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I smell a spring project in the air…

Ah, you’ve gotta love the smell of spring. Soft earth beneath your feet. Birds nesting on the porch. And the pleasant idea that it may be safe again to embark on a major project.

For the last several weeks Kathy and I have been talking about how we want to finish the fireplace in our kitchen/dining area. We know that we want to use some of the black walnut that we had to cut down while we were in the process of rebuilding the house. (The black walnut is drying on stickers in the garage where it has been since it was milled almost two years ago.) Now I think we’ve decided that we want to build a true Arts & Crafts style mantel with tile in the area surrounding the fireplace and stone outside the mantel enclosure.

Mantle Idea 1What we’re trying to find now is pictures to give us ideas on how to build the mantel. As yet we’ve been unable to find very many good pictures to help us along. What we’ve found so far are this picture on Our 1916 Craftsman Bungalow‘s site, which 1916 was using to highlight the painting that they wanted to do on their place. Mantle Idea 2The second picture I found by looking for images of Arts & Crafts mantels on Google. The first mantel is beautiful and simple enough that I don’t think I’d have a problem making it, the second is gorgeous and I’d love to see something just like it in my house, but I’m thinking that it’s probably out of my league. Although, on closer inspection, the lines on this mantel and surround are really pretty simple, so maybe it’s not completely out of my league.

What am I looking for? More pictures of Craftsman or Arts & Crafts fireplace trim. to help us figure out what we want to do. Anybody out there who can point me in the right direction feel free to comment me up.