Contemporary fireplace mantel ideas

Written by denise brandenberg
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Contemporary fireplace mantel ideas
Many modern homes feature fireplaces with contemporary mantles. (room with fireplace image by Dumitrescu Ciprian from

Many modern homes feature fireplaces in the family room, living room and sometimes even in the bedroom. Contemporary homes, which range from comfortable, high-end designs to sleek, streamlined designs, typically have contemporary fireplaces as well. If you are planning a remodel or are designing your dream contemporary home, you’ll have many types of fireplace mantels and designs to choose from.

Contemporary Materials

While traditional fireplaces and mantels are generally made from brick and wood, contemporary versions utilise a wide variety of materials. Wood can still be considered contemporary, depending on the type of wood used, such as bamboo, as well as stained or painted wood. Other contemporary materials include marble mantels, limestone mantels, slate rock mantels and other types of natural stone, according to Fireplace Mantels 123. Some people even use granite or stainless steel. If your home has a modern design, consider using glass blocks to surround your fireplace. Do-it-yourselfers on a budget can sometimes make a traditional fireplace mantel look contemporary by simply painting the mantel and surrounding wall a bright, art-deco colour, such as red.

Contemporary Shapes

Think outside the traditional firebox when it comes to creating the shape and design of your contemporary fireplace. Even the smallest touches can make a difference in your design. For example, if you are updating a traditional fireplace with a traditional mantel, simply replace the rectangular wooden mantel with a semicircle mantel that curves. The design experts at Standout Fireplace Designs suggest replacing the traditional wall fireplace with a suspended steel firebox that rotates 360 degrees, which allows it to be directed to any part of the room. Consider adding a unique circle or triangle-shaped fireplace with an accompanying mantel as well.

Eliminating the Mantel

Another way to replace a traditional mantel is by eliminating the mantel shelf completely. Consider using a fireplace mantel that merely surrounds the fireplace, adding texture and colour but doesn’t have the traditional shelf. These types of contemporary fireplaces are usually higher up on the wall than traditional fireplaces, and are typically the focal point of the room. Some people install large, flat-screen televisions above these types of fireplaces in lieu of a mantel. Others still want to display personal items or decorations, so they use cut-outs in the wall as shelves. Some people even install mantel-less fireplaces in the middle of the room. These types of fireplaces may be made from white stone and glass.

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