Since we bought our house three years ago I have wanted to redo the surround on our fireplace badly. I tempered the heinousness of our current brick and terracotta tile situation with several coats of black masonry paint, but the time has come to really do it right. And by right, I of course mean marble. Because marble is always just so right. I don’t mind our actual mantle and I’m also not made of money, so I’m not going to do what I’d REALLY like to do which is to replace the whole thing with an antique salvaged mantle. Instead I’m looking at remnants of Statuario, Calacatta and Danby marbles (my faves) to cover the brick and replace the hearth. We also plan to convert to gas because our flue is old and small and our wood fires leave the house smokey and smelly. Oh, and we need to get rid of the shiny brass doors too.
Above photo by Michael Partenio
So here are some inspirations of both antique mantles and new marble surrounds to inspire you and I!
Designer Maria Beck designed this gorgeous Calacatta Gold mantle (I think this is the style/ material surround I want myself!)
Haven’s Kitchen in NYC has a gorgeous example of a vintage mantle combined with modern design.
The details on vintage mantles are just BEYOND.
But clean, new marble installations can be just as gorgeous. This Design Co. room is pretty much perfect
Modern meets traditional:
An antique that is so unique with fabulous patina:
I love this combo of dramatic vintage mirror, mantle and clean modern design.
We’ve done mantles like this one using small brick Cararra subway tiles- clean, classic and pretty simple to install. I personally prefer to do a solid slab on the hearth to prevent grout lines from getting super dirty if on a working wood fireplace. Honed absolute black is a great choice is you have darker floors.
This whole situation from White + Gold is perfection.
Nina, of course, has a very cool black version.
Another more modern application great for a contemporary space.
This entrance is just plain ol’ BANANAS:
Jamb in the UK is a stunning source for both antique mantles and newly made stone surrounds:
This one is an antique:
These two are new:
Chesney’s is famous in the US for their mantles as well:
Locally there are some architectural salvage places that sell old marble mantles pulled from old townhouses and such (which begs the question, what dope would ever REMOVE an amazing mantle and not reuse it in a renovation????)
Restoration Resources is one such place.
Nor’east Architectural Salvage is another resource.