The Craftsman fireplace mantel shelf is back . . . . . and more popular than ever! The use of natural materials and quality workmanship is, once again, gaining momentum as many of us tire of today's fast paced, "throwaway" society.
Design above from Hazelmere Mantel
American Craftsman Style, a dis-
tinctive offshoot of England's Arts and Crafts Movement, was very popular during the latter part of the 19th cen-
tury and the early years of the 20th century. It is currently enjoying a re-
surgence in popularity as new homes are built -- and older 1960s and 1970s vintage homes are remodeled -- in-
corporating a variety of Craftsman elements and motifs in their design. A renewed appreciation for handcrafted quality using natural materials is on
Not to be left behind, the Craftsman fireplace mantel shelf is reclaiming its rightful place as the focal
point in to-
day's living room. Some, such as the example pictured at right, above, are going even further by creating an en-
tire inglenook similar to one found in the landmark Gamble house (pictured below) -- a masterpiece of American Arts and Crafts, or Craftsman, design in Pasadena, California!
A common feature of Craftsman design was to incorporate bookcases on one or both sides of the fireplace and
to extend the mantel shelf as a unifying element to tie it all together, as de-
picted in the period drawing at right. The two fireplaces pictured below are great examples of that particular de-
However, the design of the fireplace mantel shelf, itself, often differed sig-
nificantly from one Craftsman Style home to another. The sculpted profiles of the mantel shelves pictured below contrast sharply with the simple, squared-off edges in the examples above . . . . . . . yet they all very much embody Craftsman design. The emphasis is on quality workmanship using natural materials and, to a lesser extent, design originality.
The handsome profile of the painted mantel shelf pictured at right is available as a separate component .
. . . . or as part of an entire mantel-
piece, complete with "legs." It is
also available with or without cor-
bels, or brackets, another common
Craftsman design element. (from Hazelmere Mantel)
The beautiful profile and finish of the richly stained mantel shelf from Hazelmere in the close-up pictured below is also appropriate for Craftsman Style mantels.
The fireplace photos below reflect the design diversity of Craftsman Style or Craftsman-inspired designs for
fireplace mantel shelves. The three images on the left, though different from one another, all have rounded
profiles which give them a softer, more "formal" look. In stark contrast, the squared-off fireplace mantel shelf
in each of the examples pictured below, right, imparts a more casual -- even "lodge-like" -- look and feel.
Once again, the emphasis is on quality workmanship and the use of natural ma-
Please check back often or subscribe to our RSS feed, as we fre-
quently add new images of fire mantel shelves to our site.
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