Contest Yields Innovative Approaches to Contemporary Stone Fireplace Mantels

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A recent content held by Materials Marketing has yielded contemporary stone fireplace mantels that conform to the “new normal” in home decor.

These contemporary stone fireplace mantels are very hip, very stylized. It’s a look you’d see in a chic, urban apartment.

Symbolic of a more pragmatic housing market, contemporary stone fireplace mantels have taken on a decidedly different look. The proof is in the exciting new designs produced in the Materials Marketing “Re-Imagined American Fireplace” contest.

Materials Marketing is a fully-integrated manufacturer of hand-carved architectural and dimensional stone. That kind of customized work has given way to a more price-conscientious approach. “It’s a return to minimalism,” notes Materials Marketing Vice President John Valentine, “which tends to happen after every recession.”

To appeal to the new aesthetic, Materials Marketing held an internal competition among their fireplace designers. One of the elements most notable in the winning designs were the contemporary stone fireplace mantels.

The “re-imagined” mantels included a more streamlined, modernistic look. “They’re far less ornate,” Valentine said. “These contemporary stone fireplace mantels are very hip, very stylized. It’s a look you’d see in a chic, urban apartment.”

The re-imagined designs feature little hand-carving and far fewer over-mantled fireplaces. Valentine also noted a greater emphasis on grey limestone, a departure from the “beige, beige, beige” look of the last decade.

Valentine is happy that compelling design was not sacrificed with the more cost-effective approach. If anything, demanding that their designers adapt to the new normal and re-invent their approach has yielded innovative approaches.

“The designers were excited to have the chance to roll up their sleeves and really get creative,” said Valentine. “And we think they really hit it out of the park.”

Materials Marketing started with a flagship store in San Antonio, Texas in 1962 and has expanded to 11 showrooms across the country. They are the only architectural stone and natural stone flooring supplier in the U.S. that owns and operates their manufacturing facilities.

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