It might seem crazy to be thinking about fireplaces and mantels in June, but I am. One of my condo's previous owners installed a faux fireplace, and words can't describe how ugly it is. It's cheaply built and cheap looking, but for various reasons I chose not to remove it. And because I have a long living room, it's actually nice to have a fireplace, even if it is faux, to help break up the expansive wall.
A very creative friend of mine is going to help me tart the thing up, and when all is said and done, I don't think anyone will ever guess that it was once pretty hideous. Unless of course you are reading this post and then you will know the truth!
(I doubt I'll end up looking as soigné as Millicent Rogers, above, while perched in front of my fireplace. Oh well, it's a nice fantasy though.)
A Chinoiserie chimneypiece designed by Henry Holland that was originally created for the Chinese Drawing Room at Carlton House. It is now installed at Buckingham Palace. This, to me, is perfection.
Why didn't my condo come with a fireplace like this? (The dining room at Mulberry House, London, c. 1930, designed by Darcy Braddell and Humphrey Deane)
Edward James' bedroom at Monkton. The fireplace is not the only fabulous thing about this room.
Rose Cumming's snake fireplace is certainly one of the most innovative I have seen. (That said, I don't plan on adorning my mantel with snake prints.)
This black scagliola mantel, designed by Gil Schafer, is one of my favorite mantels ever. And it's so simple too.
(Image at top: John Rawlings for Vogue, 1944. Chinoiserie chimneypiece-The Regency Country House. Mulberry House fireplace: The Decorative Thirties. Monkton fireplace and Rose Cumming room: Baroque Baroque. Schafer fireplace, House & Garden, Rene Stoeltie photographer)