Because the fireplace always loves to be the center of attention, the way its mantel is decorated can have a dramatic impact on a room. The perfect perch for displaying everything from art to flowers to a personal collection of objects, the mantel can say a lot about a room's intended style — minimalist or maximalist, contemporary or classic — in addition to highlighting the interests and experiences of the homeowners.
In a London home, the living room's custom sofa is upholstered in a Bruno Triplet silk, a midcentury chair from Blackman Cruz is covered in an Etro fabric, the cast-terrazzo stools are by Maddux Creative, the mirror is by Marianna Kennedy, and the paintings flanking it are by Peter Lanyon.
In a 19th-century home, the dining room's pine trestle table is from Belgium, the settee and bench are from Finch, and the deconstructed English Regency wing chair is from Lee Stanton Antiques; the walls are painted in Benjamin Moore's White Dove and the mantel in Onyx.
In a London townhouse the custom chairs in the living room are covered in a Dedar wool, the cocktail table and wool-and-silk rug are custom designs, and the circa-1950 consoles are Italian; the side table is by Piero Fornasetti, and the wall sculptures above the mantel are by C. Jeré.
In this English country estate, the kitchen island is by , the mahogany table is Victorian, the curtains are of a stripe, and the walls are painted in Tablecloth by ; the 2015 artwork above the mantel is by .
In the living room of and Dan Holland’s Arts and Crafts bungalow in Oakland, California, the custom sofa is covered in a linen by , a pair of vintage chairs is upholstered in a tartan, the bust on the custom cocktail table is by and the rug is from Iran. The fireplace, repainted a high-gloss black, the bookcases and the oak flooring are all original to the house and the walls are painted in .
In the living room of designer and Kris Haberman’s home in Snedens Landing, New York, the custom sofa is upholstered in a fabric, the 19th-century Belgian cabinet was found at an auction in London, the bronze pendant light is by and the Georgian fireplace is attributed to . The walls are coated in waxed plaster, the flooring is Indian sandstone, the silk rug is by and the painting over the mantel is by .
In a Long Island farmhouse, the kitchen’s marble sink has fittings by , the cabinetry is painted in , and a collection of 1930s Bea Evan paintings found in Europe are in new frames by .
In John Robshaw's Connecticut home, the living room sofa and its fabric are by John Robshaw for Duralee; the armchair, custom banquettes, and bone-inlay side table are all Robshaw designs, the cocktail table is from India, the table lamps are by , and the dhurrie is a custom design; an Elliott Puckette artwork sits on the mantel, which is painted in Yukon Sky by Benjamin Moore, and the large painting of a perfume bottle is by Doug Wada.
In the the bedroom of one of two apartments that artist and designer Christian Astuguevieille maintains in Bayonne, France, the cedar bed, knotted-rope furniture, and sculptures are by Astuguevieille.
In an Ibiza retreat, local-limestone floors covered in custom Spanish esparto rugs from Antonia Molina, walls in a sandy lime plaster, and a wood-beam ceiling set a rustic tone in the living room. Custom sofas are by Atelier Tapissier Seigneur and curtains are made of a quilted Braquenié fabric; the Oeil cocktail table by Pierre Chapo is vintage, the lacquered-coral sculpture is by Maurizio Epifani, and the painting over the mantel is by Alex Katz.
The original marble mantel in the living room was specified by , which decorated this Buenos Aires apartment in the 1930s. The circa-1940 chairs in the foreground, the console (left), and the side table (right) were designed by for the Argentine firm Comte. The 1930s settee is covered in a mohair, the chairs next to the fireplace are 18th-century Gustavian, the circa-1950 Sphere cocktail table and lamp are by , and the 1930s table (front left) and sconces are by .
In the master bedroom of Steven Gambrel's Chicago apartment, the bed is upholstered in a velvet, the bench in a leather, and the club chair in a fabric; the 1950s Tommi Parzinger chest (next to the bed), Ico Parisi 1970s cabinet, and vintage Jules Leleu side table are all from ; the circa-1930 English mantel is from , and the carpet is from .
In the library of a New York home, the vintage Ward Bennett swivel chair in a cotton-silk blend is from , the circa-1960 Italian lounge chair in a linen is from , and the custom sofa is in a fabric; the marble-and-brass cocktail table is by , the Claude Lalanne bronze chair is from , and the custom carpet is from A sculpture by Maurizio Cattelan hangs over the custom mantel, which holds artworks by Elizabeth Peyton.
Hendrix, a Maine Coon, surveys the great room in Cathryn Collins and Gerald Imber’s weekend home in Millbrook, New York. An Italian Empire daybed is draped with a cashmere throw from Collins’s textile collection, ; an antique Italian bench is topped with a hand-loomed Moroccan textile; the 16th-century limestone mantel and antique wrought-iron candle stands were purchased in Florence.
In a California home, the living room’s sofas are by , the 1950s chairs are Danish, the cocktail table is by , the end tables are from , and the antique stool was a Japanese rice box. The antique mirror is Indian, the mantel is original, the pendant is by , the floor lamp is by , and the sconces are by .