G.S. Harris Co., Inc.
Decorating for Fall: Turn Your Stone Fireplace Into a Masterpiece
Fall is coming quickly now, and soon we will all bob for apples, decorate pumpkins, and prepare for the winter holidays. At this time of year, many people like to decorate their mantel with symbols of the season. Decorating a mantel can be delicate work. Adding decorations is only a portion of what you need to do during the process.
Since you will need to draw attention to your mantel and turn it into a focal point in the room, you also need to maintain and protect your stone veneer. These tips can help you decorate your mantel in a way that is safe, smart, and good for the stone.
Clean the Stone
If you used your fireplace all last winter and into the spring, your stone veneer could show soot and grime. Before putting up your decorations, clean the stone. If you do not, you will showcase soot when you put up decorations on the mantel.
To clean your stone, use a stiff bristle (but not metal bristle) brush. Mix a gentle cleaner and water together, then dip the brush into the water and use it to scrub down the stone. Repeat this process as necessary to fully clean the stone. Use a cleaner that experts have approved for use on stone veneers.
Create a Focal Point
Once your mantel is clean, then you can create a focal point on your mantel. Often, the focal point is large and attention-grabbing. Seasonal decorations that make an excellent focal point include a fall wreath, a large mantel clock, a collection of pumpkins, or an antique framed mirror.
Add Extra Seasonal Items After Choosing a Focal Point
Once you have chosen a focal point for your mantel, then you can decorate the area surrounding the focal point with small seasonal knickknacks and items that are reminiscent of fall. People often think of fall as the last gasp of the growing season when the passage of summer is finally done. Fall is a season of nostalgia, harvest, and mystery. With this in mind, choose items that point to these themes. Common items that are excellent for this purpose include:
Vintage objects and rustic hand-me-downs
A narrow wooden box filled with objects you associate with harvest
Old black and white photos in a frame
Dried flowers from your summer garden
Used candles with drips of wax hanging over the edges
Seek out objects that incorporate the changing colors of brown, red, yellow, orange, and fading green.
Protect Your Stone Veneer and Mantel When Decorating
As you decorate your mantel, protecting the stone veneer and mantel is important.
Hang Things From the Ceiling, Not the Stone
If you want to hang a wreath, mirror, or picture in front of your mantel, you may find drilling into the stone tempting. Although you can do this, you might damage to the veneer. Once you have drilled a hole in your stone veneer, this is permanent.
To avoid this, attach a track to the ceiling above the mantel. A ceiling track is a system for hanging pictures and decorations in front of, but not on, a wall. Hang clear string from the track, and then suspend your fall wreath in front of your fireplace. The string should be invisible when you are finished.
Do Not Use Perishables
Food is a natural symbol of the fall season, so people often incorporate food into their fall decorations. Good examples of this include pumpkins, gourds, and apples. However, food does not belong on the mantel. The area above the fireplace is warm throughout the fall and winter. Food will quickly rot in this space, which can leave stains on the stones.
Use artificial food items like stone apples or wood pumpkins. One exception to this rule is dried corn on the husk, which is a common decoration that will keep for years.
Keep Flammable Items Away From Flames
Never drape any potentially flammable item over the mantel. Keep all fabrics, beaded strings, and cornhusks away from the open fire. Never place anything flammable precariously close to the edge of the mantel or in a position that is likely to roll off the mantel and onto the hearth. Check the mantel periodically to ensure that everything remains secure and in place.
Contact Your Stone Veneer Dealer
If you have questions about how you can safely decorate your stone fireplace, contact a reputable stone veneer installer. Whether you have questions about how to clean the veneer, how to hang decorations from the stone, or how you can protect your fireplace from damage this fall, your stone veneer installer can help.
At Harristone, we answer client questions and help our clients keep their stone veneer in good condition. Contact us today for more information. We’re happy to help you and your stone fireplace in any way.