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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mantels: which do you like best?


My design team and I had a great three hour meeting today to discuss interior details. Much to my delight, one of the topics that we addressed was the fireplace mantel in the living room. One thing that we all agreed upon is that this fireplace should have a stone mantel. But the specific style is still being determined.

Option one: the perfect scale for the living room. Image via Francois & Company.


Option 2: the perfect style for the living room - we are hoping that this can be custom made in a larger size. (Image via Francois & Company)


Or, option 3, a unique antique fireplace. This beautiful antique limestone fireplace (image via Veranda via Cote de Texas) is one of my all time favorites. Interiors by Eleanor Cummings.

So, what do you think? Do you have a favorite, or do you have another recommendation?

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66 comments:

  1. If the room is large enough, then #3 is stunning, otherwise I would choose #1. They are all just fabulous. Can't wait to see what you do. Hugs, Marty

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  2. Love option 2. simply perfect and perfectly simple.

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  3. Really loving the clean look of option 2. All good choices though.

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  4. I like number two the best a bit bigger. All are great though, I don't think you can go wrong.

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  5. It depends on the style of the house of course, but I love option 3! If you want to see my own mantel, its pretty amazing and you just inspired me to post about it:

    http://a-whole-lottalove.blogspot.com/2010/05/mantel-madness.html

    I also linked to your blog in my post.

    Cheers.

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  6. While all three of those mantels are spectacular, I would say number 3. An antique mantel would be very unique and already have a wonderfully, yet gracefully aged look and you would never have to worry about seeing your same mantel in another house. www.xsurfaces.com has a very nice array of antique fireplaces.
    I hope you find the mantel that works best for you!

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  7. That first stone mantel - gorgeous!
    -SF

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  8. Hey! The second is not my favorit. To normal and a little bit middle-class. The first stone mantel is gorgeous!

    Greetings

    VINTAGE

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  9. I vote for the first mantel. Though I might prefer to straighten the sides rather than taper (or whatever that's called!). Second is sort of ordinary and the third seems really elaborate. Maybe it's the scale...

    Trust your gut on this one. You'll stare at this one quite bit!

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  10. I can't put my finger exactly on why, but number 2 stands out to me. It's quite stunning!
    Nancy

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  11. I love the idea of the antique mantel. I've used Francois and Co in the past and they do marvelous things. But the antique option you've shown here is by far my favourite. You must be having so much fun!

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  12. Well, #3 ,of course--I'm sure it's the hardest to duplicate and the most expensive--naturally :)

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  13. Yes, I sat in the meeting today practically pinching myself - I know what I like, but have never really had visibility into the path to get from a vision to a reality. To see these great minds at work in one room was truly amazing.

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  14. Hmm, that's tough. I like #2 but think any of them would be nice. Luckily you have the best team in town to figure it out.

    I would recommend checking out the options from Chesneys and Materials Marketing. Materials Marketing does all their own custom stuff.

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  15. Beautiful mantels! Option 2 is my vote, but difficult to say for sure w/o seeing the space.

    xo,
    cristin

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  16. the second one. :) very pretty.

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  17. An antique limestone if it is in your budget for sure. It will be the focal point of the room and an antique will will attract attention with its worn edges and beautiful patina. It is easy for living rooms to fall into the formal and unwelcoming trap but an antique mantel gives a room character. The first two pictures look a little stiff and the third picture looks more warm and inviting.

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  18. I like the classic # 2 with the herringbone interior!

    Karena

    Art by Karena

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  19. I'd go antique...the texture and patina is hard to beat (although I do love Chesney's pieces)

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  20. Hmmm...love the simple lines of #2 but there's something about an antique. If you could find a more simpler antique mantel, that would be ideal. I wonder if most people chose #2 because it doesn't have the tapered sides as in #1 and #3.

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  21. #2 is so elegant and makes the chairs, the statues, and the mirror look so good. It makes you notice the room rather than itself.

    This reminds me of picking ours. Actually the pros picked it on the strictest budget. I'll never forget the day it arrived. The coolest thing I'd ever seen and so curvy.

    P.S. Today tour featured life sized caryatid columns supporting the mantel of one fireplace. Wahoo.

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  22. I love option 2 - I think it is classic and you'll never tire of it!

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  23. No. 2 for me! (And you get your herringbone pattern as well, dear!). I like simple lines. Easier to incorporate and mix different styles that way.

    I am going back to my files to see if I can dig up some more lovelies for you. Just to make the decision harder for you! (:

    A warm hug, Mon

    P.S Thank you for your supporting comment re: my feeds. I thought I was about to lose my mind.... Feed-schmeeds - they can be tricky!

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  24. No. 3 is my preference and No. 1 is my second choice.

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  25. I prefer number 1 as it has a stronger style and the black stone insert gives life to the fireplace. I just finished a house and worked with Francois and company for the fireplace and kitchen hood. They are a wonderful company to work with, great installers and excellent follow through. My new showroom is just across the street from them in NY. They now also offer wood flooring.

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  26. #3 is definitely my type of fireplace! I would love one just like it! Gorgeous. xo

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  27. I think #1 or #3. Like the shape of #2 but don't like the brick on the interior...stands out too much for me. You are so lucky to be working with such an incredible team!

