Fireplace mantel shelves have originated in the 5th century A.D. and have evolved gracefully since then. Fireplace mantel shelves built decoratively around the fireplace to conceal the walls blackened from the soot rising from the fire. Fireplace mantel shelves are the focal point of a fireplace and set the tone in many decorating schemes. Fireplace mantel shelves are an ethnic gift of the Europeans to the world. The variations in the designs of the early modern-period mantel shelves, exhibit the tremendous alterations in the art and culture of those times. During the 15th century, homes had open hearths in the center of the living room with canopies erected to vent the rising smoke. Later, the hearth was shifted towards the wall, where the canopy could get a better support. This trend changed in the 16th century, when the fireplaces were treated as a part of the wall and had a support or a mantelpiece built around it.
For those who like to have fireplaces in their homes, the mantel shelves are available in many styles and designs. Modern-day fireplace mantel shelves are also available in ready-to-install packages and can be erected without any professional help. Prior to you buy your fireplace mantel shelf you will wish to determine the particular area where you would want your mantel to be installed. Under the ideal circumstances, your shelf ought to be at least as long in length as that of a fireplace. Nearly all mantel shelves are quite simple to install and are available with installation directions.