I just have a quick post today showing our new old mantle. You see, we have four coal burning fireplaces in this house that are inoperable. At the time that this house was built, coal fires were the very latest in modern indoor heating...now, not so much. I know you are thinking that we must have been crazy buying a house with four fireplaces that didn't work, but the truth of the matter is that while I love the look of a fireplace, I don't really like dealing with the mess. Also, since we live in Hotlanta we tend to have short warmish winters, so I probably wouldn't wind up burning that many fires anyway. This old house was perfect in that respect. I get my lovely old fireplaces without having to deal with the mess of a fire.
Except...the fireplaces weren't that lovely. Some time in the 80's a contractor bought this house and (for reasons that boggle my mind) he pulled out all the beautiful old mantles and replaced them with chunky modern ones. So, the hubby and I have been slowly trying to replace them with old mantles that would have been appropriate. We replaced the one in the living room with a mantle we found in an antique store. It had been used as a backdrop for a professional photographer. Many a bride in her wedding dress stood in front of this ole mantle. We installed it and painted it green to match the rest of the living room.
A little while later, we heard the news that neighbors were renovating their bungalow and didn't want two of their mantles. We happily scooped them up and have them waiting patiently stacked in the corner of our office for our own renovation.
This week on craigslist I noticed an antique mantle on sale that looked like a really good match for the old photographer's mantle. A nice lady named Randi was renovating her farmhouse and no longer needed it, so we were happy to give it a good home.
It's a real beauty and I know it will add a lot of character to whatever room it ends up in. So there you have it folks, our new old fireplace mantle.