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How to Design a Modern Fireplace Mantle

A fireplace has long been a centerpiece in many homes, radiating warmth and inviting conversation. While its primary function is to provide heat, the mantle that frames it offers a unique opportunity for homeowners to express their personal style and elevate their interior decor.


If you’re looking to breathe new life into your living space by incorporating a modern fireplace mantle, this guide is for you! Today, we are going to cover everything you need to know about giving your fireplace a contemporary visual upgrade. Whether you’re having a new one installed or you want to refresh the fireplace that has kept your home warm for years, we have it covered.


Let’s start by explaining what the modern aesthetic actually is.

What Actually is “Modern” Fireplace Mantle Design?

Modern design is all about the delicate balance between aesthetics and functionality. Where traditional fireplace mantles can be ornate and heavily decorated, their modern counterparts lean towards simplicity, sleekness, and a touch of elegance.


  • The defining factors here are:
    Clean lines: Free of decorative embellishments with a preference for simplicity as well as level surfaces and edges.
  • Hard angles: This is not a set-in-stone rule, as some modern fireplaces can also have tastefully rounded edges, but most modern designs include hard-angled edges.
  • Neutral colors: Colors like black, brown, gray, and beige take center stage.
  • Absence of fussiness: Modern designs do away with decorative business. The simplicity of the build and the masterful craftsmanship are what create the aesthetic.
  • Deep appreciation for raw materials: The textures of the materials, such as stone, marble, and woodgrain, become the key aesthetic focus, with colors being a secondary concern.

The modern aesthetic is popular and often requested by homeowners, but it is not always the right fit for everyone’s tastes. If you prefer something more ornate, rustic, or traditional, you can also talk to your mantle installer about other aesthetic styles they can design for you.

Materials That Elevate the Modern Aesthetic

If you’ve decided on the modern look for your fireplace mantle, then the next step is to choose the materials. As stated above, the natural aesthetic properties of the materials are what become the focal point in modern design. Some to consider include:


A long-standing favorite, wood manages to make its mark even in the most contemporary designs. When opting for wood, think along the lines of smooth, polished finishes like walnut, ash, or even matte-painted timber. These give the mantle a refined appearance, where the grain of the wood adds subtle character without overwhelming the design.


When you’re seeking both durability and a touch of grandeur, stone emerges as a prime candidate. Smooth slate, polished granite, or even a muted marble can bestow your fireplace with a majestic yet modern presence. The inherent textures and patterns of stone breathe life into the mantle and give it a unique flair that cannot be duplicated.


For those inclined towards a more industrial or avant-garde look, metals like stainless steel or brushed aluminum can be game-changers. Their reflective properties can catch and play with light, creating dynamic visual interest. Their sleek, monochromatic surfaces can also create a stylish contrast with more detail-intensive materials like wood and marble.


Incorporating glass elements, be it in the form of shelves, panels, or decorative insets, adds a layer of sophistication. It’s a great way to introduce a sense of spaciousness and lightness to the mantle. You can also have a door installed over the fireplace opening made from fireproof glass to keep the space closed when not in use.

Crafting the Ideal Modern Mantle

Symmetry in modern design isn’t just an aesthetic choice; it’s almost a philosophy. A balanced mantle can be the very anchor of a room, establishing a serene focal point. This doesn’t mean everything should be perfectly mirrored. Instead, play with objects, art, and accessories, positioning them in a way that feels harmoniously balanced.


Functionality goes hand in hand with design. Before finalizing your mantle’s look, ponder its utility. Are you inclined to display art, curate a set of keepsakes, or prefer an uncluttered, minimalist space? Your design should cater to these choices, perhaps incorporating subtle shelves or niches if needed.


Lastly, lighting, while often overlooked, can dramatically alter a mantle’s aura. Soft, recessed lighting or strategically placed LED strips can emphasize the mantle’s structure, shadow play, and highlight its materials.

Choosing the Right Fireplace Installer

With a clear vision in place, the next task is finding the perfect company to bring your modern fireplace mantle to life. With a few steps, you can find the right one that can create a new mantle that’s faithful to your vision.


Start by researching mantle designers and installers in your area. Using Google or another search engine, compile a list of companies in your area that can provide a solution for you.


Conduct thorough research on each company you’re considering. Many companies now have extensive online portfolios which can be a window into their style and capabilities. Be sure to also check their reviews and testimonials to see how their past customers have rated their work.


From there, engage in a consultation. This not only allows you to discuss your design in-depth but also get a genuine feel for the company’s ethos and expertise. It’s during these interactions that you can also probe about customization options, ensuring that your mantle isn’t just modern but also distinctly yours.


Lastly, during installation, a commendable company will ensure a smooth process, causing minimal disruption to your daily life. They’ll also provide guidance on the mantle’s care and maintenance, ensuring its longevity and continued elegance.

Modernize Your Fireplace Mantle in East Idaho

At Jorgensen Cabinets, our team of experienced fireplace mantle designers and installers will work closely with you to help you realize your vision for a modern fireplace aesthetic. From initial consultations to designs, installation, and post-installation maintenance, we proudly serve all of East Idaho from our showroom in Rigby.


To learn more, contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Jorgensen Cabinets: Crafting timeless elegance and functional artistry in custom cabinetry.