With the fall season upon us, I have noticed neighbors using their fireplaces already. Now, I live in Southern California where it is 80 during the day, dropping to a crisp 68 at night. Really a fire? I know that’s what many are thinking. The thing is the addition of a fireplace in an ordinary corner with an antique mantel can add grand style and panache to an already well designed room. Some mantel pieces are ornate and detailed while others are soft with graceful lines and choices in the market are endless. You can find many French surrounds (as they are often referred to) from the 17th century in a lovely worn, storied marble. There are also many new elaborately carved wooden mantels that remind of a “old school” barrister’s office. Think England or Scotland. These fabulous architectural pieces can be found at all price points. There are even cast stone molded pieces with wonderful patinas. The detail of a majestic fireplace invites or commands you into a room and the addition of a new mantel instantly changes the architecture of your entire room. A new flame with a cool surround.

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