Wood fireplace mantel shelves are a great way to top off a tile, brick or stone fireplace surround. They also provide a wonderful cost-effective opportunity to add a distinctive and uniquely personal finishing touch to your fireplace!
Whether you're looking for something rustic and casual . . . semiformal to formal . . . or sleek and
chic . . . . . . there are designs for wood fireplace mantel shelves to fit nearly every taste and budget. The
contrasting color and texture of a wood mantel shelf against a brick or stone fire-
place surround lends a great deal of visual, as well as architectural inter-
est. In addition, it serves a very func-
tional role as a great place to show-
case treasured mementos, photo-
graphs, and holiday decor.
For a very rustic look, the use of split logs in a completely natural or semi-
natural state . . . . . . complete with character - enhancing "imperfections,"
is a great way to personalize your brick or stone fireplace. The six examples pictured below show some of the ways to create a rustic look with wood fireplace mantel shelves.
Also, note how the shelves are supported by a variety of wooden corbels, or brackets of different shapes and sizes . . . . . another way to add to the rustic charm of your hearth.
The following two examples use stone, rather than wood corbels to support the mantel shelves. The unusual mantel shelf below, left, is beautifully fin-
ished with birch bark. On the right, the split timber mantel shelf is installed "vertically" to give it a more unique appearance.
If a little less of a rustic look is de-
sired, you may want to consider an Arts and Crafts or Craftsman Style design for your wood fireplace man-
tel shelf. Designs in that style
range from very basic squared-off timbers, such as that pictured in
the example at right . . . to shelves and corbels with curved or rounded profiles, as in the example below,
right. Note the interesting hand-
crafted corbels supporting the man-
tel shelf below, left. Also note the cleverly concealed accent lighting in the mantel shelf at right.
Another great way to create a unique-
ly personal fireplace is to add a hand-
carved wood mantel shelf that depicts a theme or meaning of special signifi-
cance to you . . . . such as a favorite hobby or pastime . . . . or travel to an exotic land. The examples at right and below, including the intricately carved Asian - themed teak wood mantel shelves, offer a small -- albeit diverse -- sampling of topics or themes to per-
sonalize your fireplace.
And finally, the two wood fireplace mantel shelves pictured below incorporate an overmantel to make a dramatic design statement. Additionally, the mantel shelf and overmantel above the
tiled fireplace sur-
round pictured below, right, functions as an enter-
tainment center that can be concealed with built-in doors when the TV is not in use.
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