Tips for Choosing a Stone Fireplace Mantel

Choosing a fireplace mantel is fraught with difficulties, thanks for the fact that everyone has different tastes and interior designs. But shopping for the perfect mantel needn’t be difficult, especially with the right advice.

The purpose of this article is to provide tips to help you choose a stone fireplace mantel that is ideal for your setting. Take a look at the following.

Tip #1: Take Measurements

Stone mantels are difficult (if not impossible) to customize after you’ve bought them. And so it’s a good idea to make sure that you’ve got the dimensions sorted out in advance.

The types of measurements that you take will depend on your unique situations. If you have a hearth around your fireplace, you’ll need to measure this to find out the maximum size of stone mantel that your fireplace will accommodate. You don’t want a stone mantel that extends beyond the boundaries of the hearth (unless you’re planning on replacing the hearth too). You also don’t want a mantel that is too small for the natural proportions of your hearth.

Second, you’ll need to measure the dimensions of the firebox. If the firebox is a standard size, then you may be able to purchase a standard size stone fireplace mantel, but if it’s not, then your choice may be more limited.

Finally, you may need to consider whether you have the space for a full-size mantel if your fireplace is near to a perpendicular wall.

Tip #2: Match Your Decor

Stone fireplace mantels come in a variety of colors and styles. The style of mantel you choose should depend on the characteristics of the surrounding room (again, unless you are planning a total renovation). If your interiors are classically-inspired, then you may want to opt for a classically-designed stone mantel with traditional column features. If, however, your home is more contemporary, then you may want to choose a more modern, minimalist surround without some of the embellishments of a classic design.

Tip #3: Consider The Shape Of Your Room

Although the vast majority of rooms have an open space either side of the hearth, some more unusual rooms do not. Hearths can be close to adjoining walls are built directly into the corner itself. When choosing a stone mantel, therefore, it is important to consider the shape of the room and the location of the fireplace, as this will determine the kind of stone mantel you choose. Yes, there are plenty of stone mantels on the market designed to fit fireplaces that are flush to the wall, but there are also corner varieties that protrude out from the wall. These particular kinds of fireplaces allow you to retain the aesthetics of a stone mantelpiece.

Tip #4: Think About The Space Above The Mantelpiece

When choosing a stone fireplace mantel, you may also want to consider the space above the mantelpiece. An over-mantelpiece is usually a piece of matching material which sits above the main hearth for decorative purposes. It creates a grand effect and can be used as the centerpiece of a room. Over-mantelpieces come in all kinds of varieties and designs to suit practically any interior.

2 Types of Natural Stone Fireplaces for Your Home

Nothing is more eye-catching, statement-making, and beautiful than an elegant fireplace.  When you think of natural stone fireplaces you may think of ornate carved stone.  And, while ornate carved stone is timeless and stunning, there are many different styles of natural stone fireplaces today that come in a variety of natural stone types, colors, and finishes to accommodate any architectural style or design aesthetic.  Natural stone fireplaces can be installed in new home builds or retrofit to perfectly blend with your home’s existing architecture.   Stone fireplaces are some of the best investments you can make in your home because they are incredibly durable, increase in beauty over time, and add value to your home which means they have a better return on investment than other types of fireplaces. Below are two types of natural stone fireplaces to consider for your home.

2 Types of Natural Stone Fireplaces for Your Home

  1. Natural Stone Fireplaces
    • Natural stone fireplaces come in different stone types including limestone, cantera, marble and travertine. The natural stone is queried from the earth which means no two natural stone fireplaces will look exactly the same. Your fireplace will always look completely custom – no unnatural manufactured look here!  With this type of stone fireplace you will have the fireplace itself as well as a stone mantel to beautifully accompany the overall look.
  2. Natural Stone Fireplaces with Overmantel
    • Natural stone fireplaces with an overmantel are similar to the first type of fireplace we discussed but they have a few differences in finished appearance and features. Traditional fireplaces have the fireplace and mantel with the wall above.  When you get a fireplace with overmantel there is added height and visual interest.  The overmantel can be made of other materials but natural stone will give a seamless and elegant look to your finished fireplace.

Pros and Cons of Sealing Your Natural Stone Fireplace

So you have made the choice to invest in a beautiful natural stone fireplace – great choice!  A stone fireplace is an investment that serves as an elegant centerpiece to any room in the home.  Not only does it add visual appeal but it also adds real value to your home.  There are many types of natural stone fireplace to perfectly accentuate any type of architectural design.  There are traditional stone fireplaces, transitional stone fireplaces, and even modern stone fireplaces in a variety of stone types, sizes, styles and colors.