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  28. The second mantel is my mom's, so I vote for that one!! It was in a francois and co ad :)

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  29. It's a tough call but I vote for #1.

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  30. My favorite of the three is number 2 (like most of the commenters), although I really like the feminine shape of the two other alternatives.

    I have the impression you prefer curvy feminine details, so the two other might be more your style though =)

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  31. #! is my favorite. My second choice is #3. The second mantel doesn't do much for me. It just fades into the background and doesn't have real presence.

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  32. I like the idea of finding an antique, but if that isn't possible, I like #1.

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  33. My vote goes to Option #2, including the chevron brickwork which adds just the right amount of visual texture.

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  34. If you can find one the perfect size, I definitely suggest an antique mantel - option #3. However, not knowing the style of the house and going with my gut and what I know about your style based on your blog, I think option #2 would be better than #1. #2 is more elegant and refined while option #1 is more ye olde worlde. It depends on the mood of the house really. All 3 are gorgeous of course!

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  35. 1 and 3
    but the brick work in the herringbone pattern is what i would choose for any style. much more interesting.

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  36. Hands down i like #2. I don't like the curve on the sides of the other two options.

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  37. Maurie@graciousinteriors.blogspot.comMay 12, 2010 at 11:43 AM

    I prefer number 3 for the patina and the side profile which I believe gives oomph to the room. However, without seeing the room dimensions and volume, it is hard to choose. We looked for a shorter stone mantel for our "lower level" redo, and they are hard to find!

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  38. Hands down #1!! It is understated and elegant. It has enought curves to make it interesting but not too many to make it fussy. Understated Elegance, that seems to be the way your home is headed and I love it!! Kathysue

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  39. So fun to see all the varied opinions. We all see things so differently. Hands down I'm in love with option #3.

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  40. Oh my goodness, you've got your work cut out for you! Those are three beautiful choices. I like how substantial #3 is. It would make for a spectacular focal point. I think it goes right along with everything you've posted about your new home.

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  41. Really love the style of #2 but if you can find a unique, salvaged piece I say go for it! There's nothing I love more than architectural salvage in a new home. Gives a sense of history.

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  42. I love the first mantel.Simple yet so grand. I love the shape, and the overall scale.

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  43. we really like this company....
    www.distinctivemantles.com

    for inspiration....!!!

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  44. I like fireplace #2. There are some beautiful fireplaces here... http://www.finesgallery.com/index.php

    There are some really pretty ones.. I couldn't pick just one.

    Becky

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  45. Natalie @ Set the StageMay 12, 2010 at 7:46 PM

    They are all nice, but hands down - I love number three. Just love Cote de Texas!

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  46. I would be thrilled with any of these mantles but, if I had to choose it would be #2. Good luck!

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  47. If I could find the "perfect one" I'd take an antique, so #3; otherwise, I like #1; is it a little wider at the top?

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  48. I love them all. I do think #3 is the most striking. Having just gone through all of this myself and now living in the house we built, I do think that the bigger the mantel the better. It really is a focal point in a room and I think it looks great to have a big impact. I have to say the stone mantel and foyer staircase rail were the two hardest decisions in my entire house. Good luck:)

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  49. I'm a UK based interior designer (and just loving your design decisions - Suzanne Kasler!! My all time favourite designer). I love carved stone fireplaces my favourites being the Arbalette here http://www.templestone.co.uk/Handcarved.htmand the Chiswick Tudor and Elizabethan here http://www.chesneys.co.uk/list_collection_stone

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  50. Holly,
    I love number 3, but all are beautiful!! What a lucky girl you are!! Enjoy this process - its one most of us only dream about! So thrilled for you!!
    xx-Gina

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  51. I think #1 because of the width/depth of the mantle itself. To me, #3's headpiece would be limiting to your design schemes. Lovely post!

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  52. I like the scale of the first one. I also like the darker interior, it seems to ground it better.

    http://kat-kathleenjackson.blogspot.com

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  53. Number three! I predict a shopping trip to France in your future.

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  54. They are all so lovely. Although I don't comment much anymore due to school I am still a devoted reader. :)

    I gave you a little shout out on my blog today. I posted about a design project that I did involving one of our favorite tables/designers.

    Come on by to find out who. I hope you will leave inspired.

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  55. I vote for #2 - understated, classic, elegant. The mantel, though, will need to respond to the scale of the room and the wall on which it sits. Do you have an interior elevation of the whole wall?

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  56. of your choices i like #3. my only concern (as if i should have one) is that in a few years time it will look dated.
    if it were me (and it's soooo not) i would go with something a little cleaner with more modern lines. basic.
    sometimes i think people use the fireplace as focal point to the extreme. i would rather have a gorgeous big firebox with a fucking HUGE roaring fire and only a minimal mantle. but that's me and i rent so i have no choice in the matter.
    but it's your house and YOUR choice so make it with gusto.

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  57. they are all beautiful. but i really am partial to the stone going up to the ceiling. you didn't show that- is that not an option?

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  58. My favourite is option one as I feel it is 'a happy medium' in both lines and detailing.
    -Brenda-

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Thank you for your comments! I strive to make my blog positive in tone, and appreciate the same courtesy when comments are made. Thank you!

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