The wood fireplace mantel surrounds featured here range from refreshingly rustic designs to cozy and comfy country casual compositions. From roughly weathered wooden planks and timbers to carefully crafted tongue and groove paneled surrounds, each of the examples pictured here is especially designed to make you feel at ease. So kick back and enjoy!
Surround (above) by Dan Waibel,
Designer/Builder, Peoria, IL
The unusual fireplace mantel surrounds that follow, including the form, configuration or arrangement of the wood used
to create each surround, provide a breath of fresh air -- and a bit of whimsy -- to rustic fireplace design. Ironically,
the hooded design pictured below, left, is typically crafted from smoothly finished stone or stucco and used in formal
settings. The weathered wood planks and rugged timbers employed in this design ef-
fectively create a rustic and somewhat whimsical counterpoint to what we normally associate with this "style."
The unique surround pictured below, right, derives its inspiration from the
Adirondack Style, popular during the latter part of the 19th and early part of the 20th centuries. Except for the row of bricks outlining
the firebox opening, this floor-to-ceiling design employs a combination of smoothly fin-
ished boards and organic, naturally formed tree trunks, branches and twigs, from which the bark has been peeled. Aptly enough, this fireplace mantel surround is in the Lake Placid Lodge, located in the Adirondack Mountain region of Upstate New York.
Heading west, the "upscale" rustic fireplace surround design that follows features large raised panels with a weathered
finish above the mantel shelf and on either side of the firebox opening. Recessed bookshelves flank the fireplace
surround in this design by Locati Architects -- one of the premier architectural design firms in the western United
States -- based in Boze-
With its massive timbers and roaring fire, the French farmhouse fireplace that follows simply oozes period European
charm and ambiance! Originally part of an old farmstead that belonged to the current owner's grandpar-
ents, it is now the site of Les Lauzes, a chalet hotel near Val D'isere in Southeastern France.
Heading back across the pond to the east coast of the U.S. brings us to a renovated carriage house in Greenwich Village,
New York. Remodeled by the principals of Fairfax & Sammons Architects for their own use, the kit-
chen fireplace features a row of tiles around the firebox opening, which is then framed by a painted wood mantel. Above the mantel shelf, a pair of elegant arched cut-outs are divided by a single Tuscan column and inset with mirrors. A wood "keystone" crowns each arch, echoing the prominent "keystone" projecting from the center of the mantel shelf below.
The Georgian Arts and Crafts living room pictured below is another design from New York-based Fairfax & Sammons
Architects. It features an ingle-
nook fireplace with built-in bookshelves. Set against a backdrop of tongue and groove paneling to match the panels in the coffered ceiling, a wood fireplace mantel frames a smooth stone surround with an elegant profile.
The fireplace mantel surrounds that follow are included in two new mid-
western vernacular farmhouse de-
signs by Rehkamp Larson Architects, based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The cozy traditional design pictured below features a firebox surround of stone with a large painted wood mantel shelf. Accenting the wall above the mantel is a framed tongue and groove panel that echos the ceiling treatment.
The fireplace design pictured at right derives its inspiration, in part, from the
Arts and Crafts Movement. It features a tiled firebox surround and a simple grid pattern of painted wood compo-
nents both above and below the wood mantel shelf.
A uniquely creative approach to Arts and Crafts fireplace design is pictured at right. Finely crafted by
Jaeger & Ernst Cabinetmakers, based in Bar-
boursville, Virginia, the impressive cab-
inetry and workmanship all but conceal the fact that the original wood burning fireplace was replaced by a more effi-
cient modern metal firebox with a gas flame. Doors with recessed panels flank the firebox opening to conceal built-in storage areas. Built-in book-
shelves above the mantel shelf provide additional storage or display space in this cozy fireplace surround.
The relatively simple country casual fireplace mantel surround that follows comes from Harrison Design Associates --
better known for their Classical-
ly-inspired, exquisitely detailed fireplace designs. It features a backdrop of tongue and groove paneling with a smooth stone firebox surround and a simple painted mantel shelf that rests on wooden brackets, or corbels. Re-
cessed into the wall above the mantel shelf is a large flat screen TV.
Another example of the work of Harrison Design Associates, the three sea-
son porch pictured below features a floor-to- ceiling fireplace surround clad with tongue and groove boards to match the wall and ceiling cladding in the room. Framing the firebox opening are sections of smoothly finished stone which, in turn, are framed by a simple wood moulding that is stained and finished to match the window trim and crown moulding used through-
out the room.
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