7 Design Ideas Using Dark Wood Fireplace Mantels

October 3, 2019


The modern farmhouse style has become more popular and materials like reclaimed wood are more commonly used in interior design for their rustic vibes and warm, natural aesthetic they bring to a space. While farmhouse fireplaces may typically feature lighter to mid-tone wood, a dark wood fireplace can bring another style into your home. 

Whether the design is a traditional, shenandoah or pearl mantel, your fireplace will always be the centerpiece of a room. Fireplaces have long been the focal point and the focus of the room they are in, and that still remains true today. So, when you’re creating a fireplace surround or design, it’s important to consider how it will be viewed in the room as a whole. This includes the mantel shelf, its color, and the style or material it’s made of. 

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Dark Wood Fireplace Mantels Design Ideas

Dark wood fireplace mantels are one way to help draw and hold the eye. Dark wood has a richness and depth that is very appealing, and paired with the fireplace, a dark wood mantel can really make your whole home decor design come alive. If you’ve been considering an update to your fireplace or mantel, consider these 7 design ideas to see how attractive a solid wood mantel shelf can be: 

1. Simplistic Mantel

dark wood mantel

This reclaimed wood mantel is the ideal complement to the rest of the fireplace surround. The original saw marks are still seen on the wood, which helps complement the rough texture of the ungauged stone on the surround. The simplicity of the fireplace mantel itself not only mimics the shape of the stone, it also allows the eye a quiet resting place from the busy nature of the stone below.

2. Thin Mantel

thin wood mantel

This rustic mantel shelf also has a texture that complements the surround. In this case, the worn bricks and the saw marks on the barn wood bring softness, history, and depth to the fireplace. The bricks extend above and below the mantelpiece in a specific design, so the mantel itself shouldn’t be oversized to block the display. Instead, this thinner slab of solid wood makes the ideal appearance for the space. 

3. Rustic Surround

dark wood mantel with brick

Rustic wood mantels don’t have to simply float in front of, or above the fireplace surround as a floating shelf; they can sometimes become a part of it. In this case, the fireplace has a worn brick surround that the reclaimed beam mantel is placed in front of. The rustic fireplace mantel extends downwards into a pair of legs in the same rustic wood material, framing the brick and adding some warmth and interest to the area that the brick alone couldn’t achieve. This brick fireplace now has a more rustic appearance that fits well into this living room, and would fit in well with many of today’s popular interior designs. 

4. Color Contrast

reclaimed wood mantel

The majority of this fireplace mantel surround is done in a light, ungauged quartzite. The surround is also framed on two sides by a bright white trim. All of this light color is contrasting the fire box and vents, and needs something to balance it all out and add some mid-tones to the design. The two-tier wood mantle shelving is the ideal choice. The reclaimed wood has enough texture to match the stone, while the dark walnut color helps bridge the gap between the stark contrast in colors below. 

5. Contrasting Supports

wood floating mantel

This brick fireplace has been whitewashed to only allow the texture to come through. Decorative support corbels have been added in the same color as the surround to add a touch of formality. The rustic fireplace mantel adds a lot of contrast to all of this. The color, material, texture, and style of the wood mantel shelf makes it stand out against the surround and adds some gravity and depth to the area. The dark wood is a welcome change from the rest of the white in the surround, matching other colors elsewhere in the room. 

6. Built-In Mantel

wood mantel with white

Rustic mantels often look their best when they appear to have been built right into the fireplace. This reclaimed wood mantel does just that, sitting on irregular pieces of stone from the rest of the stone fireplace surround. This helps unify the two materials, which both have a similar rustic texture. The color of the fireplace mantel shelf contrasts the stone, which helps it stand out and gives some more interest and dimension to the living room. While a light colored mantel here would wash out, the dark wood manages to hold its own, completing the home decor design. 

7. Style Contrast

dark fireplace mantel

Transitional design means creating something new by blending elements of two different styles or designs. This transitional fireplace surround does just that. It pairs a dry stack wood surround with a formal, carved wood surround, and a hand hewn, reclaimed wood mantel. The three elements play with one another to add a lot of charm to the area. This room is one that can be warm, inviting, and yet formal at the same time. 

Complete Your Ideal Dark Wood Fireplace Mantel Design

Fireplaces are the centerpiece of a room, and the mantel is an important part of that. Make sure that your fireplace mantel shelf is adding the right touch to your surround, and consider adding a dark wood mantel made of reclaimed material from Elmwood Reclaimed Timber. The contrast, interest, and depth of a dark wood, reclaimed beam mantel can bring your entire room to life. Contact us to ask about our best sellers and recommendations for a new mantelpiece above your fireplace.

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