The Mantel Shoppe Blog
The Beauty of Antique Heart Pine
Heart pinewood is one of the finest types of antique lumber available. It dates back to the arrival of the first American settlers. When the pioneers started to explore the country in search of more land, a group of them discovered an enormous pine forest that ranged from the Atlantic coast to the Mississippi River. This wooded area measured more than 95 million acres, and it grew trees that were four feet in diameter and as tall as 150 feet.
A Unique Characteristic
People started calling this type of tree a heart pine because it has a unique characteristic, which is a large heart center with a small section of sapwood surrounding it. The heart center is dense, hard and heavy. It is also resistant to rot and insects. Heartwood pine takes time to develop. In fact, it takes at least 200 years for the material to become antique heartwood. Few woods rival the strength, beauty and durability of antique heart pinewood. These elements make it an ideal material for your fireplace mantle.
Antique Heart Pinewood for Your Mantle
A mantel made from antique heart pinewood will make your fireplace special in a number of ways. For instance, the wood selection features a rich patina and distinctive color. In most cases, modern-day heart pinewood is recycled lumber from trees that date back to the first generation. Today, most of it comes from mills and factories that were constructed during the Industrial Revolution. Because of this, you’ll be supporting the reclaimed wood industry when you purchase an antique heart pine fireplace mantel.
The Benefits of Reclaimed Wood
Reclaimed wood aids the environment. It can also help save a forest’s existing trees. Often, antique pine heartwood is a higher quality wood than new lumber. In addition, if a modern-day wood developer uses reclaimed wood, he or she will generally reprocess it. When a crafter refinishes pine heartwood, the substance reacts to the wood’s natural tannins to create a beautiful surface. This type of wood is beloved for its historic elements and character. With a mantel made from antique pine heartwood, you’ll also have a piece that offers a pleasant aroma and texture.
Enhancing Your Home Responsibly
By selecting an antique heart pine fireplace mantel, you’ll not only have a piece that enhances your home with beauty and style, but you’ll also have a décor item that’s environmentally responsible. The Mantel Shoppe builds mantels in a variety of styles and designs. In addition, the company customizes each fireplace mantel to ensure a proper fit.
Decorating Your Fireplace Mantel for the Spring
Fireplace Mantels provide a great place for decoration year-round. However, many people associate mantels with the comfort of a warm fire, a romantic retreat from harsh winters. So it can be tricky to think of ideas for decorating your mantel when the spring season finally comes, bringing an entirely new mood along with it. Here are some tips to get you started decorating your fireplace mantel once the flowers bloom and the birds begin chirping.
Get In the Holiday Mood
If you celebrate the Easter holiday, now’s your chance to take advantage of the mantel in your home and litter it with Easter-themed decorations. Try displaying some baskets full of pastel colored eggs—real dyed eggs always look best. Fill the baskets with some candy to draw some extra attention to the mantel. Bunny figurines look great and lighten the mood of a room. Come to think of it, Easter decorations look great on a mantel even if you’re not religious at all.
Nothing announces the new beginnings of a spring season quite like beautiful bouquets of flowers. Take a trip to the florist or supermarket and put together some creative arrangements of your own. Pansies, daffodils, and tulips are all wonderfully classic flowers that will brighten up your home and accentuate your mantel. Artificial cherry blossoms are another wonderful option that will last the whole season.
The great thing about decorating a mantel, especially one built by The Mantel Shoppe, is that it already looks great to begin with. Each season, including the spring, offers an opportunity to add to the look with contrasting styles and colors. Spring decorating tends to employ a great deal of white, but don’t forget to add a good amount of pastel shades as well. Light spring colors on a richly dark, wooden fireplace mantel put a spring twist on an old favorite.
If you’re interested in a beautiful, custom mantel that you can proudly decorate for every season, visit The Mantel Shoppe today.
The Birth of the Fireplace Mantel
Here at The Mantel Shoppe, we respect the tradition of our craft and rely on it to continue designing the best fireplace mantels in the world. Most elements of our time-tested designs are drawn from the deep history that fireplace mantels carry. We spend a great deal of time studying these how mantels should look, which sometimes leads us to take a step back and wonder where our fascination of the fireplace mantel began in the first place.
Of course, the reasons for our appreciation of fire itself are obvious. It keeps us warm on the coldest nights, allowing people to live in places that would otherwise be completely unhospitable for human habitation. It also cooks our food, allowing us to eat things like meat more easily and enjoyably. So, it’s logical that we would worship fire and have a natural desire to make the area around it more attractive.
However, it wasn’t until the 12th century that indoor fires moved from the center of the home to the outer walls. The fireplace played a similar role to today’s televisions, providing a place for families to gather around and offering the primary source of light during the night. People began decorating the area surrounding the fireplace, which made sense given that they spent much of their time facing it. Thus, the ornamental mantelpiece was born, spending following centuries as a lavish symbol of status and wealth.
These days, while you no longer have to be rich to have a fireplace mantel in your home, we continue to decorate them with the same level of respect as wealthy families of old. At The Mantel Shoppe, we’ve paid homage to fireplace mantels throughout our own unique history.
Of course, there is so much more involved with the history of this cherished household staple. Stay tuned to The Mantel Shoppe blog for more information, or head on over to our website to browse our stunning mantel collections.