A Few of My Favorite Things

The holidays can bring about many wonderful memories, time with family, friends and entertainment fun! And what offers more nostalgic warmth than a cozy fireplace? (Well, besides the chestnuts roasting, or marshmallows melting!) Taking a look into our library of past and present fireplaces, I wanted to share a few of my favorite mantels.

In all of the fireplaces we’ve ever created, this happens to be my very favorite. Yukon hickory Natural; Rushmore Raised Panel (RP) knotty alder Carriage Black Ebony Glaze with Heirloom Distressing; Mantel in cherry Carriage Black Ebony Glaze with Heirloom Distressing

What I love…

  • The tiered stacked stone chimney is a great way to add dimension and reduce the massive sense otherwise displayed in a typical single column chimney
  • The striking contrast of Carriage Black against the gray family of stone
  • The adjacent cabinetry reminds us how flexible cabinetry can be to configure into virtually any space!
  • Layered arrangement of Mission valance, split posts stacked side-by-side, and depth change of crown below top shelf. (This design uses ¾” thick panel with edge profile for the top shelf.)
    Yukon hickory Natural; Rushmore Raised Panel (RP) knotty alder Carriage Black Ebony Glaze with Heirloom Distressing; Mantel in cherry Carriage Black Ebony Glaze with Heirloom Distressing
    Mantel in cherry Carriage Black Ebony Glaze with Heirloom Distressing

In this Arts and Crafts design, deluxe panels are the foundation for this mantel surround. Simple, stately and always a wonderful focal point in any room! And I just love the artisan décor of dried flowers in an aged copper pot.

Potter's Mill (FP) Flat Panel maple Sandalwood and Sage Mocha Glaze and Highlight with Heirloom Distressing; Cherry Chestnut and Espresso accents
Mantel in Potter’s Mill Flat Panel cherry Chestnut
Piccadilly maple White Icing Classic; Valencia Raised Panel (RP) cherry Brandywine
Finished in cherry Brandywine

There’s simply nothing like the timeless appeal of cherry Brandywine for a fireplace. This design with the Acanthus onlay and fluted overlay columns is just exquisite! A mantel like this would be a wonderful way to create a focal point – even without a fireplace! This is a grand design trick if you’re looking for ways to warm up a vast space. I came across a couple of “DIY” versions of this idea, with one even talking about how their home didn’t have a fireplace and they used this concept to build one just in time for the holidays. Of course, we think our engineered moldings and finishes make it that much more special, but you get the idea!

Take a look at this DIY mantelpiece by Rogue Engineer:

Here’s another faux fireplace before and after from Matsutake:

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In a more rustic traditional setting, knotty alder in Walnut is a great complement to bring out the character and complement painted or warm wood tones. A wood mantel like this shows how the feature of the room will be far more grand and luxe than stone or tile alone.

Rushmore Raised Panel (RP) cherry Harvest Bronze Ebony Glaze and Highlight with Legacy Distressing; Mantel in knotty alder Walnut
Mantel in knotty alder Walnut

Seems traditional is the common denominator in our history of fireplace mantels, like this ornate and well-appointed cherry Ginger Snap arrangement we added to a dining room:

The upper layer of round columns, back panel, and stacked crown gives the design extra height and formal decor space. This arrangement is very adaptable in size and works well with electric fireplace inserts designed to be more of a decorative aspect, versus adding the function of heat.

Once again, on this fireplace, you will see we are using round columns, but this time on the lower section of the mantel surround.

I like the way they add a different geometry to the otherwise typical linear design and give the feeling of supporting the molding/shelf above. Shown in oak with the Walnut stain, Sherwood onlay, and stacked crown and base moldings.

And finally, something a bit more for the Transitional style trends, this Earl Grey mantel extends from adjacent cabinetry featuring those lovely Transom mullions and fits the end of this dining room perfectly.(Gold) Park Place with Flat Panel in Sea Salt Classic, and Earl Gray Classic; (Gold) Park Place with Raised Panel in Silver Appaloosa on cherry

I love the simple offset of depth, wide columns and continuity of the top shelf. The white dimensional tile in a brick pattern is the perfect choice for bringing in an element of originality to a contemporary design. It’s always the simple details that make the difference!

I hope you found some inspiration in this “stocking stuffer” of mantel ideas. From all of us at Medallion, we wish you and your family a peaceful and joyous holiday season! Cheers to all!


  1. Susan Parker - SheBuildsKitchens

    I’m loving this post about fireplaces!! I have clients asking for custom fireplaces, so I wonder if you could add to this post by sharing install details like you did in your latest post of Details That Make The Difference? That diagram that delineates the individual pieces to construct the bench would be incredibly helpful to see how you have done so to build a fireplace. Thank you!!

    1. Suzanne DeRusha - Medallion's Design & Trends Expert

      Great to hear Susan! Please send me and email (suzanne.derusha@elkay.com) and I’ll gladly put together what you need.

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