A fireplace mantel is the shelf on the wall space directly above the fireplace. It can be made of any material and usually displays family pictures, knick-knacks and conversation pieces. Fireplace trim can be either permanent or a movable decoration.
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Although many mantels have no trim on their edges, some are enhanced by a raised or decorative edge. The border can be a moulding that matches the trim in the room, an extension of the mantel material or an ornate metal edging that resembles a tiny fence.
Trimming mantels for holidays is a common practice. Hanging Christmas stockings and draping garlands and pine boughs on them during the winter holiday is popular. Mantels are often bedecked with seasonal decorations like fresh spring flowers or colourful fall leaves.
Avoid cluttering a mantel with too many objects, as this will detract from the theme and desired effect. Use only flameproof materials to prevent combustion from errant sparks created by the fire below the mantel.
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