The fireplace mantel shelf should be appealing, while also blending into the existing design of the home. There is a wide selection of mantel shelves and designs to choose from when installing a fireplace mantel. You have the choice of building the entire mantel shelf or buying a kit to install and finish, as you want. However, there are mistakes that you need to avoid in order to achieve your objective.
1. Choosing the Wrong Materials
Wood is the most common material for making a fireplace mantel shelf. There is a wide variety of mantel shelves made of wood and the best are made of hardwoods, such as oak, maple and cherry. These are more expensive than those made from soft wood material. It is important that you do not compromise on the quality of material for your fireplace mantel shelf. The use of quality raw material means that your mantel shelf will last longer. Glass is also used to make elegant mantel shelves. Getting low quality glass is very risky, as it is likely to shatter at the first knock.
2. Inadequate Measurements
A fireplace mantel shelf should cover across the hearth. It is important to take the actual measurements across the fireplace to make a shelf of the right length. A shelf that is too short is not appealing and attracts attention for the wrong reason. It is better to have a shelf that extends beyond the fireplace, as it will be eye-catching. Taking the right dimensions will also ensure that the shelf is in line with the fireplace. This will prevent installation of a crooked shelf that does not give the desired appeal. Pay attention to the required 20 inches or more, from the top of the fireplace opening to the shelf. This is especially important with wood mantel shelves, because they are combustible.
3. Ignoring Existing Décor
A fireplace mantle shelf is a focal point in the home, drawing all attention to it and to the decorations placed on it. Even so, the mantel shelf is supposed to blend into the existing décor of the home. Ignoring your existing interior design will result in a contrasting and overly conspicuous mantel shelf. You can choose the material for your shelf guided by the type of furniture in your house. A wood shelf blends very well with wooden furniture. The availability of unfinished mantel shelf kits allows you to finish your shelf according to the design of your home and preference.
4. Over-Decorating the Mantel Shelf
The fireplace mantel shelf is an ideal location for decorations, such as framed pictures or even small carvings. They should, however, be done moderately to avoid overcrowding the shelf and making it less interesting. Even designs made on the shelf should be subtle to highlight it and not obstruct the shelf.