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To paint or not to paint? That really is the question.

Photo: Fireplace

My partner and I are moving into a new apartment, and it has this lovely vintage gas fireplace with a darkly stained mantel.

Photo Blog March 2 Fireplace Mantel Tiles

The fireplace is faced with some pretty interesting tile — but I can’t decide whether I hate it or love it.

I am trying to figure out whether to leave the mantel stained, keeping the look traditional, or just paint it out. In my search for inspiration, I’ve come across some gorgeous mantels. Obviously not all of them will suit our space and the existing elements — but they are still fun to review! Here are a couple of options…

Photo Blog March 2 Fireplace Mantel Black

Option 1: Paint it black. I love this look — it's so sophisticated, and with so many graphic elements in the space, the black really grounds the room.

photo: living room style - Rustic

Option 2: Go rustic. I love the roughed up look of this one. I’m not sure if the landlord would be too happy about this treatment, though…!

Photo: living room - Keep it simple

Option 3: Keep it simple. This is my favourite from the Lulu DK website. It's so clean and simple, plus it highlights all the other elements in the room.

Now to make a decision — that’s a whole other story! What would you suggest?

For more mantel inspiration, view our Fireplaces And Mantel Displays photo gallery.

Photo credits:
1-2. Stephanie White
3. House & Home May 2009 issue, photography by Angus Fergusson
4. From Flickr.com, Domino June 2008 issue, photography by Matt Albiani
5. Lulu DK

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