One of the features that drew me to our home was the original marble mantels. You see these in townhouses all over older US cities like Boston and NYC, especially ones built in the mid-19th century.
I KNOW. Here's what ours looks like in our parlor. A little less ornate, but still delicious.
Fun fact: Many of the mantels you see in homes in my area never housed fireplaces. They accommodated an early type of central heating, in which warm air would enter the room via the pretty, heavily ornamented iron grates.
These mantels look particularly amazing when topped with a grand mirror—specifically a Louis Philippe.
Case in point:
Here's another stunning marble mantel + Louis Philippe combo, from a feature in Boston Home.
How amazing is that mirror's silhouette? Long lines, a few curves, and a French soul. The flat base makes this style ideal for placing over an entry table or mantel. I'm smitten. And since Louis Philippe-style mirrors were made popular during the 1830s and 1840s, and our Second Empire (read: French)-style townhouse was built in 1860, I think it's a perfect fit.
For years I've been passively hunting for one of these amazing mirrors, hoping to stumble on my Louis at the Brimfield antiques show or to buy one for $100 from some unsuspecting renovator on Craigslist. No dice. Luckily, options abound: antique and new, gilded and distressed. Let's shop.
What do you think? Are most of these prices absolutely bonkers? Or is this the piece that'll make the room?