Fireplaces set the tone and style for the entire living space. This natural focal point automatically draws the eye of everyone that enters. So, it stands to reason that when designing your fireplace living space, you’ll want to use materials that are worthy of attention.
Rustic fireplaces have a special kind of charm that has nearly universal appeal. They can be found in all types of home decor settings and architectural styles, including cottages, bungalows, and farmhouses, as well as traditional, rustic, modern-rustic, and eclectic interior designs.
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But simply framing the firebox with a natural or rustic material isn’t enough. You also need to ensure the mantel matches the rest of the style. That’s where reclaimed barn wood can fit in beautifully. Rustic reclaimed wood mantels began their lives in another place, and still show many of the original marks and signs of age, wear, and patina. Adding one to your fireplace can instantly enhance and elevate your rustic fireplace mantel style.
Types of Reclaimed Wood Mantels
Reclaimed wood comes from numerous sources, such as old farmhouses and buildings more than 100 years old. It can be made of many species of wood, and may show marks from its formation and its use.
The piece of wood used to create rustic fireplace mantels can therefore take on different looks and characteristics. These are grouped into three categories to make it easier to find what you’re looking for.
Rough sawn wood mantels still show their original, circular saw marks from when the beams were first milled. These marks add interest and movement to the mantel, showing off the old wood’s history. They come in many sizes and wood species, so they’ll fit in well with a variety of spaces.
Hand hewn wood mantels have an even more rustic appearance. These solid wood beams still feature the axe marks from the original craftsmanship of the hand hewn beam. Shaped with a broad axe, the old barn beams are slightly more irregular in surface appearance, lending even more interest to the area. They also come from different areas and can be found in a few different sizes and wood species.
If what you’re looking for is character, but in a lightweight beam, consider faux wood mantels. These deceptive beams are made of reclaimed lumber that has been pieced together to create a hollow, faux box beam. They’re slightly more consistent in markings than other reclaimed beams, but still have plenty of character. They also offer greater customization in terms of size, length, and wood species.
7 Rustic Reclaimed Wood Mantel Design Ideas
Reclaimed wood fireplace mantels can be used in a variety of ways to create different, beautiful styles. Whether you want something fully rustic, or you just want to inject a little charm into a room, a rustic reclaimed wood mantel can often do the job.
Check out these 7 design ideas to see what’s possible and gain some inspiration and ideas to create a one-of-a-kind wood fireplace mantel in your living room.
1. Texture on Texture
This rough sawn beam adds a subtle contrast to the more rough-textured stone surround. A fully smooth wood beam would have been too stark against the stone, while something rougher would have gotten lost. This barn beam mantel holds its own with subtle saw marks and texture, perfectly complementing the surround.
2. Subtle Accent
This living room already has a lot of texture and interest going on. It features reclaimed wood cabinets and shelving, along with a fieldstone fireplace surround. Therefore, the beam fireplace mantel takes a more subtle approach. The draw here is in the dark color, which contrasts the lighter tones in the room. The subtle rough texture of the antique wood allows it to match the other materials, creating a cohesive design.
3. Heightened Texture
In order to make a statement in this room, the mantel really needs to stand out and hold its own. The rustic cabin walls and textured stone surround are already setting the stage for a natural, rustic look. So a hand hewn mantel not only blends in perfectly, it has enough character and interest on its own to not get lost in the crowd.
4. History and Warmth
When you have a lot of rustic elements already in place in a room, one way to get something to stand out is to let its previous life show. In this case, the saw marks and wear on the barn wood mantel show off the history of the wood. The patina and softened edges of the solid wood mantel bring authenticity to the design.
5. Subtle Color Match
Not every design needs to have a stand out mantel. Sometimes a mantel that picks up the warmer tones and accents from the surround is all that’s needed to complete a space. This rough sawn beam picks up the very warmest tone of the stone, helping create a cozy atmosphere in the room.
6. Stand Out Position
Mantels aren’t always integral to the surround; sometimes they’re added in after the fact. When this is done, it’s best to create a mantel that will not only complement the other materials, but that will also stand out on its own. This rough sawn mantel makes a bridge over the firebox, calling attention to its position. The texture and patina of the wood then hold the eye and enhance the effect.
7. Contrasting Movement
It’s very common for fireplace surrounds to be made of tile, brick, or block stone. This creates a lot of very clean, sharp lines that let the fireplace make a transitional statement in many homes. Adding a wood beam mantel to the design ups the wow factor of the space by contrasting those sharp lines with some unique movement all its own.
Create Your Perfect Fireplace
The fireplace is arguably one of the most important design areas in a room. Make sure that yours is giving off the look you want, and consider adding a rustic, reclaimed barn wood mantel to the space. With the many types of antique wood available at Elmwood Reclaimed Timber, you’re sure to find the perfect match to any setting.