Tuesday, November 8, 2011

should a mid-century modern fireplace have a mantle?

Our mid-century modern (not) fireplace mantle has been a pet peeve with the architect almost from day one.

mid-century modern mantle


I remember the first item of work that came back from him included a bonus -- a picture of our fireplace with the mantle Photoshopped out.

mid-century modern no mantle
Photoshopped mantle before new fireplace
I thought to myself, "Did we just pay for this?" He said, "The house is speaking to me. And the house is saying, 'Get rid of the mantle.' " Funny, I thought the house was saying, "Give me a 21st century bathroom design, and let's get some heat in here." Sure enough, I wrote about our new fireplace insert, and back came another Photoshopped mantle.

mid-century modern no mantle
Photoshopped mantle after new fireplace
This drives me nuts because style is so personal. And the architect's style is not mine. The real problem with home remodeling and decorating in general, is that style evolves as you try things and learn things. And, you can make really expensive mistakes in the learning process like when I painted the master bedroom red. Obviously that was a mistake, but I didn't think so at the time.

I like these essays on "Achieving Your Personal Style" style by photographer Michael Reichman. "You cannot force personal style into being because in many ways style finds us more than we find it. What you can do is work as hard as you can at expressing your vision. You may not even know for sure when you have arrived, when you have developed a personal style. This is in part because this process is a journey and not a destination. It is also because, as artists, we do not always recognize when we have developed a style; in many instances someone else has to point this out to us."

Just as a side note, Google mid-century modern fireplaces images. Not a mantle to be found. Where do they display all their Christmas crap?

mid-century modern mantle at Christmas


mid-century modern fireplace mantle
Finally solved the mantle problem adequately, Read here.

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