Some homeowners may be intimidated by natural stone because they think it requires more maintenance and care.  And, while it is important to take care of your fireplace, there are different ways to care for it depending on the stone type and your preferred look.  Stone can be sealed and preserved to look as new as the day it was installed.  Or, if you prefer, you can leave natural stone unsealed and allow it to develop its own natural color and patina over time.  Both are beautiful and the desired appearance is really up to the homeowner.  Below are the pros and cons of sealing your natural stone fireplace.

  • PRO: Preserves the Stone’s Original Appearance
    • A natural stone fireplace will naturally weather and change over time because of heat, smoke and use. This can be incredibly beautiful but some homeowners prefer their natural stone to look unblemished and desire to maintain its original appearance over time.  When you apply seal, it can help prevent staining and color changes so the appearance stays the same as when it was installed.
  • CON: Seal Must Be Regularly Re-Applied
    • Though seal will preserve the appearance of your natural stone fireplace, it will have to be re-applied on a regular basis to continue to be effective. The length of protection varies depending on the specific seal and how it is applied but seal may have to be applied every 1 – 3 years to provide continued protection.
  • PRO: Seal May Provide Appearance of Luster
    • When you apply seal to your natural stone fireplace, it may add a subtle but elegant luster. This luster will help your fireplace stand out and beautifully adorn your room.  If a subtle luster will enhance your architectural style and décor aesthetic, this is an advantage of sealing your fireplace.
  • CON: Seal May Provide Appearance of Luster
    • Yes, this CON is the same as the previous PRO. That is because while some homeowners may love the look of luster, others may not.  The tradeoff of adding luster may not be worth the advantages of sealing it if you do not enjoy the look of luster that the seal may develop on your natural stone.  If you want a more rustic or matte finish, there are some seals that can provide the look but any seal that is applied will somewhat change the natural appearance of the stone.

4 Ways to Incorporate Carved Stone Into Your Home

Natural stone is beautiful and elegant, providing timeless appeal wherever it is used.  It is no wonder that it has been used for centuries all over the world and those applications continue to look stunning even today.  At Architectural Stone Elements, we pride ourselves on providing clients with the best natural stone available for a variety of applications both indoors and outdoors.  We work with homeowners, builders, architects and engineers to help bring their architectural stone needs to life.  Whether you want to incorporate Cantera, Limestone, Marble or Travertine, we can help you find the style and color that you want.  Natural stone can be used in many different architectural styles, from Old World, to Classic Mediterranean, to Tuscan, to Traditional to Contemporary!  If you love the look of natural carved stone and are looking for some inspiration for how you can implement it inside or outside your home, below are 8 different ways we can help you bring natural stone into your habitat.

  1. Columns
    • Columns offer a certain kind of grandeur that is hard to achieve with anything else. Columns can be purely decorative or they can provide actual structural support.  Natural stone columns are durable and strong enough to provide structural support but are also beautiful to behold.  We carry a selection of styles including Doric, Tuscan, Ionic, Corinthian, Composite, Solomonic and more!
  2. Corbels
    • Corbels, similar to columns, can be either decorative or provide structural support. There are a wide array of styles available that range from elaborate and formal to simple and contemporary.  Additionally, if you prefer to custom design corbels, simply bring your sketch or picture in and we will reproduce the stone of your selection.
  3. Firepits
    • There is nothing quite like gathering around a fire pit and enjoying the tranquility of the crackling flames. Firepits can be incorporated in your landscape to elevate your experience in your backyard and add value to your home with a carved stone fire pit that perfectly complements the architectural style of your home.
  4. Fireplaces
    • A stone fireplace is the perfect centerpiece to any room and will immediately draw the eye. At Architectural Stone Elements, we carry a vast and exquisite selection of stone fireplaces to beautifully accentuate any architectural style and add value to your home.  Whether you prefer more classic or ornate styles, or you are interested in a more modern or contemporary style, we have the perfect stone fireplace for you.

