The art of mantel

Wall Street Journal Contributor Aili McConnon discusses how fireplaces are getting hotter this winter as "burn season" heats up. What really makes a fireplace is the mantel, which is where homeowners can show off their artistic style. That's where Vicente Wolf comes in.

The designer has introduced a new line of custom-made, contemporary mantels for Manhattan House luxury condos in New York. The high-end wood mantels start at $2,000 to $3,000, while the marble pieces can range from $5,000 to $10,000.

McConnon presents a round up of stunning custom mantel pieces, featuring companies like London-based Chesney and Tartaruga Design, that carve custom--and pricey--mantels from high-quality stone. Chesney sells a limited-edition mantel made of rainbow onyx for $22,000.

For a more affordable option, you can spend $2,420 for a poplar mantel from the Fillmore Collection by Hamilton Parker Co., based in Columbus, Ohio.

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