PREMIER Home Design & Decor: Designer spotlight, Mantels

We asked a few fabulous San Diego Designers to show off some of their mantel designs. It is time to cozy on up to the fireplace kids!


Turn Up the Heat

In San Diego the  fireplace is a bit more of a symbolic element than say in Steamboat Springs, Colorado where residents have already started stacking wood for the winter months. Nevertheless we still need a place to hang our stockings and here as much as anywhere the fireplace mantel is an opportunity to showcase personal style. We asked a few fabulous San Diego Designers to show off some of their mantel designs. It is time to cozy on up to the fireplace kids!


“It isn’t often one gets to think outside the proverbial box when it comes to  fireplaces. They’re often traditional mantles or attached to a wall in some way. With this fireplace, I am in love with the peek-a-boo aspect; having a small slightly obstructed view between the living room and the study. It is kind of like a hole in a fence, causing you to stop and peer through…excited about the mystery that lies on the other side.

The beauty in large scale, mantle-less fireplace walls such as these, is that the owner’s art takes center-stage. As designers we’ve been ingrained to treat the fireplace as the focal point. But sometimes, especially in this case, it isn’t. But of course, everyone needs a little flicker in their lives.”

DETAILS: Fireplace for the Living Room & Study was designed as open to both rooms. Surrounded in Calacatta Paonazzo, a specialty marble from Italy, and inset into a veneer surround, both sides of the fireplace emphasize material and textural finish rather than ornate detail.

Brandon A Smith, LEED AP  Principal  Twitter @dcoopsd


 “This mantel has such an historic and very personal story as it is installed in my own home, the Historic Ginty House, circa 1886 (on the National Historic Register). The house, downtown on Cortez Hill in Center City , was actually moved in 2000 to save it from demolition. I completely renovated it and moved in shortly afterwards in 2003.

This fi replace surround was originally in the entry, but lost its home during the remodel as a gas appliance was required. I moved it into the family room and now I can enjoy it much more often. Originally, it had a hand painted finish which matched the overmantle. (I kept the OVERMANTLE intact and hung it over the footed tub in the master bath and it looks so good.) I stripped this mantle to see if the wood was nice. It wasn’t, so it got painted white which I love. There is also a peek-a-boo fireplace in the entry and the parlor.”

Marsha Sewell   Marsha Sewell & Associates ~ Interior Design


 “Outdoor fireplace mantels are just as important as those found indoors. This is from a client’s 1928 Spanish Colonial home in Beverly Hills. They are from Texas so I thought the cow skull would be a playful nod to his home state and he loved it.”

Kristin Lomauro  Kristin Lomauro Interior Design, KLID

Project:  LA JOLLA

“This antique mantel was purchased for a client in New York for their La Jolla home. The mantel is 19 century American, reclaimed from an old home in Connecticut. Some of the accessories are fabulous gallery finds from Santa Fe New Mexico. Paper mache sculpture, a local artist painting on wood, accompanied by a collection of candlesticks. The home is a modern interpretation of a California Bungalow*  style home and we took the same flavor to the interior furnishings.”

(*apologies for the typo’s printed in the issue, please see above for corrected type)

Kristin Lomauro  Kristin Lomauro Interior Design, KLID


“Texture can bring dimension to any boring fireplace wall. I accomplished that here by installing floor-to-ceiling natural quartz stack stone along with a floating wood mantel. For a less dramatic look, the stack stone can be installed to the mantel height alone while still achieving a point of interest. Visit your local tile showroom to see the variety of both natural and manufactured stones available… the possibilities are endless!”

Holly Peterson Owner/Principal Designer Design Diva Interiors

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