 

3 Reasons to Install a Firepit at Your Home

Step into any upscale home or home that has had professional landscaping and you will likely see either an outdoor fireplace or firepit.  Why?  Because professionals know that every homeowner can use a firepit in their backyard.  Whether you love to entertain or you simply want to unwind quietly by yourself, a firepit is the ideal locale.  There is something tranquil and calm about the glow and warmth that a firepit provides.  You will sit down next to it and never want to leave.  Firepits are useful year round – whether it is a cold night and you need some warmth or a warm summer night and you have just hopped out of the pool, unwind next to your elegant carved stone firepit.  A custom-built, carved stone firepit is a useful addition to any home and below we explain the top 3 reasons why this is so.

  1. Add Value to Your Home
    • A store-bought, run-of-the-mill firepit doesn’t look particularly beautiful and certainly does not add any value to your home because. When you invest in a custom-designed firepit for your home, you know that it will coordinate perfectly with the style of your home and naturally enhance its beauty and value.  Should you ever decide to sell your home, it is a feature potential buyers are certain to love. Worth explains why fire pits add value to your home, “Maximize the potential of your outdoor entertaining areas. Erika Granath of Balistreri Realty in Boca Raton, Fla., suggests upgrading to a full outdoor “summer” kitchen. This might include a bar, a pizza oven and a fireplace or fire pit. “Buyers are wowed by great outdoor spaces,” she says.”
  2. Add Beauty to Your Home
    • When you have invested in your home’s beauty, as well as beautiful landscaping, your firepit should not be a flimsy piece of metal you put a few pieces of wood in. First of all – they are not stable and the last thing you need is a fire hazard or someone injuring themselves.  Second, they do not look high-end and will detract from the beauty of your home and landscaping.
  3. Create an Area for Entertaining and Relaxing
    • Have you looked longingly out the window on a cold night and wished you could entertain your guests in your beautiful backyard only to realize that everyone will be chilly? With a firepit you will have a great area for entertaining and relaxing for both you and your guests.  Add natural stone benches around your firepit for seating and you and your guests will want to linger around the fire all night.

How to Instantly Upgrade Your Home With a New Stone Fireplace

When you walk into a home and examine the features, a fireplace is often one of the things that stick out the most.  It can make or break a first impression and really sets the tone for the feel of the room and even the entire home.  No matter how much you decorate your home with your own personal design aesthetic, if your fireplace looks outdated or odd there is not much you can do to disguise it.  But, there is one look that is timeless, elegant, stylish and versatile, and that is a stone fireplace.

The stone fireplace has been a staple of design for centuries, and for good reason.  It makes a grand statement, is effortlessly elegant, and exceptionally durable without being overly trendy.  It is perfectly fine to decorate with trends but when choosing architectural elements for your home it is best to stick with timeless classics to ensure they stand the test of time.  Investing in a stone fireplace will give you both intangible and tangible ROI – it really does add actual value to your home.  If you are looking to upgrade your home, one surefire way to do so in an instant is with a stone fireplace.  Stone fireplaces are incredibly durable, capable of lasting decade after decade.  A natural stone, such as limestone, can stand up to decades of use and its look will only continue to grow more naturally beautiful over time as it weathers.

In addition to instantly upgrading your home’s value with durability and long-lasting materials, a stone fireplace instantly upgrades your home’s style.  Whether your hone boasts a traditional look, modern vibe, or transitional feel, there is a natural stone fireplace for you.  Natural stone comes in a variety of colors and styles, and can be carved in a variety of ways to ensure that your new fireplace blends seamlessly with your home’s architecture and décor.  A stone fireplace is craftsmanship at its finest and silently communicates luxury to anyone who sees it.  Further, it is your chance to put your individual spin on your home’s architecture.  A house is not truly a home until it exudes your own personal style and by adding a stone fireplace, you are defining your home’s aesthetic as uniquely “you.”  Additionally, when properly sealed and protected, a natural stone fireplace is very low maintenance.  It will change and weather over time but, as mentioned, that is part of its natural beauty.  Beyond that, stone is very durable and requires little-to-no-maintenance.  If you want to upgrade the value and style of your home, one way to do so in an instant is with a stone fireplace.

Transform Your Fireplace With Natural Stone

As the centerpiece of a room, it is important that your fireplace be beautiful and elegant, as well as seamlessly coordinated with your home’s architectural and decor.  A boring or outdated fireplace is an eyesore, something that significantly detracts from the overall look and feel of a room.  When designing a home or remodeling, every detail should be paid attention to and a fireplace is no exception.  No matter the size or style of your home, a well-designed natural stone fireplace will add value and elevate the aesthetic of the home.

