Modern Mantels: New Shapes and Styles

Modern Mantels: New Shapes and Styles

In our grandparents’ homes, the traditional mantel was a simple wooden shelf filled with photographs and sentimental knick knacks from a long happy life with family and friends. These days, many modern mantels are still made of wood, but there are dozens of new shapes and styles made popular by contemporary designers and home interior specialists. These styles work for any type of fireplace: whether wood burning, gas, electric, or simply a faux fireplace for decorative purposes only.

Here is a look at just a few of the new shapes and styles that modern mantels may feature:

Tiered Look

Instead of a simple mantel shelf, a tiered mantel will look like several layers of shelves stacked one on top of the other. This is sometimes called a cascading tiered mantel, as the bottom tier will usually be significantly shorter than the tier above it, until you reach the top tier that is the actual mantel shelf. There are many materials that these mantels are made from, with many woods and metals being the most common choice for homeowners today. Maple, cherry, mahogany, pine, and unfinished woods can be used to create this modern style, and the cost can average between four hundred dollars and several thousand dollars, depending on the style, brand name and whether the mantle is custom built.

Wood and Marble Combinations

Thousands of home interior design specialists choose some combination of wood, marble, or both as a modern mantel shelf, and combinations are becoming a very trendy choice for a contemporary look. Pairing light colored wood with dark colored marble, or vice versa, creates a striking and beautiful contrast, and this contrasting style is one of the trendiest available today. Most designers choose a contrast for the room, such as light against dark or dark against light, and then introduce pops of color via accessories to dress up the rest of the room.

Marble and Stone Looks

Although stone may sound like an out of date mantel style, it can be a very beautiful addition to any home if paired with modern styles and shapes. For instance, if you have a stone mantel shelf, you can add a contemporary wall artwork above it; or pair the stone mantel with a marble tile backdrop to create a fabulous and modern design of your own. You can also use unique shapes, such as a mantle shelf that is longer on one side, ultra thin or in a geometric shape.

Floor-to-Ceiling Designs

One of the most popular modern shapes or styles is to build a mantel that extends from the floor to the ceiling around the fireplace. This type of mantel is a beautifully undeniable focal point and it can make the room feel larger and more spacious overall. This is a great option if the ceiling is slightly low or angled because it will give the room an open feel. You can use a wide variety of materials for this shape, including wood, marble, stone, granite, and much more.