs, family heirlooms, random knick-knacks, and all kinds of other decoratives are carefully placed. And yet, the mantle serves a specific purpose as well as a design one. If a fireplace is designed for wood or gas, a wooden mantle is usually a top choice.
Looking For Authentic Custom Fireplace Mantles?
Your fireplace is a unique feature in your home. It is timeless and carries with it a great history. For many generations and in early America, this was the central heating source and gathering spot of the family. What better way to create a fireplace that steals the glance of every visitor and guest, than a unique custom-made and hand-crafted mantle. A custom fireplace mantle will turn this part of your home into a place of craftsmanship. Have questions about what a custom mantlepiece is all about? Call Dominguez & Sons today and find out more.