Design/Build: These mantels illustrate not only the range of independent design options, but also the plug-and-play aspect of fireplace-surround composition.
The fireplace is typically the focal point of the room. For this reason, we tend to give special attention to fireplace surrounds. These trim details historically have embodied and supported the architectural style of the house, from a few simple trim pieces added to Georgian paneling to the ornate, sculpted marble surrounds of Victorian and Italianate homes.
Today’s homes are less tied to traditional styles, but designers still look to historic precedent for design guidance. The details go wrong when profiles and moldings are assembled without reference to these practical foundations. While there are many variations and styles to work with, the surrounds illustrated here primarily reflect Georgian and Federal details.
Entablature = Architrave, Frieze, and Cornice
Traditional fireplace surrounds are derived from the orders of classical architecture with pilasters supporting an entablature, which includes the architrave, frieze, and cornice. Though the entablature is often stylized, these three parts are…