Life Without a Mantel

First published Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The house I used to live in had a modest basement fireplace, complete with electrical outlet, to power some kind of small electric heater, long gone.  The wood mantel was designed in the 1920's, one of my favourite design eras, and was easily detached from the wall, painted and re-purposed in an upstairs bedroom, as a headboard.  Mantels are terrific display spaces for photos, candles and delicate things that benefit from what I used to call "high space," visible to all but slightly out of reach of young children who might enjoy "undecorating!"  Following my own move, I was looking to add display space in my current home, and found this space-efficient solution:  picture shelves which can be installed at any height, and have a small raised front edge for safety.  One client of mine used this idea to great effect above her desk in her new office, another used it alongside her bed, instead of a night table and I myself put several of them above the doors in a central hallway.  Voilà, "high space!"