Leather Library

Exuding warmth in the library, an elegant mantel gets a contemporary update with the addition of handsome leather panels above.

Clean Lines

A Rookwood-tile fireplace original to the 1924 Spanish Colonial home, is topped with a clean-lined mantel.

Mix and Match

Mixing the stone fireplace surround with a traditional white mantel creates a contemporary look that is perfectly suited for this living room. 

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Spooky Scene

With birds flying overhead and ghosts shrieking underfoot, a simple white mantel is all that’s needed in this Halloween-themed room. 

Simply Warm

Bringing extra warmth to the sun porch is a two-sided gas fireplace with a barely-there mantel. 

Sleek and Glamorous

The library in the 2012 Napa Valley Showhouse is nothing but glamorous. A sleek mantel in a French limestone finish is icing on the cake. 

Balancing Act

In a very colorful family room designed by Donald Schermerhorn, a thin, white mantel shelf breaks up an offset-stone fireplace surround. 

Everything Goes

Bathed in white, this elegant living room with its grand coffee table and antique chairs is also comfortably livable—just take a look at the subtle mantel or have a seat on the full sofa. “You need a bit of everything – high, low, beautiful, homely, grand, and always a little something to make you laugh,” says homeowner and designer Collette Van Den Thillart. 

Good Wood

Beautiful and understated, this mantel not only looks good in the living room, but as a part of Healthy Home 2010 it’s also good for the environment. It was made locally from a felled walnut tree and finished with a natural lacquer derived from tree sap.

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Shabby Chic

A whitewashed mantel gets a chic upgrade with the addition of mirrors above. 

Artsy Allure

This cool blue space is punctuated with a casual white mantel and artsy accessories. 

Pretty and Pristine

In a pristine living room, symmetry prevails; pairs of chairs center around a simple fireplace vignette. 

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Eclectic Feel

A white mantel shelf perches atop a white marble fireplace surround in this eclectic bedroom.

Comfortably Cool

Comfort is king in this family room. Simple, livable design doesn’t have to be boring, as witnessed by the octagonal mohair ottoman. 

Nice Nook

Tucked into an arched inglenook, a limestone fireplace lies out of the way. 

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Simply Sophisticated

A custom fireplace surround and mantel work effortlessly with the “Contessa Chinois” tiles from Walker Zanger. In front of the fireplace, a vintage bench reupholstered in a silver metallic snakeskin adds a bit of bling. 

Orange Glow

The panel above the unobtrusive fireplace surround conceals a TV.

Easy Breezy

Simple, clean lines on the mantel add to the airy, sophisticated look of this living room designed by Patricia Healing and Dan Barsanti for the 2010 Hampton Designer Showhouse.

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Thin Slice

Popping ever so subtly out of a terra-cotta colored wall is a thin sliver of black mantel.

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Get the Look: Contemporary Mantels

Contemporary mantels are appealing for their simple, clean lines and unfussy style

Written and produced by Julianne Hilmes
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Virginia MacDonald

Comfortably Cool

Comfort is king in this family room. Simple, livable design doesn’t have to be boring, as witnessed by the octagonal mohair ottoman. 

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