One of the first, and most obvious, advantages of installing a carved natural stone fireplace mantel or over-mantel is that it’s value and quality of craftsmanship is apparent.  Simply by adding a natural stone fireplace, you add a focal point to the room that makes the room look more high-end and finished.  Whether your home is custom or not, adding a skillfully crafted custom stone fireplace will give your home the uniqueness of a custom home.  It is an ideal way to add your individual style in a way that is stylish and timeless.

Next, inexpensive and mass produced home decor, hardware, fixtures, finishes and more tend to be made of cheap materials that will only last a short time before they begin to break or lose their luster.  A carved natural stone fireplace mantel or over-mantel is made of durable materials that are designed to last and last.  Natural stone has been used for centuries and, when well cared for, can last decades and even centuries while maintaining its beauty and style.  Not only will natural stone maintain its beauty and value, but those features can actually increase over time.  Natural stone weathers and ages beautifully, continuing to provide a completely unique and interesting look that is unlike anything that can be achieved from a mass-manufactured warehouse facility.  While brick fireplaces can last a long time as well, you are severely limited with the design style and look that it brings to a room.  Carved stone can be completely customized and designed to uniquely enhance your specific home, setting it apart from other homes that have natural stone as well.  Carved stone fireplace mantels and over-mantels are typically made of limestone and marble and can stand as a beautiful centerpiece for a room or additional natural carved stone accents can be added throughout the home for a lovely overall appearance that will not only wow guests but create the luxurious home of which you have always dreamed.

3 Creative Uses For Stone In Your Home

Natural stone is commonly used in homes for flooring, on countertops or in showers but there are so many more potential uses for natural stone.  Natural stone adds value, style and class to any home and can seamlessly integrate with any style.  Stone has been used for centuries in architecture because of its beauty and durability but it does not have to be used in only conventional ways.  Many homes that exemplify beauty layer different materials throughout, so do not be afraid to use multiple different materials in one space. In fact, we highly encourage you to get creative with stone and use it in ways you may not have thought to so below we discuss 3 fun and interesting ways to use architectural stone design in your home.

1. Firepit

  • Firepits are a great addition to any home’s landscape.  They enhance the livability of an outdoor space and create an environment in which people naturally want to gather around and relax.  While there are many firepits available for purchase at big box stores they are typically made of flimsy materials that will not stand up to the test of time and regular use.  Additionally, they may serve the essential purpose of containing fire in a location, they will not elevate your home’s architecture or style in the way that a stone firepit will.  By choosing to install a custom natural stone firepit you can carefully select the materials you want to use including type of stone and color so that it coordinates seamlessly with your existing hardscape and softscape, as well as the architecture of your home.  Not only will you enjoy gathering around the firepit on a beautiful night but you will wow your guests with the beauty and elegance that only a custom stone fireplace can elicit.

2. Window Surrounds

  • Windows provide a beautiful view of landscape and scenery.  While they may not get much attention when it comes to design or decor, they should.  When framed perfectly with natural stone the architectural beauty is enhanced and elevated.  Additionally, the natural stone functions almost like a picture frame, drawing your eye to the beauty of the window and to the beauty of the view the window provides.  In addition to using stone as a window surround on the inside of the home, it can also be used on the exterior of the home.  Similarly to how it enhances a window inside, stone window surrounds that have been installed on the exterior of a window elevate the architectural style of a home and provide additional visual interest that immensely improves a home’s curb appeal.

3. Mirror Surrounds

  • While many homes may have a large mirror hung on the wall with no frame it is far from interesting or stylish.  Sure, they sort of just fade away and make no visual impact but is that really what you want for your beautiful home that has been carefully designed and decorated?  While there is certainly the option to install a wood-framed mirror or a metal-framed mirror that tends to look a bit more common or cookie-cutter.  By framing your mirrors in natural stone you make a true architectural and design statement that will enhance the look of the room and give any mirror that “something special” that makes a home look more custom and high end.

Benefits of Installing a Stone Fireplace In Your Home

stone-fireplace

A fireplace is something that immediately draws the eye in any home. Whether large or small, a fireplace is sure to be a centerpiece in a room and something that should be beautifully designed because, inevitably, everyone will notice it. No matter what your home decor taste is, nothing exudes class, style and timeless elegance like stone does. A stone surround on a fireplace can come in a wide variety of materials such as Cantera, limestone, soapstone and much more to suit anyone’s personal style and design aesthetic.

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